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Prosecutors raid Livedoor offices, founder’s home

Japanese prosecutors raided the offices of the hugely popular Internet portal Livedoor and the home of its founder on Monday as part of an investigation of possible violations of securities trading laws. Not much more official information is known regarding the security violation, but media reports in Japan said the company was accused of issuing a false news release to drive up the share price of a marketing subsidiary. Livedoor executives did not immediately comment. 33-year-old founder and chief executive, Takafumi Horie has gained a repuation as an outspoken entrepreneur whose casual style and confrontational tactics have repeatedly angered the country’s business elite.

Dell boss: ‘No $100 laptops and no AMD deal’

The UK head of Dell has said the company has no plans to be drawn into the game of producing cut-price ‘no frills’ computers. He also told a select group of journalists that there is no ‘done deal’ with AMD over the use of its chips in Dell kit, despite rumours to that effect late last week. Explaining what constitutes an official statement, Claman said analysts and the media have been reading far too much into Michael Dell’s assertion when speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show that an AMD deal is "a distinct possibility".

Activision warns of “significantly lower” earnings

Hot on the heels of NPD’s bleak report on November game sales comes a stark earnings warning from a top third-party publisher. Following the end of trading in New York this afternoon, Activision issued a press release which told investors to brace themselves for quarterly and annual earnings lower than the company’s November 2 forecast. The warning comes despite Activision’s 54 percent year-on-year increase in sales during November. Interesting, Charlie Demerjian of The Inquirer recently wrote an article?predicting the death of the games industry,?and here is the first signs of something quite disturbing. What’s your thoughts? Is the game industry?over inflated?and too expensive to develop for? Are gamers starting to bore with the sequel, prequels, and utter garbage churned out these days? Post in our forums and?let us know.?

Nvidia to buy ULi for $52 million

NVIDIA today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ULi Electronics Inc, one of the PC industry?s most highly-regarded core logic developers. ULi is recognised for its innovative core logic technology as well as other multimedia and embedded products. Additionally, the acquisition is expected to strengthen the company?s sales, marketing, and customer engineering presence in Taiwan and China. NVIDIA will pay a cool $52 million (USD) for ULI, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2007. For any of you out there that don’t already know, ULI provides a large quantity of Southbridge chips for ATI’s Xpress 200 motherboards, the direct and only real competitor to Nvidia. Though?a worrying message for ATI, the takeover date of 2007 should not cause ATI’s current chip sourcing strategy any worries, and I doubt Nvidia would be crazy enough to limit supply after 2007 to ATI. Money is money, after all.

Holographic-memory discs may put next-gen DVDs to shame

A computer disc about the size of a DVD that can hold 60 times more data is set to go on sale in 2006. The disc stores information through the interference of light ? a technique known as holographic memory. The discs, developed by InPhase Technologies, based in Colorado, US, hold 300 gigabytes of data and can be used to read and write data 10 times faster than a normal DVD. The company, along with Japanese partner Hitachi Maxell announced earlier in November that they would start selling the discs and compatible drives from the end of 2006. Follow the link for more info. I’m sure I?remember hearing about this many years back when the technology was?semi-perfected in a lab in some university, i think. It’s nice to hear it could be coming to market as early as 2006.

Three companies shut down on spyware charges

A U.S. court shut down three Internet companies for secretly bundling malicious "spyware" with ring tones, music programs and other free high-tech goodies, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday. The malicious software tracked victims’ Internet activity, hijacked their home pages and deluged them with unwanted "pop up" ads, the FTC said. According to a complaint filed in district court in Los Angeles, Enternet and Conspy bundled their malicious software with music files, song lyrics and cellular telephone ring tones offered free on a range of Web sites. The software was also disguised as a security upgrade for Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer Web browser. The assets of Enternet Media Inc. and Conspy & Co. Inc., based in California, and Iwebtunes, based in Ohio, have been frozen pending further court action, the FTC said. The court also ordered all three firms to halt downloads of the software.

Apple faces legal battle over i-Pod

Consumers from the UK and Mexico have joined a legal battle against Apple over allegedly defective screens on the new iPod Nano music players. In the US, a similar case was filed in October after numerous complaints about scratched or broken screens. Both lawsuits argue that the problems with the screen on the Nano are due to a design flaw. They alleged that Apple was aware of the issue, but chose to ignore it in the rush to get the players into the shops. It is alleged that the resin used on the Nano is much thinner than that used on other iPods. Apple admitted flaws with a small batch of Nanos, but denied that it was more likely to scratch than other iPods. Complaints that the iPod Nano led Apple to offer to replace defective screens on the music players within weeks of its debut in September. At the time, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said the problems affected less than a tenth of a percent of the Nanos shipped. As for the lawsuits, Apple says it does not comment on pending litigation.

Hollywood Wants Laws Introduced to Stop Analogue Recordings

The Inquirer has reported that the movie industry is lobbying to get senators to back a plan to ban creating digital copies of analogue recordings. Called the "Analog Hole" bill, it will make anyone who makes a digital copy of a telly program or a film from an analogue signal into a pirate (argh, me hearty). The only "hole" I see here is in the heads of the lobbyists. Everyone else realises that the embracement of digital formats and the internet is inevitable for the industry. Hollywood has been in decline for years but is it due to the internet and piracy? Partly yes, but it’s also because of social change. With the birth of a new technology as important as the internet, social changes inevitably take place and when this happens there is nothing an industry can do but embrace it. If anything, the internet has taught people that things don’t have to be the way they are. We don’t need to go to the cinema, why not stream new releases into our homes? We?ve all had years to realize the possibilities but the industry is fighting it and will keep on fighting it, and we’ll keep fighting them. They can’t win, ask Louis XVI. ?

FAKT Software House Announces Supports for AGEIA Physics Processor

AGEIA Technologies today announced that German game developer FAKT Software GmbH will be leveraging the full power of the AGEIA PhysX processor for its upcoming Crazy Machines II. The announcement is the result of an agreement that enables FAKT Software to use the AGEIA PhysX SDK to implement comprehensive physics dynamics in Crazy Machines II. This physics functionality will take on a new, breathtaking dimension for gamers using PCs equipped with the AGEIA PhysX processor. More info at AGEIA’s website

Fresh complaints to EU about Microsoft

The European Union has received "informal complaints" about US software giant Microsoft, which has long been in the hotseat with EU regulators, EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes has said. "We have had informal complaints, and we are using our time now to look at them," Kroes told the New York Times, which did not say who had made the complaints. The US newspaper said that Kroes had said that the informal complaints received by the commission, which polices competition issues in the EU, focused on the bundling of existing applications and future ones. Link to Source

China Imposes Online Gaming Curbs

Gamers in China are facing new limits on how much time they can spend playing their favourite online game. The government in Beijing is reported to be introducing the controls to deter people from playing for longer than three consecutive hours. The measures are designed to combat addiction to online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft and Lineage II. More than 20 million Chinese play games regularly, mainly in net cafes. BBC News

Intel Sees More ‘Aware’ Technologies Which Can Adapt To People In Next Decade

Intel Corporation today outlined long-term research to make electronic products smarter, safer and capable of adapting to the way people use them around the world. These "user-aware" platform technologies could be used to build systems that intuitively respond to people and their ever-changing needs.

Justin Rattner, Intel senior fellow and director of Intel's Corporate Technology Group, explained in a keynote?at IDF?today that current electronic products have almost no way of knowing how they are being used, who is using them, or what the user wants to accomplish without that person directing their every move. This leads to frustration because of all the things people have to do just to use and manage their technology. The future of electronics will be driven by the need for simpler, more intuitive ways of dealing with technologies that in turn help people do what they want to do. To achieve this will require a new generation of user-aware platform technologies.

AMD and Star Wars – A Force to be Reckoned With?

Yeah yeah,?bad title,?I know….but if you’ve ever wanted to know what workstation hardware Star Wars is created on, why Lucasfilm loves HyperTransport or whether it’s possible to hack 32-bit applications to get an AMD64 advantage, this is for you.?Bit-Tech also got the inside gossip on George Lucas’ sandwich habits, which?I personally want to know more than anything else in the world. Read the article HERE

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