Microsoft isn't being sued? And Futurama returns? Must be the morning roundup...
Monday morning, or "The day after the Paddies weekend before". Perhaps it’s just me, but there seems to be a lot of jargon, business and tech speak wandering around the news for a Monday, but we shall soldier on.
We begin this morning with the ultimately techy news that HP is refreshing its server line this year, beginning with the third iteration of their Superdrome Unix boxes that go on sale this morning. As well as promising the usual performance increases (up to 30% using the new chipset, we’re told) HP is promising to finally get around to rolling out that pesky Itanium chip, which has been hobbled since birth with all kinds of compatibility issues. Now HP aims to have another Unix server out by the third quarter of this year using the second generation, dual core Itanium, Montecito chip. Intel will be chuffed. Give me a minute and let this sink in
Lenovo, that Chinese IT giant famous for buying out IBM’s computing division on their way to achieving everlasting glory and dominance of the PC market, has announced that it’s axing up to 5% of its workforce (that’s about 1,000 workers), and move its corporate HQ from New York to North Carolina. The company desktop business has been struggling in the face of competition from the likes of Dell and HP, though the notebook business which includes IBM’s ThinkPad’s as well as the recently launched Lenovo own-brand 3000 series have been doing well. Cuts are due to be made by managers in the coming weeks, and will apparently reach across the geographical divide. Company President William J. Amelio did an admirable job of funking up the announcement with "Lenovo leads the market in innovation. But we still have inefficiencies. We need to bring our expense-to-revenue ratio closer to industry benchmarks, and simplify our organisational structure", although to be honest we’ve heard better. In a pleasant change from "Microsoft is being sued for...", we have the headline "Microsoft is suing..." to start off this story. The boys from Redmond are suing some boys from Massachusetts for allegedly breaching copyright and using "users’ concern for the safety of their computers to sell their goods and services in a deceptive manner". That is to say, the allegedly Bad People (not Microsoft in this case - it’s important to remember that) were selling anti-Spyware software that really wasn’t their anti-Spyware software, by allegedly allowing users to run a free scan online that-really-wasn’t-a-scan-at-all, showing up some bogus results and then offering to protect their machine for $24.95, and then selling them a copy of Microsoft Windows Antispyware which was in beta at the time. All fascinating stuff, allegedly. I love that word...
The chaps behind the UK National Lottery, Camelot, have been fined a cool £90,000 for bungling their online service in 2004 and getting customer charges wrong. The National Lottery Commission, who regulates the lottery, said that "The problems that arose were limited to specific areas of the system and resulted in incorrect charging and crediting of some players accounts and disruption to draw entries, including failed and duplicate entries." Camelot meanwhile says that the issues were teething problems with the new online service which, to be honest, are usually to be expected, and certainly aren’t unexpected. The damage is claimed to have been limited to around 150 users, and all accounts have been settled. So umm, there
NASA meanwhile is having trouble with one of its Mars rovers, which has apparently lost all power to the right-front wheel after having some difficulties in the past which forced the rover to err, rove in reverse. Of course losing things on Mars is not uncommon, and half the missions to our nearest neighbour in space tend to go a bit arseways either before or during landing. We can’t quite boldly go just yet
Microsoft is continuing to rebrand its MSN services like it’s going out of fashion or something. The latest MSN service to become a "Live" service is MSN Shopping ; or Windows Live Shopping Service as it shall henceforth be known. I’m sure it’ll make all the difference in the world. You can just see it enriching my life as we speak
Next up from the nation that brought you manga and vending machines which dispense used schoolgirl undies, we have robots to care for the aging population. It’s official these days, the Japanese population is in decline and alongside grandparents who have managed to turn the buying of regulation-schoolbags into a multi-million earning business we will soon have robots to take care of granny into her old age. And finally Billy West, the voice of Fry among others, has announced on his forum that 26 new episodes of Futurama are to go into production fairly shortly. Allow me to be the first nerd in the audience to go "Neigh, neigh ! WHOOPPIE !" And so on. Futurama was, like Family Guy, one of those great comedy cartoons with an adult audience in mind which TV executives canned before their time, and which then went on to make great money in DVD sales. And there endeth the lesson for today. Other treats on Tom’s Hardware for your enjoyment include the gaming Monday Morning Rundown, and we have a review of a Buffalo external hard drive with a power booster (didn’t you know you could get those ? Shock, horror etc).