Thursday, July 07, 2005

Intel, a vicious company?

Stemming from a forty-eight page complaint against Intel, AMD certainly says so. The report gives insight into Intel paying other companies so that they would abandon AMD and use Intel exclusively for microprocessors. Even the Japanese Fair Trade Commission or JFTC has recommended that Intel be sanctioned for its misconduct directed at AMD. AMD complains that Intel has targeted both U.S. and around the world customers to refrain from buying AMD from any market anywhere. They say that this goal of Intel’s keeps customers dependent on Intel for very substantial amounts of their product. The forty-eight page complaint also states that companies wishing to deal with AMD to use their microprocessors in their products are threatened with not receiving any quarterly money from Intel which would result in substantial loss to their company. Such companies as Dell have been clamored by customers for AMD solutions particularly in servers. Unfortunately for them Intel has bought exclusivity from Dell with large payments and favorable pricing. AMD also complains that Intel paid Sony not to release any of it’s notebooks in 2003. They say that the payoff, which was in the multimillions, was disguised as discounts and promotional support. AMD’s share of Sony ’s business in Japan abruptly dropped sharply from 23% to 0% from 2002 to 2003.

In 2002, the complaint states that Hewlett Packard was all set to release AMD’s microprocessors in it’s “Evo” product line when at the last minute HP disclosed this plan to Intel in which Intel pressured them to stop immediate use of any AMD product. Intel went as far as pressuring Hewlett Packard’s senior management to consider firing the HP executive who came up with the AMD commercial desktop proposal. When AMD came to Hewlett Packard to convince them to carry a AMD-powered notebook, HP declined. HP explained that Intel had paid between three and four million dollars for exclusivity on HP’s notebook product line for at least one year.

The report goes into other companies like IBM were bought off as well. According to IBM executive Ed Thum, Intel paid them “millions of dollars in market development fund.” AMD also states that AMD was forced to discount their price on their products so that they could compete with Intel but that that it resulted in loss of profit. They say that each time a new line of models come out that this exclusionary practice keeps AMD from becoming a real competitor. The report also seems to say that Intel holds a sever penalty against a company that fails to meet their quarterly targets. In the fourth quarter of 2004, AMD succeeded in getting it’s product into HP’s mobile computers. These products sold very well. AMD captured 60% of HP’s U.S. retail sales for the quarter. Intel responded by withholding HP’s fourth quarter rebate check. They would not forgive HP for failing to achieve Intel’s targeted rebate goal. Hewlett Packard was forced to make it up to them by promising them at least 90% of HP’s mainstream retail business. This is an apparent taste of what Intel could leave in your mouth. The trial will be tried by a jury. So that begs the question. Should other companies even dare now attempt a partnership with Intel? Even if they donate millions to you?


posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 3:43 PM | link | 0 comments

Sunday, July 03, 2005

IT Certification Study Guides

We all know that breaking into the IT industry involves getting some of those certifications everybody talks about. I've managed to get three so far: A+, Network+, and Microsoft Certified Professional. I'm working on getting my MCSA and I thought I would take this time to let you guys know about some of the resources I use when I'm studying for these things.

First we have the Transcender practice tests. These things are pretty hardcore and the company guarantees that if you pass these, you can pass the actual exam. They have them for nearly every certification that you could possibly want. I like these things because they do simulate the testing environment really well and will help you understand what you are going up against. They even go as far as to simulate the interactive questions where you drag stuff around. It's not all just multiple choice when it comes to these exams.

Then we have the Test King study guides. I really recommend these things because they are nearly word for word what the questions on the test are. It's ridiculous! I used one for Network+ and was surprised to see at least 40 questions that I'd already seen. I finished that test in 20 minutes because nothing surprised me. I know plenty about networking and was confident about the test anyway, but this thing made the test crazy easy.

So that's a couple things you can do to prepare yourself. You can always get books to study from too and most of those are great. The Exam Cram books are great resources. I just prefer these because how accurate they are compared to the real thing. So look into those and go get certified!

posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 5:03 PM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Console war not only a war for video games

One thing that the next gen consoles will surely bring is excitement which is something that everybody should have considering it is truly a technological revolution. The next gen consoles include the Xbox 360, Playstation3 as well as the Nintendo Revolution. One thing that all of these gaming consoles have in common is they are also computers. They may not run Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux (the Playstation 3 is supposed to come with a distro of Linux) out of the box but they all have the potential to do so (the Revolutions specs aren’t yet know but they are rumored to be very similar to the other’s consoles).

Why would anybody want to spend well over $500 for a PC with the same specs as that of a $300 Xbox 360? This just goes to prove to the consumer that computers can and will be built cheaper in the future. Such a decrease in the price of computers could lead to a computer being in ever house much like its predecessor the telephone. One thing that Microsoft loves to do is crush the competition. How could Microsoft crush the competition in the console world as well as making a further advance in the PC world? By allowing the Xbox 360 users to have some form of Windows on their machine. With the now upcoming release of Windows Longhorn many have begun to wonder how Windows Longhorn and the Xbox 360 will tie together. There is obviously more pressure for Microsoft to infatuate Windows into the Xbox some how as Sony is planning on releasing a distro of Linux with the Playstation 3 hard drive. The last thing Microsoft wants is to lose the console war as well as allow Linux to make any sort of gain on Microsoft. Millions of Playstation 3’s will be sold which means that there is a potential that millions of more people will be introduced to Linux. Believe it or not, the console war could also be a war not only for video games but also for the next leading OS.

If there is one thing that people like it is all in one devices. The problem with all in once devices such as media center PC’s is they are very expensive. The Xbox 360 is going to come with a media center extender much like the media center hacks for the original Xbox. This allows for the user to be able to listen to their music, watch their DVD’s, and view their pictures all on the same box. Add that to the fact that the Xbox360 is only $300 as compared to an expensive media center pc and you already have a deal.

Microsoft as well as many other companies learned a valuable lesson due to the hacking of the Xbox. This lesson is that people will eat the forbidden fruit. They will find ways around things in order to get what they want. I believe that it is time for Microsoft as well as other companies to listen to the people. Permit us to eat the forbidden fruit, make a profit your self and give the consumer what they want. The console war could be the start of something great or a complete failure for Microsoft. The choice is theirs, they can listen to what the consumer wants or they can watch as we get what we want anyway.
digg this story
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 12:42 PM | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Go Make Something

In a world where everything we hear and see is controlled by the urge to make more money, there is a movement bubbling up from the underground. People all over the globe are finding ways to express themselves and be heard. Between blogs, podcasts, and internet TV shows, the possibilities are endless for user created content.

Blogs are increasing by the thousands everyday, whether they be by aspiring journalists or just people eager to tell their story. Blogging has even become so huge that the word “blog” was officially added to the dictionary late last year. This form of media has helped to fuel the fire of independent media, convincing people that they can be heard if they have something to say.

Podcasts were the next step in the movement, allowing the common man to make his own radio show. It’s not easy to get on the radio these days. There are too many rules, regulations, and bad number one songs to keep an average person from making the content they want to make. Podcasts have allowed people all over the world to say what they have to say without worrying about what “The Boss” thinks. In podcasting, you are the boss.

IpTV is the final frontier of independent media. There are ways for a TV show to be distributed all over the world through the internet. If anyone has the desire to be seen on TV they don’t have to wait around for someone to notice their talent. They just need a camera, a computer, and the drive to create something that big corporations won’t.

Now is the time to rise to the challenge and make sure that the large networks know that we don’t need them anymore. Technology has finally given us the ability to make whatever content we want and have it seen without the assistance of larger corporations. So take advantage of this moment in history and go make something.


posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 1:06 PM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Why, oh why...Nintendo will never die...


That name stirs up a lot of emotion for pretty much every gamer. And rightfully so. Hiroshi Yamauchi and the rest of Nintendo Co. Ltd. did an outstanding job of bringing console gaming to the level it's at today. Unfortunately, we all know how Nintendo missed the boat with the Nintendo GameCube. But will Nintendo bounce back from their GameCube woes? Possibly. This year's E3 will have a lot to say about that. Revolution had better have on-line multi-player and DVD, or once again, it will be playing third fiddle to the PS3 and Xbox:360.

But enough with the rumors. It's time to look back at yester-year. Back when gamers would go to the arcades to meet up with friends, or head over to Timmy's house for an all night session of Super Mario Brothers. And, most importantly, a look at why, oh why, Nintendo will weather the storm of the console wars, no matter what the others throw at it.

Let's start off with something near and dear to my heart. Music. Everyone likes it in some form or fashion. We carry it around with us. We listen to it at work. We take it in the car. We listen to it to help us sleep. We use it for all sorts of things. And we reward people for it, or at least we're trying to.

But what about all those great songs that backed Nintendo games? Well, have no fear those great doots and hoots are no further than Google. I searched "Nintendo Music" and returned 4,690,000 hits! One of the hits, Nintendo Midi Music, has a great selection of music. From Zelda to Kid Icarus, Super Mario Bros. 3 to MegaMan, you can find just about every game on this site. I love it. I think I'll put on my Nintendo-themed desktop now.

Another hit, and truly a bit more impressive, is the Blindfolded Nintendo Piano Player. WOW, does not describe it. I sat through the entire 10 minutes awestruck, which is not easy to do. Even my boss at work recognized the songs. She had me e-mail her a link so she could pass it on to her son!

While we're on the subject of musical interpretations, let's not forget the choirs. Being a 5-year veteran of South Alabama show choirs, I know how much work and time usually goes into just 2 or 3 performances at the end of the year. And these guys and gals did it a capella!!! *Stands and claps* Outstanding job to all of you (especially the guy brave enough to yell out 'MORTAL KOMBAT')!!

But enough with the music! What will Nintendo bring to the table in the future? Well, at this year's E3, Nintendo really seemed to announce a bunch of nothing! Now don't go calling for my head just yet. Yes, I watched their news conference via the web. But to be perfectly honest, I'm not impressed! Let's take a look at some of what Nintendo actually did at E3.

Nintendo Micro
Where did this come from? Yes, I love the stylish look of it, the small size, and the back lit screen. But really, do we need ANOTHER Gameboy? Unless it's going to support mp3, it's just another play for Nintendo to try and suck the last little bit of cash out of a tired game system. Please, but the boy to rest and join up with the rest of the gaming industry.

Nintendo DS

Finally!!! Nintendo does something with an on-line multiplayer. With the ability to connect to pretty much ANY wifi hotspot, it seems that the DS may be the system to watch for Nintendo this year. And with games now starting to take advantage of the touch screen feature (Animal Crossing DS), DS might be able to compete with the Sony PSP (YEA RIGHT!).

Nintendo Revolution
Well, There's not much to talk about. All Nintendo decided to bring to E3 was the shell of the Revolution. While promising backwards compatibility and a service that will allow you to play ALL of Nintendo's games, even those from the good old days of NES, Nintendo decided not to "reveal it's hand just yet". Not even a glance at a controller. No one knows what to think of this move by Nintendo. But everyone IS placing them squarely behind Xbox 360 and PS3 in the next-gen console wars.

Any way you look at it, Nintendo is here to stay. The question everyone should be asking themselves now is, 'Will Nintendo continue to disappoint, or will it begin a new Revolution in the gaming industry? Nintendo was last place in the last console battle, will it be last again, or will it blow everyone away? We shall see, we shall see...
-UAB Tech Guy
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 4:15 PM | link | 0 comments

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Apple in the media

Since the beginning of the “computer revolution” Apple has played a major role in the formation of the computers that we use today. The Apple II was the first highly successful computer that was mass produced. The release of the Apple II may quiet possibly be the sole reason why Apple still exists today. Apple continued to make new computers only to eventually come around and make the Macintosh. Apple’s operating system went on to being the leading OS of it’s time by the late 80’s and early 90’s. While Apple continued to pave the road to success Microsoft followed. Microsoft slowly gained popularity until they eventually took the lead as the leading OS with the release of Microsoft Windows. Just like that Apple’s support was gone over night.

Apple has recently made several strives at gaining support back. This includes developing new products such as mp3 players as well as using the power of the media. Apple is known for its advertisements, when you see an Apple advertisement you remember it. This goes all the way back to Apples superbowl advertisement for the Macintosh. Apple has recently taken a different advertisement approach such as its “Think Different” ads as well as it’s testimonials of people stating why you should switch to a Mac. The idea behind the “Think Different” ad is to get the consumer to realize that they have a choice in what they chose. You can buy a Mac and be like Albert Einstein or buy a PC and be like everybody else. The idea behind the customer testimonials is to find everyday people that made the switch and are happy with it. This allows the consumer to relate to the person and consider buying the product. Apple is now also advertising their products on the big-screen as well as the television. There have recently been several movies and television shows that featured Apple products on them. This is one of Apples way of targeting their product to younger audiences. When younger people see that there favorite actors and actresses use a Mac it encourages them to go use one as well. Apple is also trying to appeal to the consumer by having a “cool factor”. Recent Apple products feature unique designs that stand out and look good. Such design methods are causing a sort of “Barbie syndrome”. Little girls can’t just buy a Barbie; they also need to buy her convertible as well as all of her friends. The same concept applies to Apple. You can’t buy an ipod and not an ibook, they must be one!

Since Apple has taken these new advertisement as well as design approaches they have seen an increase in sales. These advertisement and design approaches wont be enough however to bring Apple back to the top. Microsoft products are now being designed to be put in your living room. With advancements in media center PC's we all may very well see a computer in every living room very shortly. Consumers like the idea of being able to sit in their favorite lazy-boy chair and at the same time being able to enjoy all of their media in one device. I predict that if Apple makes advancements in putting a Mac in your living room as well as keeping up there current advertisement plans that they may be able to gain the popularity that they once had so many years ago. Apple went into the unknown and paved the road for the computers that we have today. Once the road was paved Microsoft jumped on it. It’s time for Apple to take the lead and finish what they created.
posted by Phatlip12(administrator) at 2:25 PM | link | 0 comments