News for Friday, 27 July 2007
A German court declared Skype guilty of not having followed the GPL v2 Licensing agreement when releasing its VoIP telephone WSKP100. While the device is running Linux, Skype refused to release its code source. The court urges Skype to immediately publish the code, while SMC, the company that manufactures the WSKP100, could also be sued in further legal action.
The Intel Photonics Technology Lab announced to have developed a laser modulator that encodes optical data at 40 billion bits per second. Initially devoted to optimize components interconnection for "super computers" based on multicore CPU installed on several daughter cards, the system is claimed to be relatively cheap and could be quickly integrated in different devices. If some scientists argue that a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) could provide a cost-effective solution for optical communication and future optical interconnects in computing industry, one will need a key component: the high-speed silicon optical modulator, which is responsible to encode data on optical beam.
Photonics Technology Lab recently presented its silicon modulator which achieved data transmission at 40 Gbps speed
The high-speed silicon modulator could find use in various future applications. For example, a highly integrated silicon photonic circuit may provide a cost effective solution for the future optical interconnects within computers and other devices. With the demonstration of the 40 Gbps silicon modulator and the electrically pumped hybrid silicon laser, it will become possible to integrate multiple devices on a single chip (Fig. 3) that can transmit terabits of aggregate data per second in the near future – truly enabling tera-scale computing.
Toshiba announced a new line of USB flash memory devices, entitled TransMemory U2K Series, which will be specifically modified to be used with Windows ReadyBoost. Initially available with capacity ranging from 1 to 8 GB (in October), a limited edition model available in December will offer 32 GB storage space, but the price will also be special: US$665.
Toshiba is using compatibility with Windows ReadyBoost to promote its USB flash memory devices vs. competitors' models, but users should not forget that ReadyBoost functionality that enables users to boost system responsiveness is only working on PCs running Vista by using USB memory as external memory.
Original by Lionel
- 27/07/2007 11:58:46 CEST - Category: Hard Drive
According to The Inquirer
, Seagate would have announced to its partners its decision to end support for P/ATA. New HD models will only be available in SATA format. During the transition period, PATA will be available for low end and low performance model. This decision is quite normal as most computer companies, including Apple, dropped ATA to adopt SATA only HD for both 2.5" and 3.5" models. PATA is currently use only for optical drive connection and in external drive.
Of course such decision will mostly impact owners of ATA-based computers, desktop and notebooks, as despite some past announcement, none of them is really pushing to release a high-end or high capacity models. Current 2.5" ATA HD tops at 160 GB while SATA models are available with 250 or 300 GB storage or sporting high rotation speed and larger cache.
Original by Lionel
- 27/07/2007 11:58:06 CEST - Category: Laptop
Apple regularly sends TechNotes to the certified Apple Repair Centers to help them in identifying problems and dealing with sometimes unhappy consumer. Two new TechNotes dedicated to the recently MacBook Pro Santa Rosa have been submitted concerning issues we have already talked about in our news. If this is not an official acknowledgement, as that information is not supposed to be released to the public, it indicates that Apple is aware about those problems and is working on it:
- The first TechNote provides information concerning the Airport problem affecting the MBP Santa Rosa (but also other Mac Intel). When used on battery, the wireless connection drops and one can even experience kernel panic. Apple Centers are asked not to exchange affected notebook as this is due to a unidentified bug in the Atheros driver, and should be fixed in the future with a simple Airport system update. So for the moment, unfortunate users are asked to directly power their notebook when using wireless network, or using Ethernet connection when running on battery... in other words, turn your notebook into a desktop...
- The second TechNote about MBP Santa Rosa is related to wave-like effect or uneven rendering by the LCD display. This problem is fixed in most cases by running "MacBook Pro Software Update 1.0" then "MacBook Pro EFI firmware Update 1.3". The panel will be exchanged if both updates did not fix the problem.