Safety issues related to cell phone radiation are still up for debate. But for consumers concerned about radiation emitted from their cell phones, CNET has put together a guide to radiation levels of individual phones. Mobile phone reviewer Kent German talks with podcast host Jennifer Guevin in the studio about which phones top the list .
The Phoenix lander touched down safely on Mars on Sunday, and NASA has already released some of its first images as it begins prospecting for water in the Red Planet's northern polar region. Scientists only have about three months before the darkness of winter will shut down the craft.
The open-source movement can stifle innovation, SAP executive Shai Agassi reportedly said in a speech this week, where he obliquely compared the movement to socialism.
"Intellectual property socialism is the worst that can happen to any IP-based society," he was quoted saying by VNUNet. "And we are an IP-based society. If there is no way to protect IP, there is no reason to invest in IP."
The sentiment isn't uncommon in proprietary software circles, and has raised the hackles of many in the open-source movement. And while Agassi's quote wasn't quite as inflammatory as Bill Gates' communist comment , it was enough to heat up the blogosphere.
Blog community response:
"I'm no open source zealot to be sure, but it does strike me that this is possibly one of the best proposals for unleashing developer productivity, developing new applications , and creating a new class of infrastructure technology ." -- Venture Chronicles
"There are plenty of comments floating round the blogosphere and instead of the unavoidable SAP/Shai bashing - the real question should be how the Open Source community can work with SAP so that customers profit regardless of which choice they make." -- The Silent Penguin
"At least it's only socialism this time, rather than full on communism." -- UK Open Source MediaWatch
Margaret is news editor for CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. She also oversees the CNET Blog Network. E-mail Margaret .
Microsoft's discussions with Yahoo "intensified" Friday as the two companies considered possibilities for a last-minute friendly acquisition, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing anonymous sources.
While a deal is far from imminent, the two sides are talking more directly than they have for some time, a source familiar with the situation told CNET News.com. The talks, which picked up steam on Friday, are being held in the San Francisco Bay Area, with at least some of the parties on both sides meeting in person, the source said.
And The New York Times had a similar assessment, citing a source who said talks were back on and that Microsoft had increased its offer by "several dollars." Late Friday afternoon, the Journal said that the two companies were "discussing a possible price in the mid-$30s range per share."
The purported talks, if successful, could spare Microsoft the trouble and time of a hostile bid for the search company, if indeed it chooses not to walk away from its three-month-long attempt to acquire Yahoo .
The talks are no guarantee a deal will close, but investors found the evidence convincing. Yahoo's stock rose $1.82, or 7 percent, to $28.63, in late-day trading.
It should be noted that Microsoft's position, as viewed through the "people familiar with the matter" who have The Wall Street Journal on speed dial, has changed dramatically in a short period of time. In the last day, Microsoft has moved from threatening to walk away, to threatening go hostile with the acquisition , to back in "intense" talks.
But posturing is par for the course in any serious negotiation.
If you're buying a car, for example, threatening to walk away and then insisting you won't settle for a higher price can help minimize the amount you end up paying.
Microsoft has various options to consider in its attempt to acquire Yahoo . Hostile ones include making a tender offer directly to shareholders and offering an opposing slate for election to Yahoo's board of directors.
This report was jointly written by News.com staff writer Stephen Shankland.
Google shares jumped nearly 9 percent in intraday trading Friday, as analysts chimed in with favorable reports following the company's strong third quarter performance.
Google climbed as high as $384 a share during the day, after reporting a stronger than expected third quarter on Thursday after the markets close. Google's rally marks its second consecutive day of gains, in which its shares have risen as much as 11.7 percent.
Analysts overwhelmingly gave Google a thumbs up in its ability to control costs in the quarter, aiding the company's ability to exceed analysts earnings estimates.
UBS Securities analyst Benjamin Schachter, noting he expects Google to exhibit strong cost controls going forward, increased his earnings estimates for Google to $19.80 a share from $19.18 a share for 2008, as well as bumping up 2009 estimates to $22.69 a share from $21.92 a share.
Jim Friedland, an analyst with Cowen & Co., noted that Google hired 519 employees in the quarter, compared with 1,830 a year ago. And capital expenditures stood at $452 million in the third quarter, compared with $698 million in the previous quarter and $842 million in the first quarter.
J.P. Morgan analyst Imran Khan also touted Google's ability to control costs, but he also expressed concern about Google's revenues going forward.
Said Khan in his research note:
We think the company benefited from progress made in increasing coverage and stronger than expected network revenue. Going forward, we expect the macroeconomic drag to be slightly offset by market share gains from other search engines and other forms of advertising media. However, as our economic outlook has deteriorated, we are lowering our domestic revenue estimate to $11.9 billion from $12.6 billion.
Goldman Sachs also cut its Google revenue estimates for 2008 through 2010, as well as lowered its price target on the Internet titan.
Goldman dropped its Google revenue forecast to $15.8 billion from $15.9 billion for fiscal 2008, lowered its 2009 forecast to $18.2 billion from $19.4 billion and its 2010 to $20.6 billion from $23.2 billion.
Said Goldman in a research note:
Results did not tell us much about future revenue, as Google did not comment on intra-quarter trends except to highlight the consumer fascination with the financial crisis, which may or may not imply fewer commercial searches ...We reduce our price target to $520 due to slower long-term revenue growth and incorporation of stock-based compensation into our DCF .
Goldman, however, raised its earnings outlook for Google for 2008, citing tight cost controls and higher margins and a healthier free cash flow as a result. Earnings estimates were raised to $20 a share from $19.45 a share for 2008.
But given questions around Google's future revenues in a challenging environment, Goldman lowered its earnings expectations for 2009 to $22.20 a share from $22.46 a share, and in 2010 to $25.25 a share from $25.42 a share.Dawn Kawamoto covers enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News. E-mail Dawn .
Will Apple's decision to use Nividia chips in its new MacBooks be a catalyst for change?
With all the hoopla surrounding Apple's choice of Nvidia graphics in its new MacBooks fading, it remains to be seen if Nvidia's GeForce 9400M has legs.Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q708 may presage other designs with Nvidia GeForce 9400M
Intel has a successful integrated graphics franchise and is the leader in laptop graphics. Before I get slammed, let me be clear that I'm not talking about performance. I'm referring to market share. Many laptop suppliers--particularly in the low-cost and ultraportable segments--default to Intel graphics because it offers adequate performance, reasonable power efficiency, and it's cheap .
The question is, can Nvidia's GeForce 9400M change the industry practice of opting for Intel simply because its solution is adequate and cheap? And, is Apple signaling a sea change? The first indications are that the 9400M offers improvement over Intel's graphics , according to CNET Reviews.
And Apple was getting plenty of feedback apparently. Nvidia's recent statement in a conference call may be representative of what other PC makers are hearing from their customers. Apple was getting "a lot of feedback...from the Apple community" who were demanding better graphics, according to Bill Henry, director of notebook marketing at Nvidia.
Nvidia's one-chip 9400M is truly an integrated solution and thereby a direct Intel competitor. In addition to the graphics-dedicated transistors that make up about 70 percent of the die area, the 9400M chipset includes a memory controller, PCI Express, USB ports, SATA ports, high-definition audio, and legacy support. Importantly, Nvidia said it has maintained the same power envelope of Intel graphics.
But it's not clear whether this will change the dynamics of the market. Whether, for example, the largest vendors that now use Intel integrated graphics in ultraportables will opt for Nvidia as Apple did with its Air. There is a formidable list of vendors that use Intel's GM45. Hewlett-Packard , Dell , Sony , and Toshiba .
Or maybe a market shift will happen elsewhere. Toshiba has offered a glimpse of what some may do. The high-end Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q708 was announced last week, packing an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9300, a 128GB solid state drive, and integrated GeForce 9400M graphics paired with two Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTS graphics chips.
The beauty of this design is that a user can switch between the power-sipping 9400M when doing undemanding tasks and the powerhouse 9800 GTS graphics when playing games.
And reports claim that new designs from HP, Dell, and Asus will use the 9400M.
But the jury's out. We'll have to wait to see what other PC makers elect to do over the coming months and whether putting Nvidia graphics in ultraportables and other laptop designs is a new imperative.
Last night, word began to circulate that Yahoo had purchased blog-centered social-networking service MyBlogLog for around $10 million. The Orlando, Fla.-based MyBlogLog, which launched in July, had been rumored to be a potential Yahoo acquisition for some time now .
Now it's set in stone: Yahoo execs have confirmed the acqusition. The price tag, however, remains unconfirmed.
"At Yahoo, we have a global community of over a half a billion users, but we're always looking for ways to better connect the people in that community to each other and to the communities that they care about," Chad Dickerson, senior director of the Yahoo Developer Network, wrote in a blog posting . "MyBlogLog helps us do this like never before. If blogging was originally about building a community and having a conversation with people in that community, then MyBlogLog provides the missing link that makes those connections more real."
Meanwhile, Yahoo has no plans to change the MyBlogLog Web site, distribution or branding, he said.