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Data Storage

Submission + - Some Eee PCs have an SSD reliability issue (siliconmadness.com)

An anonymous reader writes: It's been the fear of tech forums everywhere, solid state storage failure. Commercial grade flash memory chips typically have a threshold of 100,000 write/erase cycles per block, after which it could become unusable due to an increased error count while reading. This is a mean value, some fail after, some before. Reads also take a toll on that value, but they are almost negligible when compared to an erase cycle. This has raised the question as to whether or not NAND is "ready" for high write operations. Is flash memory reliable enough to replace magnetic media? The ASUS Eee PC is the first multi-purpose computing device available en masse that employs storage based solely on Flash memory, commonly known as a solid state drive (SSD). Being a pioneer, it will be an excellent test subject and a testimonial to the durability of flash based drives for use as an HDD replacement. Other flash based devices don't have the same kind of usage patterns and therefore aren't good for this purpose. Although still quite soon, some of them have already exhibited an abnormal behavior with regards to the SSD and ASUS has acknowledge the problem.
Portables

Submission + - ASUS announces Eee 900 with an 8.9″ scre

genji256 writes: "Blogeee reveals that ASUS will officially announce at CeBIT 2008 the new EeePC 900. These will feature 1 GB or RAM, a 12 GB SSD and an 8.9 screen and should be available during the summer. The european price should rise from 299 for the 701 to 399 (606$). With that screen size and that price, it will be a direct opponent of the HP UMPC 2133."
Intel

Submission + - Intel Skulltrail will Use NVIDIA SLI Technology (pcper.com)

Vigile writes: "It looks like Intel's upcoming Skulltrail platform that uses dual processor motherboards with the upcoming Yorkfield CPUs will be the first non-NVIDIA chipset to officially have support for NVIDIA's SLI technology. It doesn't seem like the move will automatically mean support for SLI on other Intel chipsets or motherboards though as it could be a one-time deal for this launch."
Privacy

Submission + - Warantless Wiretap act sought to be made permanent

UniversalVM writes: The Bush Administration is making efforts to ensure that the Companies and Telecom providers that co-operated with the government to enable the warantless wiretap programme, most notably AT&T, will face no prosecution for their role. It has sought to make permanent the interim changes to the FISA law that were rushed thru before the congressional recess. One of the sections under the amended FISA would provide complete and retroactive immunity to any company that took part or helped in the wiretapping. The new FISA act would enable the warantless wiretapping of all communication where at least one party was outside the US. It would also allow any TRAFFIC (Cell phone, e-mail, data packets) to be monitored as long the govt. "reasonably believed the parties to be outside the United States". Other nuggets from the congress hearings now in progress:
"But when pressed by House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and other Democrats to estimate how many Americans who weren't necessarily "targets" have had their communications scooped up through the government's surveillance efforts, McConnell couldn't say. ""I don't have the exact number," McConnell replied, adding, It is a very small number considering that there are billions of transactions everyday." The clearest indicator that the act is overreaching and almost certainly prone to abuse — its' name. It is called the "Protect America Act". This is a wake-up call to users the worldover to use encryption and leave it turned on by default. Should any part of your internet communication pass thru the US, it will now be almost certainly intercepted and stored indefinately.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Shuts Down AutoPatcher 2

Gazzonyx writes: It appears that Microsoft has demanded that AutoPatcher, a free patching solution that allows you to get patches via bittorrent, shutdown. Although AutoPatcher could be used as a way of getting around WGA authentication for patches, it was stated that they were afraid of security issues; although AutoPatcher had its own built in measures to make sure that the program would only install AutoPatcher.com's patches, which were unaltered patches from Microsoft. AutoPatcher has been providing patches for 4 years.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - New York Times Ends Its Paid Subscription Service (reuters.com) 1

Mike writes: "The New York Times has finally admitted that making people pay for its content is a losing proposition. The paper has announced that it will end its paid Internet service in favor of making most of its Web site available for free in the hopes of attracting more readers and higher advertising revenue. This had been predicted countless times and is now coming to pass. How long before other online papers and similar information services come to the same realization and open up their sites?"
AMD

Submission + - Triple-core AMD chips next year

owlman17 writes: AMD will be releasing triple-core chips next year, carrying the same Phenom brand name. Their real reason?

The three-core Phenom chip is basically the same as the quad-core one, it just has one less working core, Brewer confirmed. One disadvantage of the monolithic quad-core design that AMD chose for its quad-core chips is that just one manufacturing defect on part of the chip can knock out an entire quad-core processor. But if you invent a category for three-core chips, suddenly you can make money off those chips that would otherwise have to be discarded because of a defect that disabled one core.
Reminds me of the 486SX more than a decade ago. Otherwise normal 486DX chips, with their defective math co-processor disabled.
Intel

Intel Purchases Havok 123

Dr. Eggman writes "Gamasutra has the recent announcement; Intel has purchased Havok. 'As the firm noted, Havok 5 features enhancements to its core products, Havok Physics and Havok Animation, and introduces new features for Havok Behavior, a system for developing event-driven character behaviors in a game. Some of the games using Havok technology, particularly its Havok Physics solution, include BioShock, Stranglehold, Halo 2, Half Life 2, Oblivion, Crackdown, and MotorStorm - the company is also rapidly developing and marketing further tool products.' No word on what (if anything) Intel plans to do with its new acquisition."

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