Items tagged with Mer

Surprising to get news this huge on a Sunday, but here we are.  Activision and Blizzard are very successful on their own, and today they announced they would merge to form a company with a rather long name -- Activision Blizzard -- as well as a firm with large aspirations.Activision and Blizzard have said they will form "the world's most profitable games business" in a deal worth $18.8bn (£9.15bn).US-based Activision also makes hit console games such as the Tony Hawk series and Guitar Hero.Nine million people pay a monthly subscription to play World of Warcraft.Vivendi will be the largest single shareholder in the merged company.  With the new company's expanded resources, can... Read more...
For those who not only want to be on the bleeding edge, but want to be as fast as possible as well, Mtron has introduced the first SSD hard drive for consumers that, according to them, can  reach data read rates of up to 100 MB/s. Based on their success in high performance SSD products for high-end servers and storages, Mtron has been able to develop high performance SSD for consumer purposes as well. With their new SSD MOBI, Mtron now offers variety of premium consumer SSD products in affordable price range.Mtron SSD MOBI (2.5inch, 32GB standard) will be priced around $650 (USD), which is 30% cheaper than current Mtron SSD products for industrial servers. It offers the best performance... Read more...
Now they just have to get this deal past the feds.XM and Sirius' proposed merger received near-unanimous support from shareholders, as the two companies announced they had cleared the next hurdle in becoming a single entity.According to tabulations by XM, 99.8 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the transaction. The merger agreement calls for each XM shareholder to receive 4.6 Sirius shares for each share they own.The news was music to Wall Street's ears. XM skyrocketed nearly 10 percent to close at $15.06, while Sirius rose 6.5 percent to close at $3.63. Both stocks looked poised to add onto those gains come Wednesday.Although they still have some hurdles, both the Justice Dept. and 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...
Time Warner released its Q3 earnings report Wednesday, and boy does it look sad for AOL. In terms of subcribers, numbers dropped 5.1 million to 10.1 million, over a 33% drop in one year's time.According to Time Warner the firm’s revised strategy to refocus its business from subscribers to advertising is to blame for the subscriber loss. The company also sold off several of its overseas businesses over the past year, including AOL France, Germany and UK, and noted that its subscription service became less attractive as the company decided to offer its email service free of charge.   Time Warner said that AOL revenues declined 38% or $745 million from $1.96 billion to $1.22 billion year... Read more...
I knew it felt crowded here on teh intarnets. They're a series of tubes, you know. According to a new Harris poll, 79% of American adults are currently using the Internet. And they report that they're spending an average of 11 hours a week online. Slackers.The results reflect a steady rise since 2000, when 57 percent of adults polled said they went online. In 2006, the number was 77 percent.When Harris Interactive, a market research firm, first began tracking online use among adults in 1995, the group found that only nine percent of the population -- or 17.5 million -- said they went online.The poll also found that adults are spending more time online at home and at work, up two percent each... Read more...
Consumer advocates, veteran websurfers, and the just plain paranoid love the idea of a "Do Not Track" list that would make it impossible for advertisers to track where you go on the web and tailor advertising to your surfing habits. The problem is, those same users hate paying for content, and like having free, high-quality ad-supported webpages to look at.  The law of unintended consequences could very well rear its ugly head if the tracking of your likes and dislikes is disallowed: an explosion in the amount of advertising needed to be shown to each websurfer to pay for the content they're looking at. The reason for the potential ad increase is related to a key difference between telemarketing... Read more...
How many times have you been annoyed by a cell phone user, practically shouting into his or her phone on a bus or subway?  Or been annoyed by someone's phone ringing in the theatre?  More than you can count, right?  Unless, of course, you are of the offenders.  Ever wish you could rip the phone out of their hands, or just tell them to knock it off?  Some are doing more than that, illegally, however.One afternoon in early September, an architect boarded his commuter train and became a cellphone vigilante. He sat down next to a 20-something woman who he said was “blabbing away” into her phone.“She was using the word ‘like’ all the time. She sounded like a Valley Girl,”... Read more...
In the wake of Comcast's recent decision to start throttling end-user P2P traffic consumer groups have decided to take their complaint straight to the top.  By 'the top' we don't mean the supreme court, but the FCC.  We can't help but wonder why nobody's taken Comcast to the FCC over their disconnecting users who use 'too much' of their unlimited service, but we suspect that we'll probably be reporting on that in the near future.Several consumer rights groups have worked in unison to file law suits of various kinds, but it looks like a couple of them decided to try to hit Comcast beneath the proverbial belt:“Two of the groups are also asking the FCC to fine Comcast $195,000 for every... Read more...
Shell wants customers to give them the finger, at least in terms of paying for their gas.  10 Chicago-area stations are testing biometric payment systems. Ten Shell gas stations in the Windy City are testing biometric systems that let consumers walk up to the pump, scan their fingertips on a device and fill up their vehicles. The systems, also installed at Shell convenience stores, are directly linked to customers' checking or credit-card accounts for payment. "When we talk to customers, they're always looking for ways to make buying gasoline quicker and easier, and always looking for ways to make their transactions faster and more secure," said Chris Susse, Shell's manager of global refueling... Read more...
Monday Verizon unveiled a new new, symmetrical Verizon FiOS Internet service for consumers, featuring an upload and download speed of up to 20Mbps. Yes, you read that right, 20Mbps upload. The service went live in parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Monday.The 20/20 service is first launching in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but Verizon says it will come to the company's 13 other markets eventually. The cost will be $64.99 per month for those with a Verizon phone contract, and $69.99 for those without.Our question: when are you coming to our area?  This makes everyone else look like a snail.... Read more...
In a recent Web 2.0 conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer declared that the company wasn't changing their acquisition strategy.  The Redmond Giant will continue making smaller purchases in the $50 million to $1 billion range instead of larger, multi-billion dollar purchases.“The CEO of the world's largest software maker said it is logical for people to speculate that main rivals would join forces to take on an industry leader. In this case, Ballmer was referring to dominant Web search leader Google.Microsoft historically has shunned costly acquisitions, opting to purchase lots of less expensive companies. But company watchers saw this year's $US6 billion acquisition of digital advertising... Read more...
We know that consumers in America aren't exactly enamored with Windows Vista; there's even been a lawsuit filed over the term "Windows-Vista Ready."  Apparently the Dutch Consumers' Union agrees with that opinion.In a recent meeting between the Dutch Consumers’ Union (Consumentenbond) and Microsoft Netherlands, the consumer organization asked for free copies of Windows XP for members who were having problems with Vista. Microsoft, of course, refused. The refusal has led Consumentenbond to call on consumers to explicitly ask for Windows XP when purchasing a new computer and for shops to provide free Windows XP packages to those dissatisfied... Read more...
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently made some interesting claims about Microsoft code appearing in various Linux distributions, especially Red Hat.  Now he's made a comment that all Red Hat users 'owe' Microsoft.  He hasn't put a dollar amount on what they owe, or made his claims on exactly why 100% clear.  All we know is that the claim has to do with 'borrowed' code, a term that Microsoft themselves aren't exactly unfamiliar with.This isn't the first time that Microsoft has made such claims about Linux, in fact the Redmond software firm ranks only behind SCO when it comes to organizations who actively pursue legal action against various forms of Linux.You'd think that being in... Read more...
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