Items tagged with cap

Well, we all knew it had to come to an end at some point. With the other major U.S. carriers doing away with truly unlimited data months ago, Sprint was attempting to hold out and use that as a competitive advantage. But evidently, even they are starting to cave. Sprint recently confirmed that they will soon introduced a data ceiling for their mobile hotspot add-on for smartphone users. Before, hotspot subscribers would be able to pay $29.99 monthly for unlimited tethering, be it 3G or 4G (depending on phone). But starting on October 2nd, that will be truly capped at 5GB. That's still a ton of data, and we can understand why they'd put a cap on things to prevent abuse, but it's still scary to... Read more...
All good things must come to an end. With Sprint being the last major oasis for unlimited data plans, the news that subsidiary Virgin Mobile is going to begin throttling users is indeed negative. With competitors Verizon, and AT&T killing off their unlimited data plans and T-Mobile throttling users, customers desperate for data have been moving to Sprint or one of several small, contract-free carriers, like Virgin Mobile. However, Sprint announced last week that they would start throttling Virgin Mobile data users that went over a limit of 2.5GB. Many users are now questioning if this is a sign of things to come; while Sprint ads admonish T-Mobile for its "unlimited... Read more...
For Comcast customer Andre Vrignaud, the internet is an important part of everyday life. Vrignaud, a 39-year-old gaming consultant in Seattle and a former Microsoft technology evangelist for Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE, has a lot of data: he has a 12TB basement server that he uses to store all of his music, which is ripped into lossless FLAC format and amounts to about a gig per CD. He saves all of his photos in RAW format, which can run over 10MB per picture. He uses the Carbonite online backup system, he uploads his music to the Amazon cloud music service, and he even does a little bittorrenting. All of this, on top of a roommate who is quite fond of multimedia... Read more...
How many of you are aware of the 5 GB cap that Frontier DSL has imposed?  Or of the trials in Beaumont, TX that Time-Warner Cable is running?  It's only a matter of time before others impose caps.  And here we are, with a big ISP imposing a cap.  But really, let's be honest: this ISP already had one, just one that was hidden.Today Comcast detailed its new "network management" policies.  Basically, they set a 250 GB cap on users, effective October first.  It should be noted that for years people have complained about a "hidden" cap that Comcast had, whereupon it would terminate a user's account without giving him or her exact numbers.  Now we have an exact number. ... Read more...
Creating 3D maps and worlds can be extremely labor intensive and time consuming. And ultimately the final result might not survive the close scrutiny of those expecting real-world emulations. A new technique developed by scientists at The University of Manchester's School of Computer Science and Dolby Canada, however, might make capturing depth and textures for 3D surfaces as simple as shooting two pictures with a digital camera--one with flash and one without. Credit: NewScientist.com For a high-level description of the technique, here is the abstract from a presentation given about it during the "Perception & Hallucination " session from SIGGRAPH earlier this month: "A Perceptually Validated... Read more...
Seagate announced three new consumer-level hard drives today, which it claims are the "industry's first 1.5-terabyte desktop and half-terabyte notebook hard drives." The company claims that it is able to greatly increase the areal density of its drive substrates by utilizing perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology. Wikipedia states that PMR is "capable of delivering more than triple the storage density of traditional longitudinal recording." Credit: Wikipedia Seagate's latest desktop-class hard drive, the Barracuda 7200.11, will be available in a 1.5TB capacity starting in August. The 3.5-inch drive is made up of four 375GB platters and has a 7,200-rpm rotational speed. It has... Read more...
Verizon has a good thing going with their FiOS  bundled service packages.(fiber-optic service that can simultaneously deliver TV, fast Internet and telephone) Its appeal is based around the very fast upload and download speeds that their fiber-optic cable can deliver. They've become a kind of de facto alternate for cable TV and Internet service for people dissatisfied with what's available in their area. But FiOS service has been introduced in a helter-skelter manner, with vast areas of Verizon's telephone service map being unable to purchase it even if they wanted it. That's about to change, as Verizon has announced a plan to expand availability of their Internet service.  The New... 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...
Microsoft's latest attempt to derail the "Vista Capable" class-action law suit via another appeal has been stymied:"In a brief order dated April 21, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Microsoft's request to overturn a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman in February that granted class-action status to a lawsuit that charges the company deceived consumers in 2006 with its Windows Vista Capable marketing program."Perhaps the best part about Microsoft's appeal is that it usually means they have submitted internal and/or external documents that will probably be made public.  Those documents tend to be a gold mine of information about the less-than-cozy world of... Read more...
The information coming out of Microsoft and Intel camps regarding the “Vista Capable” class action law suit has certainly been interesting.  At first glance some of the data might look damaging, such as documents alleging that Intel wanted the WDDM loosened a bit so that their integrated graphics chipsets such as those in the i915 family would be eligible for a sticker.But all of this happened well after Best Buy apparently gave the thumbs up to a confusing, two-tier marketing plan that seems to have been cooked up by a small group of Microsoft executives -- Vista product manager Shanen Boettcher, marketing director Rajesh Srinivasan and quite possibly Will Poole.In an e-mail dated Aug.... Read more...
They say that beggars can't be choosers, but apparently consumers can be.  The choice that consumers are likely to be faced with in the near future is not whether to go down the SSD route, but which type of SSD do they want.“Faster drives and a falling cost-per-gigabyte should help bring drive costs down from the stratosphere and into a price bracket more consumers can afford, but the focus in the manufacturing world right now is on boosting storage capacities and performance, not reducing costs. It's very much a game right now where every 12 months, we're going to see considerable breakthroughs in performance.”With annual breakthroughs in performance come annual waves of 'obsolete' parts... Read more...
The “Vista Capable” class action law suit we reported on earlier this month might be dead in the water before it even gets started:“Friday, Microsoft petitioned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to hear its challenge of the case's class-action status, which was granted two weeks ago by U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman. The company also filed a separate motion with Pechman on Thursday, asking her to stay the lawsuit's proceedings pending the appeal.”We'll be sure to keep you informed as the situation develops.... Read more...
Despite Apple's promise of 1000 movies available for rental by the end of January, iTunes has less than half of that available in the start of March.  The good news is that of the 384 available movies 91 of those are supposedly high-definition.  The bad news?  Not all of those 91 titles would really measure up to what most would consider a true high-definition viewing experience.Some HD titles lack Dolby 5.1 and others are simply older movies that were probably upscaled and are not really providing the true HD experience.“Some of these HD movies, such as the Kirk Douglas movie Lust for Life, date back as early as 1956 and predate most modern filmmaking techniques. Other movies,... Read more...
The "Vista-Capable" lawsuit has reached class-action status, and yesterday the judge in the case unsealed a set of Microsoft emails revealing what executives really felt about the issue.  Some of these have been excerpted before, but some have not, and all are interesting.A federal judge today unsealed internal Microsoft e-mails that have been used to support the plaintiffs' case in the lawsuit over the "Windows Vista Capable" program. Snippets were previously read aloud in court, but the full messages go further to reveal extensive hand-wringing, at the highest levels of the company, over Windows Vista's hardware and software compatibility problems after the operating system was launched.It... Read more...
Microsoft revealed a certification program for PCs to be labeled “Vista Capable” just prior to Vista's much-delayed introduction.  The only problem is that some of the PCs that bore said sticker weren't capable of running all of the new features Vista comes with, and might be considered less capable than others.Consumers and consumer advocacy groups have filed a class action law suit, which has just been approved:“U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman certified the class action suit but whittled down its scope to focus primarily on whether Microsoft's "Vista Capable" labels created artificial demand for computers during the 2006 holiday shopping season, and inflated prices for computers that... Read more...
We knew it was coming, but now it's official: Netscape Navigator is officially dead.  "AOL has released its last ever update for Netscape Navigator and is encouraging its remaining users to switch to Flock or Firefox."  Hmmm...no recommendation to go grab the latest version of Explorer.  It is possible that the final version of Navigator will remain viable for some time, but we expect that it will one day simply be a footnote in WWW-history.... Read more...
Since the 16 GB iPod Touch was announced in September we all knew it was only a matter of time until Apple slapped that 16 GB into its larger brother.   Here we go, and still more.Apple® today added new models of the iPhone™ and iPod® touch which have double the memory, doubling the amount of music, photos and videos that customers can carry with them wherever they go. The revolutionary iPhone now comes in a new 16GB model for $499, joining the 8GB model for $399. iPod touch now comes in a 32GB model for $499, joining the 16GB model for $399 and the 8GB model for $299.“For some users, there’s never enough memory,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide... Read more...
Just in case you like to shoot straight down to the news and missed the fresh link at the top of the page, we wanted to let you know that we’ve just posted our photo report and recap from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.  We’ve got images and product information from over 20 companies available, including perennial players like Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA.  But if you’d also like to check out things like Samsung’s 30nm prototype NAND flash chips, Seagate’s D.A.V.E., the OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator, Asus’ new GPS, or any one of a number of other cool products, we’ve got that posted too.  Click the link below and take a look...CES 2008 Photo Report and Recap... Read more...
It's a sad day and the end of an era. Development is to cease on the Netscape browser, which at one time held the largest market share of all browsers, and was the first browser to gain mass popularity.While internal groups within AOL have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape Navigator, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Recently, support for the Netscape browser has been limited to a handful of engineers tasked with creating a skinned version of Firefox with a few extensions.AOL's focus on transitioning to an ad-supported web business leaves little room for the size of investment needed to get... Read more...
We've reported twice about the potential routing bottlenecks that the Internet might face in the near future, usually in the 2-3 years time frame.  We're not the only ones who are worried about this as an Internet overload could have financial repercussions that would make the post-911 economic slump seem like a stroll in the park.Virtually every part of our daily lives are impacted in some direct or indirect way by the Internet, whether we know it or not.  For example the sheer volume of B2B transactions that rely on the web alone could cause major financial stress to companies who rely on just on time delivery of products.  That would potentially include companies from ... Read more...
While scientists predict that the our happy little planet will crash into the sun millions and millions of years in the future, the Internet might suffer a death much closer to today.  For example: 2 years from now according to a new study:“The study is the first to “apply Moore’s Law (or something very like it) to the pace of application innovation on the ‘Net,” the study says. “Our findings indicate that although core fiber and switching/routing resources will scale nicely to support virtually any conceivable user demand, Internet access infrastructure, specifically in North America, will likely cease to be adequate for supporting demand within the next three to five years.”The study confirms... Read more...
Three years have passed since the European Commission ordered that Microsoft make three major changes to how it supplies interoperability information to other OS/NOS vendors seeking to develop products that can communicate with Windows desktops and servers.Change #1: developers must be allowed access to source code!  That's right, MS is going to be going (even more) open-source, but only to a select audience of developers who might be forced into signing NDAs.Change #2: developers no longer pay on-going royalties, but rather a one-time 10,000 Euro ($14,189) fee to gain access to the interoperability information without fear of IP litigation.  This is a major change from 2.98% of product-generated... Read more...
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