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[H] Enthusiast Archives: February 2009Archive Listing


Saturday February 28, 2009

Mozilla Delays 3.1 Release, Adds Another Beta to Schedule

In response to a “particularly troublesome bug” in the new JavaScript engine in Firefox 3.1, Mozilla has announced that they are adding another beta to the release schedule. This will delay the final release until at least the 2nd quarter and possibly even result in the renaming of the release from 3.1 to 3.5.

"A fourth beta will follow approximately six weeks after, as a vehicle for more testing of [the] TraceMonkey [JavaScript engine], video, Places and other eagerly-awaited improvements, as well as feedback from Beta 3," [Mozilla VP of Engineering Mike] Shaver said in a message on a company forum .

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Chinese Premier Wen Jinbao Chats Online

The Premier of China, Wen Jinbao, spent some time online answering questions in a moderated chat on Saturday. According to Yahoo, he faced questions as trivial as how much alcohol he was allowed to drink, serious questions like how China was going to deal with the global economic crisis, to the weird like how he handled a shoe-throwing protester in England.

Wen's online chat to the people of China was his first, and comes after President Hu Jintao fielded questions on the Internet in June last year. Wen has tried to forge a reputation as a man of the people, contrasting with his publicly much more staid and stern colleagues in the ruling Communist Party hierarchy.

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Yahoo Paid $79 Million in Anti-Microsoft Efforts

In a filing with the SEC on Friday, Yahoo says they spent $79 million in their efforts not to merge with Microsoft last year. They sure spent a ton of money on “outside advisers.” Maybe they should keep some of these folks around for the inevitable next takeover attempt.

Part of the $79 million bill was also attributed to hiring outside advisers for fighting off a proxy contest by activist shareholder Carl Icahn, who eventually settled with the company and received three seats on Yahoo's board.

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[H]ardware Roundup

Motherboards

EVGA X58 Classified – first look @ AnandTech

ASUS Striker II NSE (790i chipset) @ PCStats

Storage

OCZ Apex 120GB SATA II SSD @ LegitReviews

Thecus N4100 Pro NAS @ Motherboards.org

Patriot Warp v.2 128GB SSD @ Guru3D

Video

Professional graphics card roundup @ PC Perspective

Leadtek WinFast GTX 260 Extreme+ SLI @ TweakTown

Toys.com Sells for $5.1 Million

Looks like the million-dollar domain days are still alive. ToysRUs bought the domain “Toys.com” in a heated auction for $5.1 million bucks. If you’re still squatting that domain, maybe there’s hope for you yet.

ToysRUs really didn’t have much choice. If it wants to be the first thing people associate with toys it really couldn’t afford to allow anyone else to own that domain, even in this economy.

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Yahoo Partners with Newspapers in Ad Venture

Yahoo is testing a partnership with newspapers to jointly sell print and online ads. According to the NYT, this is a gamble for the long term and Yahoo does not expect the partnership to boost their finances this year nor challenge Google’s online supremacy. Call me cynical but I’m just not seeing the benefits of this since newspaper readership is flagging.

Through the partnership, ad salespeople at newspapers pitch local businesses on advertising packages that let them reach visitors to the newspapers’ Web sites and Yahoo users in the area. The newspapers also use Yahoo technology that lets them charge more for ads on their sites.

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Computer Shopper Ceases Print Magazine

It’s the end of an era. Computer Shopper, the venerable computer sales magazine, will no longer have a print edition as of the April 2009 issue. Sure, it was inevitable and I was actually surprised to see it still in print in this age of instant notification, but it’s still noteworthy, especially for us old school tech guys who read the mag in the 80’s and 90’s.

To say that Computer Shopper evolved over 30 years' time is to say human civilization is susceptible to change, or that oceans are prone to undulation. It never sounded like it could be the driving force in information technology publishing, with a name that never changed from the days it was printed on cheap, yellow recycled newsprint and handed out for next-to-nothing in Florida's convenience stores.

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MIT Unveils 90 MPH Solar Car

The brains in MIT’s Solar Electric Vehicle Team have unveiled a new race car that can hit 90 MPH. Dubbed the “Eleanor,” it cost $243K and will be used in the 10th World Solar Challenge race in Australia. Looks like it belongs in space more than in the Outback to me.

Everything is packaged in a chrome-moly steel frame wrapped in carbon-fiber-and-Kevlar bodywork. The car weighs just under 500 pounds, and the top half of the body weighs just 40 pounds — with the solar cells.

News Image

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iTunes Debuts Pass Model with Depeche Mode

iTunes launched a new Pass model with Depeche Mode as the debut artist. Similar to the Season Pass model already available on iTunes for TV Shows, Pass for music is essentially an album subscription model that allows artists to sell products for one flat rate and then deliver them throughout a set amount of time.

So far, the model has shown promise. A recent bundle of the Beastie Boys' reissue of "Paul's Boutique," in conjunction with EMI and the technology platform Topspin, carried a range of options, from a digital album for $12 to a $120 package that included a boxed set and download. According to Topspin, only 16 percent of the resulting sales were for the cheapest option, and the average revenue per transaction topped $50.

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Psion Responds to Intel and Dell

We’ve told you about Psion trademarking the term “netbook” and how Dell and Intel sued to prevent the trademark. The blog jkOnTheRun received an update from Psion and contains their official response.

Psion continues to sell the Netbook ® Pro computer. It’s got all the invoices to prove multi-million dollar sales in the US in 2006, and sales that continue even to this day. There’s been no abandonment of the trademark. Just because we’re not selling tens of thousands through Best Buy doesn’t mean we’re not entitled to our trademark.

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Antec Launches New Power Supply Series

Antec, Inc. announced the TruePower New series, the latest addition to the TruePower line of power supply units (PSUs). The energy-efficient TruePower New achieves the rare 80 PLUS® Bronze certification of at least 82 percent efficiency at a wide range of operating loads, lowering operating costs while protecting the environment.

NVIDIA Names New CFO

NVIDIA Corporation announced it has named David White, a 30-year veteran of the technology industry, as executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), succeeding Marvin Burkett, whose decision to retire was disclosed in March 2008.