Indemnity! Indemnity! Indemnity!

The iPhone and Mac OS X "Leopard" will be seriously delayed! Let's sell all our shares, quick! Microsoft puts the frighteners on open source. There's murkiness around MarketClarity's broadband figures. And, AMD plans a(nother) comeback

- That US$ 4 billion email

- They love themselves and I hate them

- JavaGirl the next Internet meme

- Indemnity, Indemnity, Indemnity!

- So that’s why Telecom didn’t issue a media release

- AMD’s Phenom comeback

That US$ 4 billion email

ZOMG! The iPhone and Mac OS X “Leopard” will be seriously delayed! Let’s sell all our shares, quick!

Suckers.

They love themselves and I hate them

Jeremy from Samba encounters “faith-based marketing” in Cupertino.

- Samba’s Jeremy Allison: Fear and Loathing in Cupertino

JavaGirl the next Internet meme

Try not to go insane though while watching the clip of JavaGirl gushing and rolling eyes.

Indemnity, Indemnity, Indemnity!

Who said you could sit down?!? AAIAIAIIRRGGHH!! Yeah! Monkey Boy and Mates are trying to put the frighteners on Open Source because... Microsoft has The Patents. Yep, 235 of them and Microsoft is not afraid to sue to “protect its intellectual property”.

That’s the sound of the hidden bear-trap in the Novell deal slamming shut, basically. The idea here is very basic: a large, uncomfortable carrot up the bum (buy Novell SuSE if you must use Linux instead of Windows) or get whacked with a massive legal stick (Microsoft will sue users of any other Linux distribution).

It’ll work great, just like it did for SCO.

- Open-source users, companies scoff at Microsoft threats

- Microsoft's Bill Hilf says Linux doesn't exist any more

- Micorosoft won't sue: for now

So that’s why Telecom didn’t issue a media release

The OECD’s Economist Taylor Reynolds is a formidable sort, so if you’re going diss him and say he’s wrong, you’d better... well, have your facts straight. The happy chappies at Market Clarity in Australia tried hard to get its contrarian tune right, saying the OECD undercounts broadband customers on a massive scale — 65,000 in New Zealand alone — but hit the wrong note with Reynolds, who savaged the market research firm’s conclusions soon after they hit the media.

Had Market Clarity been right, it would’ve provided ammunition to telco incumbents here and across the Tasman because they could then say that regulation was unwarranted as it’s based on incorrect statistics. You can imagine where that would’ve ended.

Unfortunately for both the telcos as well as the public, it looks like OECD’s figures stand.

- OECD hits back at broadband stats inaccuracy claims

- Market Clarity PDF: Broadband Wars: The OECD’s International Broadband Arms Race

AMD’s Phenom comeback

The chip minnow that successfully ate into Intel’s market dominance until last year has been very quiet. When Intel launched the new Core processor architecture that not only performed better than AMD’s parts but also drew less power, the challenger had no answer. While it succeeded in causing a huge amount of inconvenience by buying graphics card maker ATI just in time for the Conroe Core Duo launch last year, forcing Intel to source a large amount of high-end Nvidia video adapters as replacements in demo systems, business-wise, AMD has had a lousy time with a US$700 million loss.

On the processor-front, the attempt to dethrone Intel as the speed king is the quad-core Phenom Agena FX and X4 models, and the Kuma X2 dual-core ones. It looks like these will launch at speeds up to 2.6GHz for the quad-cores and 2.8GHz for the dual-core models, with 512kbyte of level 2 cache per core, and a 2Mbyte level 3 cache. Thermals look good at 65-90 Watt, probably some more for the top-end FX quad cores though.

These should be available in July or August, and it’ll be interesting to test drive them against Intel’s very fast counterparts. AMD has been sensible and says the new CPUs won’t require new sockets and will fit into AM2+ boards.

A fast, up to 4.2GHz HyperTransport 3.0 bus also features prominently in the new processors and there’s support for DDR-3 memory in the controller. The new CPUs are, however, still 65nm process only, and not 45nm like Intel.

Michael Apthorpe from AMD Australia was over in New Zealand to give Scott at PC World and myself a run-down of the second part of the equation behind AMD’s comeback, the ATI Radeon HD 2900 graphics card. Now this is a seriously impressive piece of kit: 320 stream processors, using most of the 700 million transistors (more than any CPU), 512-bit wide memory interface, full HDMI support (yeah, yeah, DRM is evil) and priced at US$399 only.

All the geeky specs mean glorious DX10 3D rendering, very, very lifelike indeed, with big performance to boot. NVidia’s GeForce 8800 has been leap-frogged, if overseas review sites with early access to the HD 2900 are to be believed.

What’s the problem with the HD 2900 then? Well, it uses a staggering 215 Watts. No, that’s not a typo. Get two of them for Crossfire (AMD promises 80 per cent scalability here) and you’re looking at twice the power consumption for the graphics cards alone.

No wonder then that Apthorpe had a 1,100 Watt — 1.1kW — power supply in his demo machine. About nine months ago, I was thinking 600 Watt power supplies were borderline insane so I’m not particularly enamoured by an almost doubling of energy requirements.

- AMD Names the Next PC Computing Thrill Ride: The AMD Phenom Processor

- AMD Introduces the ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series, Delivering The Ultimate Visual Experience for Desktop and Mobile Platforms

Cartoon by www.xkcd.com

Robert X Cringely

More on Microsoft's patent medicine

If you're wondering whether Microsoft has its boxers in a bunch over the open source software threat, this week's news left no doubt. In an interview with Fortune, MS Chief Counsel Brad Smith claimed open source apps like Linux and OpenOffice infringe on no less than 235 Microsoft patents. Steve Ballmer hinted darkly of legal action to follow, then laughed demonically. It's the age-old formula: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they threaten to have a colony of attorneys descend upon you from a great height. The Open Source Movement has truly arrived. Unfortunately for the Redmond reprobates, there are few problems with this approach. For one thing, these claims are based in part on a report published last summer by author Dan Ravicher, director of the Public Patent Foundation. But Ravicher says they got it all wrong. The report listed 228potential infringements of untested patents, not actual violations on patents that have withstood a court challenge. Microsoft has yet to identify any infringing code, despite challenges from the Open Sorcerors to do so. And once Redmond puts its cards on the table, as Linus Torvalds notes, the open source community will simply code around it. (If I have to use Document*Start inside OpenOffice instead of File*Open, well, I think I can live with that.) Finally, who exactly is Microsoft gonna sue? The only ones with deep pockets in this whole scheme are Microsoft's own enterprise accounts. That's one way to get close to your customers. Microsoft is apparently hoping the Fortune 1000 will get their tights in such a twist they'll pony up to Redmond just to cover their assets. If this tactic sounds vaguely familiar, well, that's because it's the same one SCO has been trying. Gee, I wonder how that's worked out for them? This would be as good a time as any to lay claim to some patents of my own. For example, I hold a process patent on injecting gratuitous references to undergarments in a snarky tech blog. Try to copy me and I'll sue your panties off.

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