PhotoshopNews » Computer News The latest news about the top pixel wrangling application on the planet. Sun, 17 Jul 2011 17:19:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Google behind Photoshop’s new Linux compatibility Mon, 18 Feb 2008 22:12:45 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Source: apc Magazine

Google recently confirmed in a blog posting that it had paid Codeweavers to help develop WINE to make Photoshop usable on the well-regarded but still somewhat unpredictable software package, which aims to replicate Windows libraries to enable popular Windows applications run in a Linux environment.

“Photoshop is one of those applications that Desktop linux users are constantly clamoring for, and we’re happy to say they work pretty well now,” Google engineer and Wine release manager Dan Kegel wrote. “About 200 patches were committed to winehq, and as of wine-0.9.54, Photoshop CS2 is quite usable,” Kegel noted in a separate post.

The sponsorship was also mentioned during a Google presentation at in Melbourne last month, focusing its Summer of Code student training program. “We have paid for a whole bunch of improvements to a whole bunch of stuff,” program manager Leslie Hawthorn said. “We haven’t actually talked about it, but we recently paid CodeWeavers to do some work on Wine so you can run Photoshop CS2 and 3″

As such, it’s not a big stretch to imagine that prospects for the 2008 program might want to propose further enhancements to the Adobe product line. Coming up with an update process that’s not a global embarrassment would be a good start. Patching Acrobat Reader is painful enough on a standard Windows machine; doing so under pseudo-emulation quite possibly violates international anti-torture laws.
Adobe certainly seems to be in Google’s sights. “Perhaps not coincidentally, apps like Flash 8 are now starting to work in Wine, too,” Kegel wrote. “We look forward to further improvements in this area.”

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Kelby Once Again Top-Selling US Computer Book Author Thu, 07 Feb 2008 22:15:49 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Press Release: Berkeley, CA—February 6, 2008—For the fourth consecutive year, Peachpit author Scott Kelby has been recognized as the top-selling computer book author in the U.S. according to Nielsen BookScan data.

Kelby’s Peachpit titles continue to lead the pack with the number one iPod® book, The iPod Book: Doing Cool Stuff with the iPod and the iTunes Music Store, Fourth Edition; the number one digital photography book, The Digital Photography Book; and the number one Photoshop Lightroom book, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers.

The Adobe Photoshop CS3 Book for Digital Photographers was recently honored with a Hot One Award from Professional Photographer magazine, and was the #4 pick among Amazon customers for 2007 computer and Internet books. The iPhone Book was also honored by Amazon editors as their best computer book of the year.

Kelby published a total of six titles in 2007.

“I would challenge anyone to find an author in any discipline, not just computer books, who is more loyal and committed to their readers’ satisfaction than Scott Kelby,” said Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel, vice president of Pearson Technology Group. “He delivers what readers need and want time and time again: fresh techniques, fresh imagery, and a down-to-earth, conversational teaching style. He is incredibly deserving of this top spot in computer book publishing for the fourth year in a row—an amazing feat, and we are immensely proud to be Scott’s publishing partner.”

To view more of Kelby’s best-selling work, go to

About Scott Kelby
Scott Kelby is president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, a trade organization for Adobe Photoshop users with more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries worldwide. Additionally, Scott is Editor-in-Chief of both Photoshop User and Layers magazines. Scott serves as training director for the Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour and is the technical chair of the Photoshop World Conference & Expo. In addition to the Down & Dirty Tricks and the Killer Tips book series, Scott is also the author of Scott Kelby’s 7-Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS3 and The Digital Photography Book. For more information, visit and

About Peachpit
Berkeley-based Peachpit has been publishing the industry’s best-selling books on the latest in graphic design, desktop publishing, multimedia, Web design and development, digital video and general Macintosh computing since 1986. Its award-winning books feature step-by-step explanations, time-saving techniques, savvy insider tips, and expert advice for computer users of all sorts. It is the home of the internationally recognized Visual QuickStart Guide series, the design imprint New Riders and its highly popular Voices That Matter series, and is the publishing partner for Adobe Press,, NAPP, Apple Certified, AIGA Design Press and others. Peachpit is part of Pearson, the international media company. Pearson’s primary operations also include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. Learn more at and

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US bans spare lithium batteries from checked bags Wed, 02 Jan 2008 18:20:33 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Move allegedly designed to reduce risk of fires on aircraft

Source: ComputerWorld
Written by James Niccolai

New rules will go into effect on Jan. 1 that prohibit air passengers in the U.S. from carrying spare lithium batteries in their checked baggage.

The new rules, announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Transportation, are designed to reduce the risk of fires in aircraft. Lithium batteries have been identified as a possible cause of several aircraft fires.

Passengers will still be able to carry lithium batteries in checked bags if they are installed in a device like a laptop or digital camera. But loose batteries will need to be put in a plastic bag and carried on the plane as hand luggage, the DOT said.

The rules also limit each passenger to two “extended-life” lithium batteries. These are larger batteries with more than 8 grams of equivalent lithium content, examples of which are pictured in the DOT’s statement.

The rules are also described at the Web site.

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Are Your Gadgets Ready for the Time Change? Fri, 02 Nov 2007 17:39:08 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff The delayed start of winter hours may–but may not–confuse digital equipment; here’s where to update just in case.

Source: PCWorld
Written by Tom Spring

Daylight-saving time arrives late this year–we gain an hour on November 4. You already know this, but does your electronic gear?

Federal lawmakers voted two years ago to extend daylight-saving time (DST) one week to help conserve energy. Businesses have worked hard to patch their computers so time critical systems like electronic stock trading, billing, and airline schedules work without missing a beat. But for smaller companies and consumers, the time change may not be snag free.

“It’s the small stuff that people have to worry about,” says Andrea Protas, director of research for eEye Digital Security. “Any small electronics like VCRs, alarm clocks, and wrist watches are susceptible to error.”

It’s just the flip side of the concerns raised seven months ago when daylight-saving time kicked in earlier, by Congressional action.

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[Editor's note: don't forget to change the clock in your digital cameras because while you can alter the EXIF Date/Time captured EXIF metadata after the fact, it's time consuming and not always easy to do–particularly on a lot of captures.]

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EU ruling deals setback to Microsoft Mon, 17 Sep 2007 20:59:12 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Source: ZDNet
Written by Dawn Kawamoto

A European court dealt a severe blow to Microsoft’s competitive ambitions in Europe Monday by siding with regulators in an antitrust case against the company.

In its ruling, the Luxembourg-based Court of First Instance upheld European Commission claims that Microsoft abused its dominant position in the operating system market. Microsoft’s allies and competitors have been closely following the case since the Commission imposed antitrust sanctions against the company in early 2004.

The court’s decision is expected to have far-reaching implications for consumers, computer makers, Microsoft competitors and, perhaps most pointedly, the Commission’s ability to regulate technology companies on antitrust matters, legal experts and industry observers say.

“The court ruling is…welcome for its confirmation of the Commission’s decision and its underlying policy, but nevertheless, it is bittersweet,” Neelie Kroes, the Commission’s Competition Commissioner, said during a press conference Monday. “Bittersweet because the court has confirmed the Commission’s view that consumers are suffering at the hands of Microsoft.”

Kroes added that should Microsoft comply with the Commission’s order, she expects to see a “significant drop” in Microsoft’s overwhelming market share.

And while she gave no estimate of how steep she expects that drop to be, Kroes noted that it would likely be more than a few percentage points as more competitors enter the market. Microsoft’s Windows operating system runs on about 95 percent of the world’s personal computers.

“A market share less than 95 percent is a way to measure the success (of the order),” she added. A spokesman for Kroes later clarified that a fall in market share would be a logical consequence of fairer competition.

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Software Piracy Hits $40B Worldwide, Study Says Tue, 15 May 2007 19:13:36 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Efforts to curb software piracy in China are bearing fruit although the piracy rate remains high, costing vendors billions of dollars in lost revenue.

Source: PC World
Written by John Blau, IDG News Service

Efforts to curb software piracy in China are bearing fruit although the piracy rate remains high, costing vendors billions of dollars in lost revenue, according to a survey paid for by large vendors, including Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

That was one of several findings of a report published Tuesday by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in collaboration with IDC.

Industry observers generally agree that piracy rates are high, though some question the assumptions behind the BSA’s and IDC’s methodology.

The study is based on various data, including the number of new PC shipments, the installed base of PCs and software licenses, as well as estimates of the number of software applications installed on PCs. Open source, which is included, is handled as paid software.

“We know, for instance, that new PCs going to consumers in the U.S. generally have eight pieces of software, four of which are free like Adobe Reader and the other four should be paid for,” said John Gatz, chief research officer at IDC. “So if you know how many pieces of hardware have software and how many pieces of software were paid for, the difference is the pirate.”

China’s piracy rate dipped four percentage points for the second consecutive year and a total of 10 percentage points in the last three years — from 92 percent in 2003 to 82 percent 2006. Revenue lost through piracy over the three-year period is estimated at US$864 million.

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Quad-core power unleashed (almost) Mon, 14 May 2007 17:00:02 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff SOFTWARE LAG LIKELY TO SPARK EVOLUTION IN PROGRAMMING
Written By Mark Boslet, Mercury News

Consumer research shows that when given a choice PC buyers opt for computer chips with multiple cores, or computing brains. More cores equal more power is an easy concept for them to understand.

They might want to think twice before snapping up the industry’s latest quad-core computers.

Quad-core computers began shipping in November and have been billed as the business’s next big thing – a crop of machines with a leap in performance over the dual- and single-core boxes that make up the bulk of today’s sales.

Instead of one or two tiny calculating engines, or cores, per chip, they have four, letting a PC multitask by assigning separate jobs to each core.

But most consumers won’t get the promised performance boost for many years to come – if at all. That’s because the software they run to roam the net, write reports and exchange e-mail isn’t written to take advantage of quad-core chips and won’t be for years to come, experts say. Some of the programs may never need the extra performance quad-core chips provide.

“Once you get beyond dual-core processors, there’s not a lot of work (designed) to take advantage of the additional processor cores,” said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research. “The benefit is slight.”

The issue is one that is roiling the computer industry. Computer games and video editing programs are often singled out as software that will benefit from quad cores because they can be written to farm out work to multiple cores. But the list of these more computational-intensive programs is short. Traditional word processors and browsers aren’t on it.
The changing landscape has developers rethinking how to design software. Some say the re-examination could spawn new innovation – with computers that respond to spoken commands and interact with users. The creativity could ultimately reshape the 30-year-old PC software business and the way people use their machines.

“The onus is on us to think of new things to do that may have been out of the question before because they took so long,” said John Nack, senior product manager at Adobe Systems. “It is a really challenging state of affairs.”

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Intel’s quad-core processors go live Tue, 14 Nov 2006 19:11:37 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Intel will cap off a turnaround year on Tuesday with the expected introduction of its first quad-core processors, beating rival Advanced Micro Devices to the punch by several months.

Source: CNET
Written by Tom Krazit

Originally scheduled to launch next year, the new Xeon 5300 and Core 2 Extreme QX6700 should make an immediate dent in servers and in high-end workstation/enthusiast PCs. In those markets, users can take advantage of software that’s already been written to exploit four separate processing threads.

The usual suspects plan to use Intel’s chips in their latest products. Dell jumped the gun last week with the announcement of new quad-core systems, including new servers and workstations. Word broke of IBM’s proposed quad-core offerings last Thursday. And Hewlett-Packard is expected to follow suit on Tuesday with its own servers and workstations featuring the new Xeon chips.

PCs from Dell, Gateway, Velocity Micro and others with the new Core 2 Extreme QX6700 processor should also start to appear in time for the holiday shopping season. That chip is beyond the needs of most PC users, and it generally falls outside their budgets as well, at a price of $999. But certain PC enthusiasts are always excited about the prospect of having the fastest PC processor on earth for a short time, which Intel’s QX6700 will be until AMD releases a competing chip.

Mainstream PC users won’t see the benefits of the quad-core processors for some time–well into next year, at the earliest–but Intel can a least claim a “first,” after several years of trailing AMD at seemingly every turn.

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Editor’s Note: At this time there are no hard indications that Apple will be releasing workstations with these chips, but industry expections are that Apple will adopt them for high-end workstations in their MacIntel lineup soon.

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ZeroOne goes down as a hit Tue, 15 Aug 2006 16:39:45 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Source: The Mercury News
Written by Mark de la Viña

For a brief, digitally charged moment — OK, for seven days — the ZeroOne festival turned San Jose into the nation’s art and technology capital.

Beyond that, “ZeroOne San Jose: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge” helped lay the groundwork for “branding” the city as a digital arts mecca, said Dan Keegan, executive director of the San Jose Museum of Art. By the time the smoke had dissipated and the monitors were unplugged, the festival had drawn an estimated 50,000 people and generated attention from around the world.

This time, ZeroOne was paired with the 13th International Symposium of Electronic Art, a biennial gathering of scholars and artists from around the world who present papers on art, science and new technologies.

ZeroOne organizers hope to make the arts festival a biennial event based in San Jose.

Perhaps the biggest hit of the festival was a half-dozen cacophonous, fire-spewing robots from the Survival Research Lab of San Francisco which attracted more than 2,000 to a parking lot next to the McEnery Convention Center. A Commonwealth Club-sponsored speech by video arts pioneer Bill Viola also drew crowds.

Exact attendance figures are impossible to calculate, said Steven Brewster, an economic development officer for the city. Still, he added, “it was a true success. It further positioned us on a international stage, it showcased what we do best here in Silicon Valley, which is innovation of technology, and it tapped into the digital culture that grew up and exists here.”

At the opening festivities Aug. 8, about 500 gathered for a reception; 1,500 attended a meet-and-greet at the museum and another 1,500 watched as Akira Hasegawa’s “Digital Kakejiku” projected an ever-changing array of colors and patterns onto City Hall.

Read entire article

Check out a narrated slideshow of some of the exhibits by The Mercury News

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The IBM Personal Computer’s 25th Anniversary Fri, 11 Aug 2006 15:45:43 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff In 1981, IBM’s 5150 took the business world by storm and moved the PC into the mainstream.

Source: PC World
Written by Lincoln Spector

Twenty-five years ago, IBM changed the world. It wasn’t intentional. When Big Blue announced a microcomputer called the IBM Personal Computer on August 12, 1981, it hoped only to make a nice profit.

The company did make money–but more important, the IBM PC, also known as the Model 5150, made a significant impact on the culture. Today, for instance, we call our desktops and laptops PCs, not microcomputers. The vast majority of the ubiquitous machines scattered around our offices and homes are direct descendents of IBM’s 25-year-old box.

Former IBM engineer David J. Bradley joined the microcomputer project in September 1980. It was “one of those things that engineers dream about…a brand new thing; a blank piece of paper.”

Before the IBM PC, business computers were mainframes or minis, large and expensive investments that weren’t intended for a single person’s use. Since the resources were shared, computing jobs ran slowly during business hours when everyone was at work. Dedicated, technology-savvy employees would often work through the night.

Personal computers existed prior to the IBM PC–the Apple II came out in 1977, and the Atari 800 came out in 1979, for example. However, these systems used proprietary components and designs.

IBM was in a hurry, so Bradley and his coworkers had to break company policy and use other people’s technology, including a processor from Intel and an operating system from Microsoft. The PC’s lack of IBM-owned technology made cloning possible, and cloning–Columbia Data Products’ MPC 1600-1 in 1982 was the first clone–made the PC a standard. “If we’d [built the PC] from the ground up,” Bradley told me, “we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.”

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It’s official: Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors are out Thu, 27 Jul 2006 19:06:29 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff The new chips offer better performance, greater efficiency
Written by Sumner Lemon and Ben Ames

Intel Corp. unveiled its new Core 2 Duo processor lineup today, increasing the pressure on rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. The 10 new dual-core chips promise markedly better performance and greater energy efficiency than Intel’s existing products.

The Core 2 Duo launch has been billed as Intel’s most significant since the introduction of the original Pentium processor in 1993. The introduction comes at a crucial moment. Intel executives have watched AMD expand its share of the processor market in recent quarters, and they want to reclaim the lost ground.

“We’re really bullish on Core 2 Duo, and we believe that it’s going to enable us to grow a significant amount of [market] share over the second half of the year. That’s our goal,” said Tim Bailey, director of platform marketing at Intel Asia-Pacific.

Among the chips announced by Intel are five processors designed for laptops and five desktop chips, including the high-end Core 2 Extreme processor for gamers. Pricing for the desktop chips ranges from $183 for the 1.86-GHz Core 2 Duo E6300 to $999 for the 2.93-GHz Core 2 Extreme X6800. Pricing for the mobile chips was not available.

Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme are based on Intel’s Core microarchitecture, which replaces the NetBurst architecture used in the Pentium 4. The same microarchitecture is used in Woodcrest, the latest version of the Xeon server processor, which was announced last month.

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AMD to Acquire ATI Mon, 24 Jul 2006 16:12:29 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff AMD intends to create a PC chip powerhouse to rival Intel.
Source: eWeek
Written by John G. Spooner

Advanced Micro Devices will acquire graphics processor maker ATI Technologies in an effort to emerge as a more formidable supplier of chips for business computers.

AMD has traditionally worked with multiple partners whose chips can be used with its processors to build PCs. But the company intends to use the tie-up, announced on July 24, to deliver more tightly integrated processors and supporting chip sets, in an effort to lure more businesses.

AMD has made strides with businesses of late, particularly in the server space. Its Opteron server chip has claimed more than a quarter of server processor shipments, thanks to partnerships with companies such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun. It has also won major PC deals. However the company—whose goal is to serve at least one third of the PC processor market in the future—says it still needs to do more to gain businesses’ loyalties in corporate PCs, a market where Intel continues to dominate.

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US Patent Office strikes down Forgent JPEG Claim Wed, 31 May 2006 14:43:49 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Patent Asserted Against JPEG Standard Rejected by Patent Office as Result of PUBPAT Request: Public Interest Group’s Review Results in Broadest Claims of Forgent Networks Patent Being Ruled Invalid

Press Release: NEW YORK—May 26, 2006—In the reexamination proceeding initiated late last year by the Public Patent Foundation (“PUBPAT”), the United States Patent and Trademark Office has rejected the broadest claims of the patent Forgent Networks (Nasdaq: FORG) is asserting against the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) international standard for the electronic sharing of photo-quality images. In its Office Action released yesterday, the Patent Office found that the prior art submitted by PUBPAT completely anticipated the broadest claims of the patent, U.S. Patent No. 4,698,672 (the ‘672 Patent).

Forgent Networks acquired the ‘672 Patent through the purchase of Compression Labs, Inc. in 1997 and began aggressively asserting it against the JPEG standard through lawsuits and the media in 2004. The company has the opportunity to respond to the Patent Office’s rejection, but third party requests for reexamination, like the one filed by PUBPAT, result in having the subject patent either modified or completely revoked roughly 70% of the time.

“The Patent Office has agreed with our conclusion that it would have never granted Forgent Networks’ ‘672 patent had it been aware of the prior art that we uncovered and submitted to them,” said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT’s Executive Director. “Making matters worse here is that this new prior art was known by those who filed the application that led to the ‘672 patent, but none of them told the Patent Office about it, despite their duty to do so.”

More information about the reexamination the Forgent Networks patent being asserted against the JPEG standard, including a copy of the Patent Office’s Office Action rejecting its broadest claims, can be found at PUBPAT Activities > Protecting the Public Domain.

Meanwhile, Forgent released it’s own press release that states: “The action upholds 27 of the 46 claims of Forgent’s patent. Forgent will vigorously defend the remaining claims that were not initially upheld in this first office action.”

Read Forgent’s press release.

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Coding for fame, and dollars Tue, 02 May 2006 23:55:30 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Source: CNET
Written by Tom Krazit

Las Vegas has seen its share of title fights, but the only thing that will get pounded by the 64 finalists arriving this week for the 2006 TopCoder Open will be a computer keyboard.

With $150,000 in prize money up for grabs, the competitive coding contest draws some of the most talented developers in the world. The finals of the 2006 TopCoder Open start Wednesday at the Aladdin Hotel. Thousands of developers have been competing online for months in hopes of reaching the finals, where they will face off in two separate events.

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From the TOPCODER OPEN web site: Sponsored by AMD

2006 TopCoder Open – Overview

Are you ready to be dazzled? We’ve put together another incredible competition for you and even higher stakes. We’re giving away $150,000 and a trip for 64 finalists to one of the world’s largest playgrounds. Las Vegas awaits!

The 2006 TopCoder Open is here.

Competitions include:

* Algorithm Competition
* Component Design Competition
* Component Development Competition

Finals held at:

* Aladdin Resort and Casino*, Las Vegas, NV

Where else in the world can you marvel at dancing fountains (the Bellagio), see an erupting volcano (the Mirage), or watch pirates and sirens entertain on ships nightly (Treasure Island)? Not to mention downtown’s Fremont Street Experience that is a haven for pedestrians. Las Vegas has it all!

Important Dates:

Component Competition

* Registration: January 2, 2006
* Begins: January 18, 2006

Algorithm Competition

* Registration: February 13, 2006
* Begins: February 28, 2006

* Prizes for the Algorithm and Component competitions total $150,000

New to the 2006 TCO – the TCO Complete Coder Incentive Program!
Learn how you can earn more prize money by participating in both Component and Algorithm competitions.

*soon to be Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino

See the official Algorithm and Component rules and regulations for full details.

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Into the Core: Intel’s next-generation microarchitecture Mon, 01 May 2006 16:45:29 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Source: ars technica
Written by Jon “Hannibal” Stokes

Editor’s note: Geek Warning-this article gets into technical detail regarding Itel’s future chip developments, but since both Apple and other PC makers will be using the same basic chip architecture, it’s useful to read the signs of the future.

Over a year ago at the Fall 2005 Intel Developer Forum, Intel formally announced that they would be dropping the Pentium 4′s Netburst microarchitecture in favor of a brand new, more power-efficient microarchitecture that would carry the company’s entire x86 product line, from laptops up through Xeon servers, into the next decade. Not since April of 2001, when Netburst arrived on the scene to replace the P6 microarchitecture that powered the Pentium Pro, Pentium II, and Pentium III, have all segments of Intel’s x86 processor line used the same microarchitecture.

This past IDF saw the unveiling of some significant details about this new microarchitecture, which was formerly called “Merom” but now goes by the official name of “Core.” (You’ll also see Core called NGMA, an acronym for “next-generation microarchitecture.”) Intel presented many of these details in a presentation on Core, and others were obtained by David Kanter of Real World Technologies. The present article draws on both of those sources, as well as my own correspondence with Intel, to paint what is (hopefully) an accessible picture of the new microarchitecture that will soon be powering everything from Windows Vista servers to Apple laptops.

A question of breeding?
Before I get into the more technical discussion of Core’s features, I want to quickly spell out how I view Core’s relationship to its predecessors. As Intel has repeatedly claimed, Core is a new microarchitecture that was designed from scratch with today’s performance and power consumption needs in mind. Nonetheless, Core does draw heavily on its predecessors, taking the best of the Pentium 4 and the Pentium M (Banias) and rolling them into a design that looks much more like the latter than the former.

Because the Pentium M itself is a new design that draws heavily on the P6 microarchitecture, I’ve chosen to place Core very generally within the P6 “lineage.” However, I ask the reader not to read too much into this loosely applied biological metaphor, because my comparing Core to its P6 predecessors and talking about its development in terms of the “evolution” of the “P6 lineage” is really nothing more than an way to organize the discussion for ease of comprehension.

Core, multicore, and the big picture
When Intel’s team in Israel set about designing the processor architecture that would carry the company’s entire x86 product line for the next five years or so, they had multicore computing in mind. But for Intel, having multicore in mind doesn’t mean quite the same thing that it means for Sun or IBM. Specifically, it “multicore” doesn’t mean “throw out out-of-order execution and scale back single-threaded performance in favor of a massively parallel architecture that can run a torrent of simultaneous threads.” Such an aggressive, forward-looking approach is embodied in designs like STI’s Cell and Sun’s Ultrasparc T1. Instead, Intel’s understanding of what it takes to make a “multicore” architecture is significantly more conservative, and very “Intel.”

Intel’s approach to multicore is not about keeping each individual core’s on-die footprint down by throwing out dynamic execution hardware, but about keeping each core’s power consumption down and its efficiency up. In this sense, Intel’s strategy is fundamentally process-based, which is why I said it’s “very ‘Intel.’” Intel will rely not on the microarchitectural equivalent of a crash diet, but on Moore’s Law to enable more cores to fit onto each die. It seems that from Intel’s perspective, there’s no need to start throwing hardware overboard in order to keep the core’s size down, because core sizes will shrink as transistor sizes shrink.

This talk of shrinking core sizes brings me to my next point about Core: scalability. The Pentium 4′s performance was designed to scale primarily with clockspeed increases. In contrast, Core’s performance will scale primarily with increases in the number of cores per die (i.e. feature size shrinks) and with the addition of more cache, and secondarily with modest, periodic clockspeed increases. In this respect, Core is designed to take advantage of Moore’s Law in a fundamentally different way than the Pentium 4.

Read the entire article

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China Software Still a Pirate’s Game Wed, 19 Apr 2006 23:01:30 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Source: eWeek via Reuters
Written By Chris Buckley, Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters)—”DVDs? CDs? Games? Porn? What you want?” hawkers in Beijing’s Zhongguancun neighborhood whisper to potential customers.

Asked for computer software, one scurries off to check his cache, kept behind a nearby shed, and five minutes later holds out a Chinese version of Windows XP Professional for 30 yuan ($3.74)—25 after some friendly haggling.

A legitimate copy sells for about 2,000 yuan ($249.6).

“Come with me. There’s more,” says Li Fuzhen, who has sold bootleg films, music, software and computer games in this district called China’s “silicon valley” for three years.

And there was much more. Despite periodic crackdowns on piracy, China’s has a voracious appetite for cheap, unauthorized copies of software and other digital products.

Read entire article

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User Interface Friction: It’s What Makes You Hate Computers Mon, 20 Mar 2006 15:50:54 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Opinion: Research on Web useability is easy to find, but not so for operating systems and hardware. We need a new lexicon for understanding differences between devices.

Source: Publish
Written by Andreas Pfeiffer

In 2005 and early 2006, my company, Pfeiffer Consulting, conducted an extensive research project collecting information about Macintosh and Windows operating systems.

During the research interviews, which included users of both platforms, many Macintosh users stated that they found their computers “more fluid,” more productive, easier to use. They were, however, most often at a loss when they were asked to quantify their perceptions.

These recurring statements were intriguing for us: From a purely functional perspective, both operating systems have become increasingly similar, and even in terms of user interface, the basic concepts and user interface paradigms used by Windows and Macintosh are almost identical.

This discrepancy between user perception and technical features led us to have a closer look at user interface differences, usability and productivity. During this research, we realized that the terms and concepts we use to analyze technology have remained surprisingly simplistic given the importance digital tools and devices have in our lives.

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Flash Player Update to Address Security Vulnerabilities Wed, 15 Mar 2006 00:42:23 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Flash Security Bulletin

Summary: Critical vulnerabilities have been identified in Flash Player that could allow an attacker who successfully exploits these vulnerabilities to take control of the affected system. A malicious SWF must be loaded in Flash Player by the user for an attacker to exploit these vulnerabilities. Users are recommended to update to the most current version of Flash Player available for their platform.

Solution: Adobe recommends all Flash Player and earlier users upgrade to the new version, which can be downloaded from the Player Download Center. For customers that cannot upgrade to Flash Player 8, please refer to the Flash Player 7 update TechNote.

Adobe provides a free license for redistributing Flash Player on company intranets, or with software product or services. For more information and to apply for a license, use the online application.

If you are unable to follow Adobe’s guidance or cannot move to a more recent version of Flash Player, please contact the Adobe Security Team at for guidance around this update.

Adobe recommends Breeze customers upgrade to Breeze Meeting Add-In version 5.1, which can be downloaded via the following links:

* Breeze Meeting Add-In Version 5.1 for Windows
* Breeze Meeting Add-In Version 5.1 for Macintosh OS X

Shockwave Player includes the Flash Asset Xtra. Adobe recommends Shockwave Player customers upgrade to Shockwave Player 10.1.1, which updates the Flash Asset Xtra version number to

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Microsoft pauses work on Adobe rival Mon, 13 Mar 2006 15:02:17 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Source: ZDNet Australia
Written by Renal LeMay

Microsoft has temporarily halted development work on some aspects of its upcoming professional graphics application as it tries to bring companion tools and its next-generation Windows Vista operating system to market.

The application — called Expression Graphic Designer — was first released in test form in June last year, and is based on Expression, the tool Microsoft acquired with its 2003 purchase of Hong Kong company Creature House. But despite being widely seen as a rival for Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator products, Microsoft does not see the product as a stand-alone offering.

“At the moment, there’s no great reason for us to release it as a stand-alone product,” the company’s senior product manager for the for the Europe, Middle East and African professional designer markets, Wayne Smith, said last week during a trip down under.

In an interview with ZDNet Australia, Smith explained that Microsoft was taking so long to bring Graphic Designer to market because the company had put “a lot” of the development work for the application “on pause”, until sibling products and Vista could be finalised.

“It’s not been that someone’s been beavering for all these months and getting nowhere,” he said.

Smith said that Microsoft sees Graphic Designer solely as a companion product for other products in the Expression range — namely Interactive Designer and Web Designer.

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Software Firms Getting Cozy Mon, 13 Mar 2006 14:57:45 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff The desktop software market is getting more competitive as companies invade one another’s turf.

Source: Yahoo News
Written by Patrick Seitz

Microsoft (NasdaqNM:MSFTNews) is going head to head with Adobe Systems (NasdaqNM:ADBENews) in document sharing and interactive Web design software. Apple Computer (NasdaqNM:AAPLNews) is taking on Adobe as well, but in photo editing software.

Also, Avid Technology (NasdaqNM:AVIDNews), InterVideo (NasdaqNM:IVIINews) and Sonic Solutions (NasdaqNM:SNICNews) are duking it out in the video editing and playback segments.

Even as competition heats up, the number of companies in the industry has dwindled — largely because of consolidation.

Adobe in December bought Macromedia, which developed flash animation and other key Internet software. Sonic bought the consumer software division of Roxio in December 2004. And Nuance Communications (NasdaqNM:NUANNews), which has made a host of acquisitions in recent years, said last month it plans to buy Dictaphone. (See related story on this page.)

Five years ago, IBD’s Desktop Computer Software industry group had 33 companies. A year ago, it had 17. Today, it has 14.

“The players that are left are committed to achieving certain revenue growth targets,” said Chris Swenson, director of software industry analysis for the NPD Group. “So they have to innovate like crazy and come up with new business models and enter new markets. They have to target areas where before they haven’t had much of a presence.”

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