Monthly Archives: April 2008

Chris Nuttall

Intel CEO with 80-core processorsIntel and Cray have been talking this week about building supercomputers with a million cores or brains, but how will all those processors-within-processors work together and communicate with one another and how difficult will it be to write applications that take advantage of all of them?

This is the question that Stanford University hopes to answer with its Pervasive Parallelism Lab, announced on Wednesday. Read more

Chris Nuttall

James ChongTim Draper of famed Silicon Valley venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson has listened to hundreds of pitches from start-ups over the past few years, but only three put themselves forward as alternatives to the online marketplace eBay.

“I was surprised when he told me that,” says James Chong (pictured), founder and chief executive of Wigix, the fourth eBay challenger to cross DFJ’s path. Read more

Richard Waters

twilight-zone.jpgWhat should we make of the odd limbo into which Microsoft’s pursuit of Yahoo has fallen since the weekend, when it failed to follow through on a threat to go hostile? Here are the possible answers:

1. The two sides are just buying time while they stitch up a deal behind the scenes. Probability: miniscule. We’re still hearing that there haven’t been any discussions since early last week. When the bankers from both sides put their heads together at that point there was still no serious talk about price (one source suggests nothing has changed since day one, with Yahoo still holding out for $40 a share and Microsoft unwilling to budge from its opening offer, which is now worth more like $29.) Read more

Chris Nuttall

Grand Theft Auto IVThe queues for Grand Theft Auto IV, which went on sale at midnight, seem justified judging by the rave reviews for the latest game from developer Rockstar Games and its publisher Take-Two.

“Rockstar’s magnum opus is a modern-day masterpiece that could change the way the world views videogames,” said Gamespy. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Intel CrayIntel is taking the high road and its rival Advanced Micro Devices the low one in search of market share in different business segments, according to announcements on Monday.

Intel unveiled a partnership with the Cray supercomputing company. In an industry first, their engineers will work together on creating a new supercomputer for release around 2012. Read more

schwagwagon.jpgWhat happens to all those logo-festooned tote bags, pens and other pieces of corporate schwag that get handed out ad-nauseam on the convention circuit? Sure, some of it eventually goes on to serve some useful purpose. But much of it goes straight into the bin.

Enter the Schwaggin’ Wagon. Born just ten days ago over lunch in LA, the Schwaggin’ Wagon has cut a high profile at this year’s Web 2.0 expo. Read more

followers.jpgIt has been more than a year since we flagged Twitter as the most buzzworthy social application in Silicon Valley. Thirteen months later, the micro-blogging site, which allows users to follow each others’ short online updates, has become an indispensible tool for the online cognoscenti who have gathered at San Francisco’s Moscone Center for this year’s Web 2.0 expo.

Jenn Van Grove, a social media consultant, says Twitter helps her follow the latest online buzz and keep in touch with hard-to-reach people. “If I need to get in touch with someone, Twitter is much faster than email,” she says.  Read more

Chris Nuttall

future of the internetYahoo chose the Web 2.0 Expo conference in San Francisco today to announce its was rewiring its whole network.

Who knows what Microsoft will make of this, given its plans to acquire the company. Microsoft itself has launched its Mesh hybrid computing platform at the conference. Read more

Chris Nuttall

DilbertZap-pow! Web 2.0 and user-generated content have hit comic strips.

Bitstrips made waves at South by Southwest last month with its launch of a cartoon-building website that makes creating your own strip easy. Read more

Chris Nuttall

HomeWe’re still a long way from Home.

Sony has just admitted that its virtual-world interface for the PlayStation 3 is going to arrive at least a year later than first expected. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Vuze, the online video service that uses peer-to-peer technology to distribute its content, has come up with hard data suggesting “bandwidth throttling” is more widespread than previously thought.

Some internet service providers (ISPs) have not taken kindly to surges in P2P traffic on their network, with the file exchanges consuming large amounts of bandwidth. Although consumers can argue they have paid for unlimited bandwidth with their monthly subscriptions, companies such as Comcast have used techniques that disrupt P2P traffic and have become the subject of complaints to the Federal Communications Commission in the US. Read more

Richard Waters

red-hat.jpgHas Red Hat scrapped its plans to take on Microsoft with a Linux desktop machine for the emerging world?

Unfortunately it’s not easy to answer that question. A Reuters report from India suggests the answer is yes. But my own questions to the company over the past 24 hours have brought nothing in the way of enlightenment, and Red Hat has now instead churned out this verbose and obtuse posting on its company “blog” (if companies keep using their blogs for this kind of corporate-speak we’ll even look back on good old press releases with nostalgia.) Read more

Along with positive earnings reports this week by IBM and Intel, the latest figures on PC shipments pubslihed on Wednesday by Gartner and IDC should offer some relief to technology investors who have been trying to assess the likely impact of a US slowdown on sales of IT equipment.

Both groups found that the US slowdown had begun to hit PC shipments in the US. But they also found that slower US growth was more than made up for by a stronger-than-expected preformance overseas. Read more

Richard Waters

true-knowledge.jpgAnother Semantic Web company looking for cash: William Tunstall-Pedoe of True Knowledge says he needs $10m in venture capital to back the next stage of his Cambridge (UK)-based company, which is trying to build a sort of “universal database” on the Web.

Tunstall-Pedoe’s plan is to collect information in a structured way in an online knowledge base, making it much like MetaWeb’s Freebase (which has raised $42m.) Users could then query that using natural language questions, and an open API would make the information machine-readable. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Sims on StageVirtual online worlds may seem more fashionable these days, but The Sims, an eight-year-old computer game that simulates life, has just sold its 100 millionth copy.

The Sims was only expected to ship in the hundreds of thousands when it was launched in 2000, but it has become the best-selling PC game of all time for its publisher Electronic Arts. Read more

Richard Waters

mouse.jpgThe clicking habits of Google’s US users continue to cause concern.

For the third month in a row, the number of “paid clicks” (or impressions on adverts) in the US was little changed in March from a year ago. That is according to data from comScore that started to seep out late on Tuesday (the information is given first to analysts before being made public officially later.) Read more

Richard Waters

live-current-media.gifThat is the new mantra for a band of internet operators which until now has lived in a twilight world where the value of domain names can rise and fall as fast as a dotcom stock price, and where mastering the latest tricks for syphoning traffic from Google can make the difference between fortune and bankruptcy. (now renamed Live Current Media) is a case in point. The various businesses this company has been through, as described to me by new boss Geoff Hampson, read like an opportunists’ history of the internet: Read more

Chris Nuttall

Strong BadHumour and ingenious gameplay are giving small independent game developers a fighting chance against the big-budget efforts of the major video game publishers.

At least that was the impression left by Nintendo’s Wiiware demonstration for the gaming press in San Francisco today. Read more

Richard Waters

barry-diller.jpg Vertical search, social search and now… identity search?

The attempts to outflank Google continue. This time it’s Barry Diller’s IAC, which has already failed to make much of a dent in the three years it has owned Diller’s latest gamble: that a search engine aimed at a particular demographic has a better chance of success. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Flickr videoFlickr is the Apple of online photo-sharing with its high multimedia standards, cool interface, tools and fanatical following, but a failure to add video has been a major shortcoming of the service.

No longer. The Yahoo subsidiary finally introduced video today, but with some limitations. Read more