Not so pretty in pink

Subject: General Tech | January 22, 2009 - 11:51 AM |
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The bumpy ride downhill for the IT industry has picked up a little more speed today.  Slashdot has linked to three very similar stories of woe for three major tech players.  Microsoft is going to spend the next 18 months laying off up to 5,000 employees, with no specifics on where these jobs will be lost. 
As we saw yesterday afternoon, Intel is shutting down two elderly U.S.

Source: Slashdot

Intel to Consolidate Manufacturing Operations; Company to Halt Production at Five Older Factories

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2009 - 05:44 PM |
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SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 21, 2009 - Intel Corporation today disclosed plans to restructure some of its manufacturing operations and align its manufacturing capacity to current market conditions. The company will consolidate and streamline some older capacity without impacting the deployment of new, leading-edge 45-nanometer and 32-nanometer manufacturing capacity.

The company plans to close two existing assembly test facilities in Penang, Malaysia and one in Cavite, Philippines, and will halt production at Fab 20, an older 200mm wafer fabrication facility in Hillsboro, Ore.

Wacom's middle tablet

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2009 - 01:34 PM |
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If you are a graphics professional, you have probably had your eyes on the Wacom Cintiq, and if you have just started in on the idea of tablets, you are more likely to be looking at the Graphire.  For those who have graduated from the Graphire, but aren't ready to invest in a Cintiq, there is the Intuos.  MaximumCPU tried out the tablet, pen and mouse, so drop by for a look.

Source: Maximum CPU

AMD drops quad-core Phenom processor pricing

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2009 - 12:15 PM |
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AMD has reduced the price of its quad-core Phenom II X4 940 and 920 CPUs from US$275 and US$235 to US$225 and US$195 in thousand-unit tray quantities, respectively.

In addition to reducing the price of current CPUs, AMD also plans to launch the Phenom II X4 950 in the second quarter with a core frequency of 3.1GHz.

AMD commented that the price drop provides consumers products with a better price/performance ratio.

Source: Digitimes

A reluctant manifestation

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2009 - 12:07 PM |
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There is an undead monster in the closet which is having some serious issues.  For quite a while now, the license to the Ghostbusters franchise has been possessed by a number of different companies, each sucking a little more life out of it, either doing nothing with it, or worse, by releasing pathetic games or.  Now unless Atari can trap the spirit of the game it may never be anything but a phantom release.  Ars Technica has details on the whole sordid story.

Source: Ars Technica

87 out of 88 ain't bad

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2009 - 11:29 AM |
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Intel still isn't saying that they will be taking a loss, but they aren't suggesting it will be a positive quarter either.  The Register's coverage suggests that Intel employees are worried about job security at this point, and are advocating a solution like AMD has recently adopted; salary cuts for everyone. 

Source: The Inquirer

The botnet is coming, the botnet is coming!

Subject: General Tech | January 20, 2009 - 12:05 PM |
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Our next virtual Chicken Little is Conficker, a voracious and evolving worm spreading thanks to unpatched Windows systems.  Unfortunately for those responsible people who have patched their systems, it can still infect you via an infected USB drive and a little time to brute force your password.  If you are infected, you may not notice as the little bugger is being polite, for the moment.  Slashdot's story covers the invetible outcome, at some point this worm is going to go active as a

Source: Slashdot

ASUS is loud and proud

Subject: General Tech | January 19, 2009 - 01:50 PM |
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ASUS has released another Xonar audio card, this time the $200 Essence STX.  Some serious hardware has gone into this card, which goes beyond the quality expected by a gamer and heads more into the realm of the audiophile.  Tweaktown feels this card would be much happier living in an HTPC syst

Source: Tweaknews

AM3 can't come too soon for AMD

Subject: General Tech | January 19, 2009 - 11:45 AM |
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According to The Register, AMD will be cutting 1,100 more workers, as well as reducing the wage of anyone who still finds themselves with a job.  A lot of these jobs will be in the handheld and TV chip portions of the ATI purchase, which AMD is looking to sell to a nice home.  There will also be cutbacks in benefits, such as the companies matching of 401K/RRSP contributions.  The news on Thursday, January 22 does not look to be very positive.

Source: The Register

Would you like your Friday soft or hard?

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2009 - 05:55 PM |
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Perhaps it is not the best sign for your safety that the Virus Alerts/Security Warnings/Solutions in our networking forum has been very active over the past few weeks, but you can be assured that the advice you find in the thread will keep you from being sorry.  Several dedicated members are continually vigilant for the latest nasties running amok on the net, as well as the best ways to avoid them.  They can't do it alone, there are