Week in review: Chips, and a trip-up, from Intel

Chipmaker looks to dual cores and China for new opportunities and touches off minor controversy with its unending interest in Moore's Law.

Matt Hines Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Matt Hines
covers business software, with a particular focus on enterprise applications.
Matt Hines
5 min read
It's nothing new for Intel to make waves, but the company usually avoids angering university librarians.

The company's search for a pristine copy of the 1965 magazine in which co-founder Gordon Moore first publicly outlined his now-famous theory on the future potential of chipmaking has inadvertently touched off a stir among librarians at several U.S. universities.

After the company posted a $10,000 bounty on eBay for someone who could find an unspoiled copy of the April 19, 1965, issue of Electronics Magazine, some individuals apparently were inspired to steal the document. A day after the reward was announced, a University of Illinois engineering library noticed that one of its two copies had disappeared. Librarians at Stanford University, the University of Washington and several other schools have also voiced their displeasure over the offer. Intel promised to keep an eye out for any stolen copies.

Meanwhile, on Monday the company took the wraps off its timetable for introducing dual-core desktop chips, saying the processors would arrive in computers later this month. Some observers say the move was aimed squarely at beating rival Advanced Micro Devices to market. Intel foreshadowed the release at its Developer Forum in Taipei, Taiwan, reporting that it is already shipping dual-core "Extreme Edition" chips and accompanying chipsets to PC makers. This coming Monday, Dell, Alienware and other PC makers will start selling machines containing the dual-core chips.

In another Far East announcement, Intel said that it would begin selling a new notebook platform designed specifically for Chinese university students. The design, dubbed Tanggula, will offer enhanced security, wireless capabilities and multimedia functions, along with some features designed specifically for students. Notebooks based on Tanggula are due out in the second half of this year and are expected to come in a range of entry-level and higher-performance designs.

Other news out of the chipmaker this week included a new partnership with Oracle regarding radio frequency ID technology, and Intel CEO Craig Barrett's theory that his company's future could revolve around health care.

Longhorns, Tigers and more patchwork, oh my
In addition to a sneak peek at Microsoft's next version of Windows, which still wears the bovine-inspired moniker of Longhorn, Apple Computer announced its planned date of delivery for Tiger, its own next-generation update to its operating system.

According to Apple, the updated desktop and server versions of the operating system, officially dubbed Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, will become available April 29. Until now, the company had said only that the upgrade would be ready sometime during the first half of 2005. Mac customers will get a chance to tame their own version of Tiger at 6 p.m. April 29 at Apple retail stores, where the company plans to host special events for the release.

In other OS-related news, Microsoft disabled the software tool that prevented Windows XP Service Pack 2 from automatically downloading itself onto business computers. One implication of the decision was that people who wanted to avoid adopting the security patch update may now be forced to incorporate it into their systems.

Microsoft advised companies still looking to shun SP2 to use a patch management tool such as System Updates Services to block the update. But some members of the IT industry were concerned that Microsoft had not provided enough information on this. A recent survey found that many of Microsoft's business customers are still avoiding SP2.

I want my Me TV
In a special report, CNET News.com explored how emerging technologies such as on-demand programming, new TiVo offshoots, flat screens and HDTV are rapidly changing perceptions of traditional television.

The ability of Americans to unlock their viewing habits from preset programming schedules using digital video recorders (DVRs), such as those made by TiVo, is dramatically changing the manner in which people consume their favorite shows.

Other developments related to this drastic shift in the TV industry include debates over the many hardware designs being offered to consumers, the rapid rise of HDTV and new models for orchestrating home media.

Finally, there's no one like NASCAR to help push the TV envelope along faster, with heavyweights such as the BBC and Nike also vying for expanded roles in TV coverage.

RIAA, Linux legal fights hum along
The Recording Industry Association of America kept up its battle against file sharing, announcing that it will file suit against students at 18 universities. The students are accused of illegally trading music on the supercharged Internet2 network.

The suits are the first to focus on the next-generation research network operated by universities, which has been live for a year on campuses connected to Internet2. Recording industry executives said i2Hub had become a serious problem over time as students believed they could not be observed trading files. The lawsuits mark a substantial expansion of the record labels' approach to universities, which have been a core location of the file-swapping population since the emergence of Napster in early 1999.

In the Linux community, meanwhile, a German programmer won a legal fight in enforcing the General Public License, which governs countless projects in the free and open-source software realms. A Munich court issued a preliminary injunction barring Fortinet, a maker of multipurpose security devices, from distributing products that include a Linux component called "initrd" that Harald Welte helped write. Welte also runs an operation called the GPL Violations project that attempts to encourage companies that ship products incorporating GPL software to abide by the license terms.

Siebel pushes on
Embattled enterprise-software maker Siebel left investors scratching their heads over the company's news that it replaced CEO Michael Lawrie with George Shaheen.

Shaheen is the former chief executive at Webvan, the now defunct online grocer, and Andersen Consulting, which is now known as Accenture.

Whether Shaheen is the right person for the job remains an issue very much up for debate, at least according to experts.

Also of note
More than 2.6 million people visited the Firefox Web site in March to obtain information about the open-source software and perhaps download it...Microsoft has agreed to pay Gateway $150 million over four years, as part of an agreement to settle antitrust claims brought by the computer maker...Congress pledged an aggressive response to data leaks such as the one recently reported at LexisNexis...Comcast's high-speed Internet service suffered nationwide outages for the second time in six days.