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No More Paper Launches from ATI and NVIDIA

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Hardware

We have seen far too many paper launches from ATI and NVIDIA in regards to their X800, X850 and 6800 series of graphics adapters. It was repulsive from the beginning and left many people frustrated. Users would see the desiring performance numbers in evaluations, but they had no idea when the cards would finally make it to the market. This was especially the case with high-end cards from both companies and certain mid-end adapters from ATI. Let's just say that the current generation of graphics market was miserable for the end-user.

That being said, the difference between paper launches vs. product availability is about to change with both company's next generation cards. According to the information we received from a reliable source, the reason for paper launches this time was the fact that ATI and NVIDIA was playing a racing game with each other. When you have the "let's see who can bring out the better card to the market first" effect taking place, you know it's never good for the market and the customers. Therefore, they kept making announcements one after another just to remain in the headlines to try to grab onto the market crown before their competition. The plethora of product introductions went back and forth between the two while many industry analysts and customers kept watching the dismal battle between the GPU makers.

Whenever the press inquired about products, we usually got the same replies: chip yield issues, OEMs like Dell buying up the entire inventory, there has always been enough products to meet the demand, and availability on high-end products is almost always unsaturated. We could agree that OEMs bought out inventories, which is fine and probably not the GPU maker's fault, although they could've ramped up their production lines. The last two points, limited high-end product availability and enough products to meet the demand, are completely off the ballpark. If there was enough availability, those who desired the high-end parts would've never paid upwards of $600.00 to get it from eBay or other stores at such prices. And the fact that high-end products have always had limited supply is an unbalanced statement to say the least. We've never had limited supply of 9800XT and 5950 Ultra last time, so what happened with the new product family?

With all that said and done, it appears that ATI and NVIDIA may have learned a lesson from their mistakes. For both companies, it won't be a matter of who brings the next generation of products first, but both will try to reduce the time between paper launches and the time products actually hit the retail shelves, reported an industry insider.

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Leftovers: Software

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    After more than 13 years of development, the HandBrake open-source video transcoding app reached 1.0 milestone on Christmas Eve last year, and the second bugfix release is already available. HandBrake 1.0.2 is full of improvements and bug fixes enhancing the out-of-the-box video, audio, and subtitles support, but also adds various platform specific changes for all supported operating systems, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.
  • SMPlayer 17.1 Open-Source Video Player Introduces Chromecast Support, More
    It's been two and a half months since you last updated your SMPlayer open-source video player, and a new stable release is now available, versioned 17.1, with some exciting features. Sporting initial Chromecast support, SMPlayer 17.1 will let you send video files from your personal computer to your Chromecast device to watch them on your big-screen TV, or your friends for that matter. The feature supports both online and local sources, including those from popular video hosting services like YouTube and Vimeo.
  • Firefox 51 Released with FLAC Support, Better CPU Usage
    A new month means a new release of the venerable Mozilla Firefox web browser. Firefox 51 ships with FLAC support, WebGL 2, and a whole heap more — come see!
  • Mozilla Firefox 51.0 Now Available for Download, Supports FLAC Playback, WebGL 2
    It's not yet official, but the binary and source packages of the Firefox 51.0 web browser are now available for download on your GNU/Linux, macOS, or Microsoft Windows operating system. Mozilla will have the pleasure of unveiling the Firefox 51.0 release tomorrow, January 24, according to the official schedule, but you can already get your hands on the final version of the web browser by downloading the installers for your favorite OS right now from our website (links are at the end of the article).

OSS Leftovers

  • Berkeley launches RISELab, enabling computers to make intelligent real-time decisions
  • Amazon, Google, Huawei, and Microsoft sponsor UC Berkeley RISELab, AMPLab's successor
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    Brotli is a new open source compression algorithm designed to enable an Internet that's faster for users. Modern web pages can often be made up of dozens of megabytes of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and that's before accounting for images, videos, or other large file content, which all makes for hefty downloads. Such loads are why pages are transferred in compressed formats; they significantly reduce the time required between a website visitor requesting a web page and that page appearing fully loaded on the screen and ready for use. While the Brotli algorithm was announced by Google in September 2015, only recently have the majority of web browsers have adopted it. The HTTP servers Apache and nginx now offer Brotli compression as an option. Besides Google, other commercial vendors (such as Cloudflare and DreamHost) have begun to deploy support for Brotli as well.
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  • Toyota and Ford Promote Open Source Smartphone Interfaces
    Ford and Toyota have formed a four-automaker consortium to speed up the deployment of open source software for connected in-car systems, according to a report by Bloomberg. The SmartDeviceLink Consortium, which includes Mazda, PSA Group, Fuji, and Suzuki, aims to prevent Apple and Google from controlling how drivers connect smartphones to their vehicles. Suppliers Elektrobit, Harma, Luxoft, QNX, and Xevo have also joined the organization, which is named after an open source version of Ford’s AppLink connectivity interface, a system used in over 5 million vehicles globally.
  • What your code repository says about you
    "You only get one chance to make a first impression," the old saying goes. It's cliche, but nevertheless sound, practical advice. In the realm of open source, it can make the difference between a project that succeeds and a project that fails. That's why making a positive first impression when you release a repo to the world is essential—at least if your motivations involve gaining users, building a community of contributors, and attracting valuable feedback.
  • The Open Source Way of Reaching Across Languages
    I don’t speak Spanish, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn some important things from this video. The visuals alone are quite instructive. At my public library job, I mentor a number of wonderful Latino youth. One of them might ask me about open source CAD software — and I’ll direct them right to this FOSS Force article. Of course, I subscribed to the YouTube channel of the creator of this video, and also clicked on its like button. If the screencast creator comes back to look at this video in February, they’ll find that they have a number of new subscribers, a number of likes for the video and the video view count might be more than 100. All those indicators will be encouragement for them to make their next open source screencast. And so it goes. That’s how we support each other in the open source world.
  • School systems desperate for standards-aligned curricula find hope
    Open Up Resources is a nonprofit collaborative formed by 13 U.S. states that creates high-quality, standards-aligned open educational resources (OERs) that are openly licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Unlike other providers, Open Up Resources provides curriculum-scale OER options; they believe that while many people seem to know where to find supplemental materials, most curriculum directors would not know where to look if they were planning a textbook adoption next year.
  • Visual Studio Test joins Microsoft's open source push [Ed: More openwashing of proprietary software from Microsoft, which interjects surveillance into compiled code]
  • Microsoft Open-Sources DirectX Shader Compiler [Ed: Windows lock-in.]

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