Intel, FTC in talks to settle antitrust case

Intel Corp. and the Federal Trade Commission are in talks to settle an antitrust case against the chip maker, a move that might increase competition in the chip market but also could make it more difficult for rivals to pursue damages, reports the Associated Press. In December, the FTC filed charges against Intel, seeking to end what it described as decades of illegal sales tactics that have hampered competitors and kept prices for computer chips artificially high. This week, the FTC and Intel agreed to suspend administrative trial proceedings as they work on hashing out a settlement. The FTC accused Intel of strong-arming computer makers into exclusive deals, manipulating technical data to make its chips look more powerful than those from competitors, and blocking rivals from making its chips work with Intel’s. Intel has disputed the charges. A settlement would be at least a partial victory for Intel, said Robert Lande, director of the American Antitrust Institute at the University of Baltimore. If Intel loses in court, rival chip makers such as Nvidia Corp. would be able to pursue damages. By contrast, settlements often come without any admission of wrongdoing. A key question remains whether the settlement will affect computer prices. Intel says its sales strategies help keep chip prices low; the FTC argues that prices haven’t fallen as much as they could have.

The case is particularly important, because the FTC has said it wants to change Intel’s behavior, instead of merely issuing fines…

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Can green tech operate under Moore’s Law?

Doubling the performance of clean-energy technologies every 18 months, as the semiconductor industry has seen with Moore’s Law, is a tough goal to hit. But executives from General Electric and Intel say the same technical and business concepts that underpin Moore’s Law can play out in green tech, CNET reports. Green technologies are following the same type of cost curve as Moore’s Law did in semiconductors, says Steve Fludder, vice president of Ecomagination at GE. In the case of solar, higher volumes of manufacturing of silicon cells have steadily cut costs every year, while newer thin-film technologies pave the way for lower prices and jumps in performance. The same is happening in wind power, where the quality and reliability of turbines has improved as the industry has ramped up in the past decade. Now, the industry is looking at direct-drive turbines for a boost in performance, Fludder said. Organizations can save a significant amount of money by reducing the energy consumption of their data centers, which has an environmental benefit as well. But some of the biggest challenges are institutional, not technical, experts say. The technology is readily available and the economic incentive is there, but IT managers’ performance historically has not been measured based on energy consumption, said Chris Mines, senior vice president and research director at Forrester Research…

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Intel partners with McGraw-Hill on updated Classmate PC

Intel's newest Classmate PC features a partnership with McGraw-Hill.
Intel's newest Classmate PC features an elementary reading program from McGraw-Hill.

Intel’s newest Convertible Classmate PC design, unveiled April 26, gives elementary school students a chance to have “micro-mobility” as they move between individual, small-group, and whole-class activities, Intel says. The new Classmate portable computing device also includes improved energy efficiency and enhanced eReading capabilities.

Intel has joined forces with McGraw-Hill to include that company’s LEAD21—a new elementary school literacy program that offers students and teachers full print, digital, and professional development resources—on the new education technology device.

“Rich content and innovative applications bring the unique Classmate PC design to life, providing a complete solution that makes learning fun and teaching effective,” said Greg Pearson, vice president of the sales and marketing group and general manager of worldwide sales and operations for Intel.…Read More

Intel honors science excellence

The twop three winners of the Intel Science Talent Search contest took home scholarships totaling more than $200,000.
The top three winners of the Intel Science Talent Search contest took home scholarships totaling more than $200,000.

Space exploration could become cheaper and more efficient, and scientists might understand how genetics influence the spread of prostate cancer—thanks to the work of some very talented high school students.

The Washington, D.C.-based Society for Science and the Public honored the 2010 winners of the Intel Science Talent Search on March 16, recognizing 40 high school seniors for their original research projects.

Students entered a variety of project topics, including the study of racial genetic factors that might affect the spread of prostate cancer, using cluster analysis of objects in the night sky to study the structure and evolution of the early universe, and researching ways to reverse drug resistance in breast cancer cells.…Read More

Who’s No. 1 in school sales and why it matters

If you know who rules school computer sales, you have a pretty good idea of what formats are likely to be favored by school software writers and you enjoy a sort of indirect, peer review among the brands vying for your school technology dollars.

Trouble is, it can be devilishly difficult to separate truth from hype when you look at the claims and counter-claims offered by manufacturers, resellers, and market research outfits.

Gateway 2000, the South Dakota-based manufacturer of Intel-standard PCs, claims to be overtaking Apple as the number one supplier of desktop and portable computers to the education market. Yet Apple and some industry analysts disagree.…Read More

Net PCs: Can they TKO your TCO?

Net PCs are scaled-down machines that derive most of their power from a central server. They don’t contain CD-ROMs or disk drives, and their hard drives are meant to be used as a local memory cache. The server performs most of the work such as storing data and processing applications. As a result, Net PCs are relatively easy to install and manage, which may keep you total cost of ownership (TCO) down. If you’re considering Net PCs for your computing needs, here are a few models you’ll want to check out.

Gateway e1000N

Processor: Intel Pentium 200 MHz …Read More