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 Alexander Wolfe
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Profile of Alexander Wolfe

News & Commentary Posts: 624
Alexander Wolfe is a former editor for InformationWeek.
Articles by Alexander Wolfe
posted in January 2008

Build-A-PC Chronicles: Reviving A Dusty Old Case

1/31/2008
Embarking on a PC construction project is the opposite of building a new relationship. With the latter, the first flush of discovery is the fun part. In contrast, gathering up all the components for the computer is an expensive drag. Nothing is less enticing than picking out a case. The difference nowadays is that the PC's enclosure used to be an afterthought. Now, with hot-running modern processors, it's cri

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AMD's Bug-Free Barcelona Is Ahead Of Schedule

1/30/2008
System builders and end-users still troubled over the fallout from the bug in AMD's quad-core Barcelona and Phenom processors can take comfort from some good news. Sources close to AMD tell me that the new B3 stepping, which corrects the problems via a silicon fix, is ahead of schedule and things are looking good. Here are the details.

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Bill Gates For Senate

1/28/2008
Nostradamus I'm not. Most of my past tech-industry predictions have fallen flat: Sun Microsystems didn't buy Apple, Apple hasn't acquired Motorola, and OS/2 never beat out Windows. But here's one prognostication you can take to the bank: Sometime after he retires from Microsoft, when being a world-class philanthropist begins to get a wee bit boring, Bill Gates will run for public office.

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iPhone 1.1.3 Update Raises Text-Messaging Bug

1/27/2008
The latest iPhone firmware update, pushed out by Apple in mid-January, is raising a raft of bug reports on Apple's own iPhone forums, with dozens of posters complaining that it messes up SMS (text message) conversations, causing them to appear out of order. The glitch is all the more vexing given that the 1.1.3 update was supposed to help iPhone users send SMS messages to multiple people. For Apple's part, it has posted a support document admitting that "SMS messages may be displayed in the wron

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AMD Won't Comment On IBM Takeover Reports

1/25/2008
The latest chatter surrounding AMD is talk of a possible acquisition by IBM. That thread began making its way around on Wednesday, via a Reuters story quoting a Wall Street Analyst. AMD, for its part, told me it won't comment. My take is that acquisition isn't in the cards right now, but it's highly likely that AMD and IBM will expand their already existing partnership, which began in 2003 when the two joined forces on the development of 65-nm chip-fabrication technology.

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Intel Blog Warns Of Multicore Crisis

1/23/2008
No, it's not what you think. There's no hardware problem with dual- and quad-core processors. The alarm an Intel blogger has sounded is a warning to software developers. This doesn't make it any less serious; here's the deal.

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5 MacBook (Hot) Air Alternatives

1/20/2008
The MacBook (Hot) Air is the usual triumph of wannabe coolness over value. But once we get away from the self-congratulatory Apple polishers, who pat themselves on the back for recognizing how "insanely great" Steve Jobs is -- while conspicuously advertising they've got the dough to purchase another toy, one without a DVD drive, yet -- most of us want a computer we can live with for business and leisure. That means a Windows machine. Fortunately, there are some nice ultra-portables out there.

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Boeing 777 Near-Disaster: Can Anyone On Board Fly This Thing?

1/18/2008
It's every passenger's worst nightmare: You're cruising along at 30,000 feet when the lights suddenly go out and the engines quit. The cockpit crew has been struck down by food poisoning. A terrified stewardess (sorry, "flight attendant") yells out: "Is there a pilot on board?" OK, that's a bad movie plot. But what happened in London on Thursday is actually scarier, and would've been a huge disaster, if not for the hero pilot.

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AMD Quad-Core Barcelona Gets Big Boost From Little-Known Benchmarks

1/16/2008
Amid the battering AMD has taken in recent months, ranging from processor bugs to sagging finances, I've discovered what's sure to be some welcome news: A bunch of under-the-radar benchmark tests run by a respected tech guy, which puts AMD's quad-core Opteron (aka Barcelona) processor in a great light. Moreover, he gives AMD's new native-quad architecture a rave review, identifying what he believes are the technical reasons for its strong performance.

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Is Podcasting Dead?

1/13/2008
Podcasting was famously born in 2000, with Tristan Louis, Dave Winer, and former MTV veejay and legend in his own mind Adam Curry variously crystallizing the concept and creating a market for audio files encapsulated in RSS feeds. Now, it's 2008 and time to admit that the actual uptake of podcasts by users hasn't, and never will, come close to the hype.

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Sex Ads Are Craigslist's Dirty Secret

1/7/2008
Nowhere do the highest aspirations of the Internet and its sewer-dwellers come together in an unholy alliance like they do at Craigslist. On the one hand, the site is the uber-community of the online world, where anybody can connect for a job, apartment, or to sell their old junk. On the other hand, you see situations like the malicious, fake ad where someone posted a woman's name

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HDTV Buyer's Guide 2008

1/3/2008
A roundup of the most popular high-definition televisions from Sharp, Samsung, Sony, Hitachi, and more, along with a guide to HDTV technology basics.

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RIAA Behaving Badly; Let's Cut Their Copyright Privileges

1/2/2008
Innocent consumers are being bothered by another round of the record industry behaving badly, via more lawsuits and anti-copying threats. This time, though, I've got a solution. We should do what we do to children who misbehave: Take away their privileges. Here's the deal.

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