Items tagged with AA

The next time you walk down the street and see some suit spazzing out, don't assume he's crazy (unless he's foaming at the mouth), maybe he's just recharging his digital camera, or any other electronic device that uses AA or AAA batteries. That's because the eggheads at Brother Industries Ltd. have put together vibration-powered generators capable of giving the company's prototype batteries a shot of juice when shaken. "The new generator will semi-permanently eliminate the need to replace batteries and contribute to reducing the amount of wastes," Brother Industries explains. Brother Industries' AA-size prototype with the generator and rechargeable battery installed in different cases. In their... Read more...
One of the fun things about being a hardware analyst is that every now and then, research and comparison between products turns up something both interesting and unexpected. In this case, we were testing and comparing image quality between ATI's 5970 and the GeForce GTX 480 as part of a system review when we stumbled across an officially confirmed antialiasing bug in NVIDIA's 197.41 drivers. Unlike some "bugs" that artificially inflate benchmark performance or lower detail levels, this one improves image quality by performing supersampling AA (SSAA) across the entire image... Bugged GeForce Drivers Improve Image Quality... Read more...
One of the fun things about being a hardware analyst is that every now and then, research and comparison between products turns up something both interesting and unexpected. In this case, we were testing and comparing image quality between ATI's 5970 and the GeForce GTX 480 as part of a system review when we stumbled across an officially confirmed antialiasing bug in NVIDIA's 197.41 drivers. Unlike some "bugs" that artificially inflate benchmark performance or lower detail levels, this one improves image quality by performing supersampling AA (SSAA) across the entire image. Antialiasing 101 Antialiasing is a process that removes jagged edges (jaggies) from displayed content.  Supersampling,... Read more...
Email spam got you down? Is your first name Aaron? A study by Cambridge University security expert Richard Clayton shows that the first letter of your email address has a lot to do with the amount of spam you receive. The study (.PDF), titled "Do Zebras get more Spam than Aardvarks?" analyzed traffic logs from the U.K. ISP Demon Internet. The data analyzed was from the period Feb. 1st - March 27th of 2008. In the study, Clayton noted that those whose local part of their email address (this is the portion to the left of the "@") begins with "A" receive about 50% spam and 50% non-spam. Clayton called this group aardvarks. When the local part begins with "Z" (call them zebras) about 75% is spam.You're... Read more...
An interesting new conspiracy theory has arisen today. It appears that several laptop OEMs have been having "issues" with their sound card drivers: specifically, the Stereo Mix option is missing from their drivers, which basically means you can't record audio (except from Mic In). Whoops! Is this a case of Dell and others working with the RIAA? A ripten writer noticed this on his Dell laptop. Linkage between Dell (and other OEMs) and the RIAA were posited an obvious theory. Now, while we wouldn't put it past the RIAA to do this, we have what's probably a more likely theory: driver bug. Notably, these incidents seem to have occurred on laptops using a SigmaTel sound card. SigmaTel pretty much... Read more...
Microsoft only has a few cash cows, but they're enormous cash cows. Their suite of Office programs isn't cheap, and many users just root around for old discs or pirated versions when they're loading up a new PC. Microsoft is trying out offering the software as a service (SaaS) for a $70 per year subscription price, along with a few goodies like their antivirus software. It might be the wave of the future for the Redmond, Washington giant. Subscription pricing for software has become commonplace in businesses but is a relatively new concept for consumers. The Microsoft Equipt bundle — formerly code-named "Albany" — includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, plus OneCare and a handful of existing... Read more...
The lawsuits that the RIAA bring against illegal downloaders garner most of the attention paid to online music royalties, but suing grandmas and college kids is never really about the money; it's about discouraging many by suing a few. The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, better known as ASCAP, took a more direct approach. They asked a court to establish a framework of payments to artists represented by ASCAP from three large online music services. A decision was recently handed down, and it's a doozy: AOL, Yahoo, and Real Networks might be on the hook for as much as $100 million dollars for offering ad-supported streaming music on their websites from as far back as 2002,... Read more...
Security firm Finjan has uncovered a criminal online supermarket of usable FTP security credentials for some of the largest and most prominent companies in the world. Oh yes -- and some government agencies. The crime ring that holds the information is selling the information to DIY malware entrepreneurs who can upload all sorts of exploits to what users would expect to be the most secure destinations on the Internet. In a sense, this crimeware as a service (CAAS) was inevitable. According to an earlier report from Finjan, more than 51 percent of websites that pushed malicious content in the second half of 2007 were legitimate destinations that had been commandeered by bad guys. The service is... Read more...
The Motion Picture Association of America has always claimed great financial, er, ruin based on illegal downloads, and even blamed as much as 44% of its losses on college students.  Now it turns out that number was just a wee overinflated.In a 2005 study it commissioned, the Motion Picture Association of America claimed that 44 percent of the industry's domestic losses came from illegal downloading of movies by college students, who often have access to high-bandwidth networks on campus.The MPAA has used the study to pressure colleges to take tougher steps to prevent illegal file-sharing and to back legislation currently before the House of Representatives that would force them to do so.But... Read more...
It's a weekend, and a holiday weekend to boot, so the site might stay this way for some time. Someone apparently used SQL injection to wipe, and we do mean wipe, the RIAA's website clean of content.Apparently the RIAA is so busy suing consumers that they forgot to hire a decent programmer. With a simple SQL injection, all their propaganda has been successfully wiped from the site.It started out on the social news website Reddit, where a link to a really slow SQL query was posted. While the Reddit users were trying to kill the RIAA server, someone allegedly decided to up the ante and wipe the site’s entire database.Anyone have a backup?... Read more...
Not deterred by bad press, it seems that the RIAA is content to continue their latest campaign against piracy.Their latest group of lawsuits has included numerous institutes of higher education:“The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), on behalf of the major record companies, this week sent a new wave of 407 pre-litigation settlement letters to 18 universities nationwide as part of an ongoing campaign against online music theft. The letters reflect evidence of significant abuse of campus computer networks for the purpose of copyright infringement.”Strangely enough, it would seem that the University of Texas at Austin is the recipient of more settlement offers than any of the schools... Read more...
Let's all calm down, shall we? There are a lot of news reports about the RIAA suing Jeffery Howell for ripping copies of his legally purchased music CDs for his own use.  But according to engadget, that's not the case at all; he's being sued for the plain old-fashioned crime of participating in illegal downloading.As we're all unfortunately aware, that's pretty standard stuff; the big change from previous downloading cases is the RIAA's newfound aggressiveness in calling MP3s ripped from legally owned CDs "unauthorized copies" -- something it's been doing quietly for a while, but now it looks like the gloves are off. While there's a pretty good argument for the legality of ripping under... Read more...
Ripping CDs that you own for your personal use should be OK, right?  Not according to the RIAA.Now, in an unusual case in which an Arizona recipient of an RIAA letter has fought back in court rather than write a check to avoid hefty legal fees, the industry is taking its argument against music sharing one step further: In legal documents in its federal case against Jeffrey Howell, a Scottsdale, Ariz., man who kept a collection of about 2,000 music recordings on his personal computer, the industry maintains that it is illegal for someone who has legally purchased a CD to transfer that music into his computer.The industry's lawyer in the case, Ira Schwartz, argues in a brief filed earlier... Read more...
The recent RIAA victory in Capitol v. Thomas garnered a lot of media attention, and HotHardware was certainly no exception.  The end result of the case was that Jammie Thomas was ordered to pay $220,000 in damages.  After announcing she wouldn't appeal the ruling, she promptly reconsidered and filed for an appeal which has just been shot down:“In its reply to Thomas' motion, the RIAA argued that statutory damages need not have any relationship to actual damages. Furthermore, the group said that she had no basis to challenge the constitutionality of the damages since she had not objected to the jury instructions.The Department of Justice agrees. "This Court may find that defendant has... Read more...
The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) is dedicated to protecting open-source and free software, thus it comes as a bit of a surprise that they're filing suit against two U.S. Companies that are allegedly redistributing software in violation of the GNU General Public License (GPL).  The two companies that are being sued are High-Gain Antennas and Xterasys.On the surface it might seem a bit odd that an organization dedicated to protecting software such as the GNU GPL are suing over it, but apparently the entire problem boils down to the defendants allegeldy not providing sufficient access to source code.“But Richard Bruckner, CEO of High-Gain Antennas, said the SFLC is mistaken about the... Read more...
By now just about everyone has heard of the RIAA and their law suits against people who have allegedly pirated music over the Internet.  The stories of the RIAA suing grandmothers, minors, and the deceased are common place, but it seems that the RIAA's latest step might have taken things too far: they're asking that a new law be passed that will require schools seeking federal funding for their programs and student body to police their own networks and keep them piracy-free.The request isn't unreasonable, and ought to be a goal of any IT staff at an organization where piracy is probable, but the repercussions of failure (not to mention what constitutes failure) could have a major impact... Read more...
Long before P2P networks, Usenet was a popular way to share binary files, besides of course, conversations.  What with the RIAA already targeting P2P networks, why should it forget the old standby?In a lawsuit filed on October 12, the RIAA says that Usenet newsgroups contain "millions of copyrighted sound recordings" in violation of federal law.Only Usenet.com is named as a defendant for now, but the same logic would let the RIAA sue hundreds of universities, Internet service providers, and other newsgroup archives. AT&T offers Usenet, as does Verizon, Stanford University and other companies including Giganews.That's what makes this lawsuit important. If the RIAA can win against Usenet.com,... Read more...
We just can't get enough of the recent story about the RIAA's recent victory over Janie Thomas of Minnesota, and we know you can't either.  It had everything from a defendant that told different and mutually exclusive stories while under oath (albeit she did so at seperate trials) to a rare-as-hen's-teeth guilty verdict in favor of the RIAA resulting a $220,000 fine that Thomas plans to appeal after saying she was going to pay it all by herself without asking for help.Now we're hearing that the $220,000 victory could have been a $3.6 million victory if two jurors had gotten their way.  Here's the math:“While some may feel the $9,250 per song fine levied against Thomas was extreme and... Read more...
For years there has been concern over just who has been using peer to peer networks that offer illicit copies of copyrighted material.  Not all of those concerns come from copyright holders or their agents.In fact it seems that there is, and has been, a large concern from those using P2P networks.  It might seem strange on the surface for alleged pirates to be worried about spies in their midst, but there are lots of people who claim to have reasons to want to use P2P networks that seem reasonable such as: backups for lost discs, etc.Here's the scoop:“For years, P2P communities have suspected that affiliates of the RIAA, the MPAA, and others have been haunting P2P networks to look for... Read more...
Minnesotan Jammie Thomas was recently found guilty of file-sharing and ordered to pay $220,000 in restitution, but has decided that she's going to appeal the verdict instead.  This probably isn't surprising considering the amount of the fine compared to her stated annual salary of $36,000 and because like everything in this case, it seems that Thomas changes her mind quite often.Case in point: less than 48 hours ago she stated in an interview that she wasn't going to ask for any financial support to pay the fine, but would gladly accept donations.Of course, depending on when she was asked about file sharing she claims that she either didn't own the drive in question at that time, or was... Read more...
The first RIAA court case against an accused "music downloader" begins today.  Jammie Thomas will become the first of 26,000 people who have been sued by the RIAA to have their case reach trial.  The rest of those sued have settled out of court.The Brainerd, Minn., resident is accused of illegally sharing 1,702 songs for free on a file-sharing network. Her trial offers the first chance for both sides in the debate over online music sharing to show a jury its version of the facts. Thomas is accused of violating the song owners' copyrights. Her lawyer says the record companies haven't even proved she shared the songs.Thomas was initially offered a $3,000 settlement.  Now she would... Read more...
USB 3.0 is right around the corner, and rather than a minor speed boost, it looks like a serious technology reworking that could help USB 3.0 last well into the next decade.The major features of USB 3.0 are a tenfold speed increase and the obligatory lower power consumption."USB 3.0 is the next logical step for the PC's most popular wired connectivity," said Jeff Ravencraft, Intel technology strategist and USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) president.  "The digital era requires high-speed performance and reliable connectivity to move the enormous amounts of digital content now present in everyday life. USB 3.0 will meet this challenge while maintaining the ease-of-use experience that users have... Read more...
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