November 30, 2004

New PS2 Sold Out Everywhere

Best Buy, Target, Toysrus,, EB Games, and Gamestop. What do they all have in common? They are all sold out of the new slim design PS2. I saw a bunch for sale in the New York Toysrus store a couple weeks ago, but other than that nada anywhere else. I bet its sold out there now. The shortage is so bad eBay sellers are getting $80 more vs. the $150 list price. You think that is bad? It is reported that London consumers are paying $750 to get one for Christmas.

November 29, 2004

Nvidia SLI Graphic Card Benchmarks

The Tech Report ran benchmarks on Nvidia’s SLI graphics technology. Performance was excellent across today’s games like Far Cry, Half-life 2, and Doom 3, however there were significant system stability issues and lockups. I can’t believe the two graphics cards draws down almost 365 watts of power. You definitely need a super hefty power supply.

Adding a second GeForce 6800 Ultra card to the system increases its power consumption by 94 watts—nothing to sneeze at. With a GeForce 6800 Ultra SLI rig pulling 365W at the outlet, you're going to need a very beefy power supply and a case with exceptional cooling in order to make the system run stable. I should mention, however, that NVIDIA and Asus have some work to do on system stability. I ran into way too many lock-ups with the SLI test system during my testing. The problems were intermittent but came in bunches and seemed to be related to heat.

November 26, 2004

World of Warcraft Breaks Sales Records

Blizzard's latest game, World of Warcraft, sold 250,000 units in the first day breaking sales records for a PC game, online or offline. The company announced over 200,000 registrations and already 100,000 people are playing at the same time. If this keeps up with massive sales and great reviews, Blizzard is set to have a gold mine with their $14.99 a month fee. Just do the math, say 300,000 sold in a few months X $15 a month X 12 months = $54 million in annual revenue.

November 22, 2004

Spyware Removal Review Roundup

Ars reviews five spyware removal programs in the typical intense fashion. Spyware is definitely becoming the most pervasive nuisance in computing. I agree with the conclusion that Lavasoft's Ad-aware is a godsend for IT troubleshooters. I can't believe its still totally free.

If there's one program that works well and does a thorough job, use it and move on with your life. Simply put, Ad-Aware is that program. Given its quality and its price, it's hard to come up with reasons to use another program. Unless you require a resident scanner, Ad-Aware is the clear choice.

Nintendo DS Initial Review and Impressions by Arogan

Stopped by today at Best Buy and picked one up with no problems. No forced bundle either. $150. It comes with a metroid demo. Frys is enforcing bundling. I also picked up Super Mario 64 DS for $30.

First Impressions
- It's big. Much bigger and thicker than I thought it would be. One word you would NOT use to describe the device is sleek.
- Shares the same port as Gameboy SP, so you can use it's ac adapter and headphone adapter. It also has a built in headphone port.
- Graphics are n64 level with a very solid framerate. Metroid looks very good.
- Sound is nice too. I really like the stereo speakers. Volume is pretty good, but could be a bit louder.
- Has 6 buttons (4 on the face, 2 shoulder). I can see a perfect SF2 on this system.
- Only digital control pad, no analog stick.
- Comes with a wrist strap that hooks to the top of the device. At the end of the strap is a small plastic nub and loop that you are suppose to fit around the end of your thumb and use it as a thumb stylus. There is also a regular stylus that slides into a storage slot on the back.
- DS carts go on top and spring lock/release, gba carts go on the bottom.
- Has a built in chat room app that lets you draw/type messages.
- User removable battery. [Read More]

- Ok the controls completely suck. You have basically two ways to control it. Run around and strafe with the left pad, use the thumb stylus on the lower touch screen to "mouse look." Unless you have mutant 7 inch long thumbs this is going to feel really awkward. Your right hand pretty much has the thumb stretched way over and uses maybe the right half of the touch screen only since you can't reach the other side. The strap the thumb stylus is attached to is awkwardly wrapped behind the machine and gives you just enough travel distance (a little more length would have been welcomed or just have it attach to the bottom!). Then, your right hand can't do barely anything else. In this awkward stretched position you can't really hit any buttons, not even the shoulder button very well. You end up using your left hand to move and shoot with the shoulder and support most of the weight. If this all sounds very uncomfortable IT IS! Less than 5 min you are rewarded with two cramped hands in different places.
- The alternative control scheme is to use the 4 face buttons to "mouse look" which is bad to begin with but then they got up/down reveresed. OK nintendo this goes against EVERY SINGLE MAJOR PC AND CONSOLE look control scheme. And there is no way to flip the y axis. Maybe this will get flipped in the retail version when it comes out next year. If this was a flight simulator that would have been fine.
- Throw in jumping moving platform puzzles and you got a DS smashing good time.

- You start of playing as Yoshi instead of Mario (Mario gets lost in the castle). The levels and play are almost exactly like the n64 version except Yoshi has a tongue and eats/spits out stuff while mario grabs/throws. Yeah...not much difference.
- No analog stick again hurts the controls. The digital pad moves your character slowly at first then it accelerates after a second to medium speed. If you hit Y then you run. So there 3 set speeds. Now to run and jump you have to hit 2 face buttons at the same time. Also the smooth n64 360 analog stick is replaced with a clunky 8 way digital pad. Yeah try getting yoshi to point exactly in the right direction while the bomb things are after you. Frustrating.
- About 10 mini games (maybe you can unlock more). They are very simple and remind me of wario ware. I would say only about 2 are interesting and make good use of the stylus.

- It's as if Nintendo thought of all these cool hardware and alternative input features to promote new types of games, but they launch with ports and established game genres that scream for better traditional controls (read ANALOG PAD!!!!). If you are going to push tradition 3d type games then IMO you have to have an analog pad (if not two).
- The graphics and sound are there but the controls are not.
- Next batch of games come out dec 7. Hopefully Nintendo will have a killer app that makes good use of the new input controls. Even if they do the way it is designed it's always going to be an ergonomic nightmare.
- So far the touch screen feels pretty gimmicky. Great, now I have a dedicated hand held that controls as bad as my Pocket PC.


November 20, 2004

Recommended Product: APC Back-UPS ES 500 Backup Surge Protector Review

One of the first things I recommend to new computer users is to get an APC Backup UPS as soon as possible. You wouldn't believe how often your electricity is faulty and bad for your electronics. The product protects you against power surges, lightening strikes, and even has a battery to have a few minutes to power down if you get a black-out.

Back in my student days, the feature saved me a few pages of work on term papers. This APC Backup UPS costs under $60 and is well worth the peace of mind. There are also plenty of outlets to protect your new LCD monitor, printer, and other expensive gear.

November 19, 2004

PVR Comparison Chart

PVRblog has pointed me to this excellent PVR Comparison chart which shows all the differences and feature sets of the following PVRs: Tivo Basic, Tivo, ReplayTV 4500, ReplayTV 5000/5500, DirectTV, UltimateTV, and Comcast DVR.
Read - Comcast PVR Screenshots

First Howard Stern, Now Mel Karmazin

In a coup for Sirius Satellite Radio, the company announced they hired the former CEO of Viacom Mel Karmazin to a five contract. I admit was skeptical a few years ago, but now that I have XM satellite radio service, I'm a believer. This business is for real.

Word of warning to Mel, don't touch the no ads on the music channel pledge. The main reason I switched is the no commercials on music channels. I know you're the advertising heavy hitter, my advice is to stick to get ad deals on the talk and news channels. If you start putting ads on the music channels, I'm sure a huge chunk of your customers will leave.

"Karmazin's announcement had almost as much impact. It added more than $1 billion to Sirius' market value. Its stock, which had closed at $4.72, soared almost 20% in after-hours trading," USA Today reported. "This is a one-two punch," SG Cowen Securities analyst Tom Watts told the paper. "Up to now, Sirius has been more of a technology company. Seeing Howard come over, and now Mel, is transforming it into show business."

Nvidia and Intel in Chipset Cross-License

It took many years, but Nvidia finally signed a multi-year chipset license deal from Intel. Now we can look forward to SLI and Nforce motherboard chipsets using Intel processors. ATI has had this agreement for years. I have a feeling Nvidia's SLI technology attracted Intel to come to the table.

NVIDIA and Intel are working together to enhance the end-user computing experience,” added Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA. “NVIDIA’s product portfolio offers exciting technology options to Intel customers, including the NVIDIA nForce platform and the PCI Express-based SLI graphics technology solution.


Valve Tricking Game Pirates

Valve has admitted in an email they released a test "warez" version of Half-life 2 on the internet to catch game pirates. Anyone that tries to activate the game over Steam with a downloaded copy will be deleted and immediately banned. Tricky, tricky.

We're running a bit of an experiment. We're keeping track of the accounts that do this and will be shutting them off.


Another Developer Pontificates on Electronic Arts Labor Practices has an article on Joe Straitiff who was fired from Electronic Arts for refusing to work 80 hours a week. On one hand, many of these employees do get paid over $100k and get stock options. EA stock has doubled in the last couple of years, so don't minimize that. However the hundred hour weeks without overtime pay is a tough situation, especially if you are a lower level worker who doesn't get a lot of stock options.

But game industry employees argue that months-long crunches are too much. One former EA employee in Canada, who asked to remain anonymous, earned more than $100,000 as an art director but said the company expected an oppressive amount of work hours. He said he once worked for four months without a day off and put in 80 to 110 hours per week for about eight consecutive months.

November 18, 2004 Interview: Steve Shannon, Founder and EVP Sales of Akimbo

We spent some time and conducted an interview with a founder of Akimbo, a promising broadband video / content delivery provider that distributes their service using Tivo-like hardware. They are the leader in this hot new space, which believes is going to be a huge market. Think Netflix type model, but with a queue on a hard-drive Windows CE box connected to you TV.

We don't know yet who will eventually win. Microsoft? The vaunted Netflix / Tivo partnership? Cable companies? Or a new startup? Akimbo does have the early buzz and of course is on the case. For more information check out their website.

Tell us a quick company history and background on Akimbo?

Akimbo was founded in August 2002 with the goal of being the first to deliver broadcast-quality VOD over the Internet directly to TVs. After two years of R&D and innovation, the Akimbo Player and Akimbo Service began shipping late last month. [More]

What is your current role?

Founder and EVP Sales and Marketing.

What is Akimbo’s mission statement?

Akimbo's mission is to be the most popular Internet-based television entertainment service delivered through TVs.

Is HD and progressive scan playback in the cards in the near future? Or is the broadband pipe not fat enough?

It is - no time frame is announced yet though.

Why did you choose Windows CE over Linux?

So we could use windows media format and Windows digital rights management, the latter of which is a requirement of our content partners.

How do you think you compete vs. the impending Tivo and Netflix combination?

By focusing on being the world's best and largest VOD service for TVs. This isn't a side show for us, it is our future.

What is the typical download time for a 2 hour movie?

Anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Normal would be a little faster than real time with a good broadband connection.

What is the resolution of a typical Akimbo content program?

640x480 is the literal answer. Our content ranges from 700kbps to 1.5mbps. This is VHS to broadcast quality.

How many users do you have?

Not public - very few. We just began shipping a couple weeks ago.

Explain the pricing strategy. ($229 per h/w. $9.95/month + pay per view, etc.)

We sell the hardware at our cost. We charge $9.99/mo for a basic package of video and to fund the daily delivery of the guide itself. We have no advertising revenue. The rest is premium-tier content as is the case with cable, satellite, blockbuster, etc. Right now we are waiving the basic package fee through the end of the year as the content on the Akimbo Service is being ramped up.

Why didn’t you try the model of one price of $15 for 3-4 movies a month?

We don't offer studio movies yet. Once we do, we may choose to offer a plan like that. During the first year of our existence, our strategy is to offer video that isn't easily available elsewhere. Foreign language programs, educational programs, sports and cooking lessons and extreme sports are a few examples of the programs that are available now on Akimbo.

Other than CinemaNow do you plan to pursue the other movie studios?

Yes - we plan to have all movie studios on board. Note that we do not have Cinema Now's rental tier yet.

Are you focusing on the direct distribution model or do you plan on partnering with cable companies?

We will embed the service into a variety of 3rd party set-top boxes like satellite receivers, cable boxes, networked DVD players, and media centers. Our first will be the MS Windows XP Media Center.

What are the next major steps for the company?

To add a lot more content, including mainstream video, as well as to gain more distribution by deploying the service into 3rd party hardware.

Thank you for your time.

Thank you.


November 17, 2004

Microsoft with $400M Deal for Internet TV Software

Microsoft and SBC announced a 10 year $400 million deal where SBC will use Microsoft’s TV internet protocol software platform for next-generation TV services over IP. This means SBC is going full force in the fiber to the home broadband strategy of offering TV channels over the internet. The company plans trials by mid-2005 and commercial availability by late 2005. In conjunction with Project Lightspeed where SBC is wiring 18 million households by 2007 with super high speed fiber to the home internet access. SBC is hoping with this fiber broadband link, you will use them for every digital service imaginable. From PVR, VOIP phone service, cable TV, and internet access, they want the whole kanoodle. Before you get all excited, these things have a tendency to be delayed. I mean Microsoft would never hype things right? *cough* Read

Tivo to Include Banner Ads During Fast Forwards

Shhh. What's that sound? It's the collective sigh of 2 million Tivo users. Tivo is planning to include banner advertising when you fast forward through commercials starting March of 2005. First we had to pay up from $9.95 a month to $12.95 a month. Now we are going to have to suffer through banner ads. The company also plans one click feature to give our personal information to marketers if we like the product. Yay more junk mail and telemarketing calls. The next step is "couch commerce." No joke. Tivo expects to generate e-commerce sales using the Tivo remote. By March, TiVo viewers will see "billboards," or small logos, popping up over TV commercials as they fast-forward through them, offering contest entries, giveaways or links to other ads. If a viewer "opts in" to the ad, their contact information will be downloaded to that advertiser — exclusively and by permission only — so even more direct marketing can take place. Read

Anandtech's Half-life 2 Benchmarks

Anandtech just released their Half-life 2 benchmark guide with similar recommendations as HardOCP. Basically there isn't much difference in the high-end offerings from Nvidia and ATI. However in the mid-range, the 6600GT is the only viable choice for most people as the only AGP card on the market. BTW the game rocks. If you’re spending $200 - $300 you’ve got three choices for PCI Express graphics cards, and one for AGP. The NVIDIA GeForce 6800 is 12-pipe underclocked version of the 6800GT/Ultra and currently sells for close to $300, however in Half Life 2 the performance of the regular 6800 is not any better than the cheaper 6600GT, thus making our NVIDIA recommendation clear. But how does the 6600GT stack up to the X700 XT? The two GPUs are basically equal performers under Half Life 2, although the X700 XT is faster with AA enabled. If you need an AGP card however, then the 6600GT AGP is your only option (and far from a bad one at that). Read

Seagate Launches 400GB SATA Hard Drive

For you movie pirate teenagers being sued by the studio, Seagate released the hard-drive just for you today. 400 gigabytes, 7200 rpm, and 8 millisecond seek times are the features along with the latest and greatest Serial ATA interface. Seagate brags that its the industry's highest density per platter of 133GB. Wow.

My last few hard-drives have been Seagates as they tend to be the quietest ones out there with decent price, performance, and reliability.

Movie Studios Sue Their Best Customers

The widely telegraphed move of suing movie pirates including probably some teenagers on Kazaa was unleashed. The movie studios however won't give out the number of lawsuits, hoping the prospect of $30K fine per film will impede illegal movie downloading. Unlike their equally smart music industry buddies, the studios are not offering any amnesty program. They are prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law. Go rich companies go. Sue those teenagers! Read

Dell Loves Customers Including Best Buy's

In an amusing advertisement, Dell rips into Best Buy saying they love all their customers. This follows the recent Wall St. Journal article citing Best Buy executives wanting to get rid of their unprofitable loss-leader loving customers. Dell says come to Link

Treo 650 is up for Sale Direct from Sprint

TreoCentral users have ordered the Treo 650 direct from Sprint. I... MUST... NOT... BUY... IT... Somebody please stop me. I'm happy with the Treo 600, I really am. I don't need hi-resolution, bluetooth, more memory, faster processor, and better digital camera. I don't, right? Read

First Official Half-life 2 Benchmarks

The first benchmarks of the official release of Half-life 2 are out. They show that ATI doesn't have significant advantage over Nvidia cards. Morever the game seems to scale and work surprisingly well with older machines. New machines with the latest hardware can run 1600x1200 with all the bells and whistles nicely. As for calling one video card a "winner" over the other, it just does not seem feasible and would likely be irresponsible to do so. ATI’s X800 series has not thrashed NVIDIA’s 6800 series silicon as many expected. Half Life 2 simply plays great on video cards from both NVIDIA and ATI. So let’s make this clear. The ATI Radeon X800 series of video cards will deliver a stellar Half Life 2 gaming experience. Also… The NVIDIA GeForce 6800 and 6600 series of video cards will deliver a stellar Half Life 2 gaming experience. There are simply no losers to be found if you have recently upgraded your video card. You have likely all made good gaming investments. Read

Nvidia Releases 6600GT AGP Graphics Card

Nvidia released the AGP version of their mid-range next generation card 6600GT. At a price of $200-250 this is THE upgrade for the PC enthusiast with a 1-2 year old computer. The card gives a performance boost of 27-100% in Doom 3 vs. ATI’s 9800 Pro. ATI mid-range offering should offer comparable performance, but it won’t be available in AGP form anytime soon. Under Doom 3, the 6600GT performs at a minimum of 27% faster than the 9800 Pro at the lowest resolution we tested. Ramping up in resolution only widened the gap between the cards. The 6600GT remains playable all the way through our testing, while the 9800 Pro falls to less than half the 6600GT's frame rate at our highest resolution. Not only is this generation's midrange card outperforming a top of the line card from last year, but technologically and dollar for dollar this 6600GT is the very clear winner here as well. Read

November 16, 2004

Disney Working on Toy Story 3

Adding another layer of intrigue, without really consulting Pixar, Disney is going ahead in production of Toy Story 3. They have the contractual rights, however it's kind of insulting to do it without working with the creators (Pixar). Disney probably thinks Pixar is dead-set on leaving and using another distributor when contract ends after the release of Cars next year. Read

Tivo CEO Speaks at HBS

Michael Ramsey spoke on November 8th at Harvard Business School outlining the future plans for Tivo. He covered the impending threat of Microsoft and Comcast and future revenue opportunities in advertising and more premium services. Critics say TiVo's DVR is about to become commoditized—some companies give away DVRs free to customers—but Ramsay thinks there is a lot of life left in the old box. And while some commoditization is inevitable, Ramsay acknowledged, the bigger trend is that the DVR is becoming a platform for delivery of digital entertainment and services to the home. Read

Half-Life 2 is OUT!

The day is finally here. Get yourself Half-life 2 and hang out with us. Arogan's First Impressions: - 45min of play - the game is awesome so far. I spent several minutes just picking up trash and throwing them at the soldiers. - they physics is way cool and is already very well integrated into the gameplay - flaming barrels of fun! - half life 1 source is available too but takes quite a bit of time to downloading (which I'm doing right now - est 120 min uggg) - when talking to characters the facial expressions, lip syncing, and the way their eyes track you is just freaky but cool. - combat is already great and all I have is a pistol. - I like the new Barney - framerates are excellent so far (using catalyst 12 beta) I would say 40-70's (use launch options -console then cl_showfps 1 (or 2) in the console) - city 17 is really breath taking the first time you see it. - environments are well populated with clutter, lots you can interact with, you can flush the toilets but the faucets don't work. - quick save < 1 sec, quick load 4 sec, load between levels 15 sec Discuss - Interview with Valve - Problems with Startup

November 15, 2004

PalmOne Considering Microsoft and Linux

It certainly sounds like they are seriously looking at making a Treo on Linux or WindowsMobile. The Treo's core asset is the form-factor and software, so there is no reason why PalmOne couldn't duplicate their success on another platform. You did say that you evaluate other platforms. What's good about Linux or Microsoft? Linux is an open platform that has a different licensing structure. So there's some value in that. And it's more open to the developer community than a lot of operating systems, so there may be some value in that. On the other hand, it's very immature relative to this segment of the market, so there'll have to be a massive development effort to support that. Microsoft obviously has enormous resources to throw at the marketplace. They are particularly strong in the enterprise. They may have some more features, specifically in the media area where they've probably advanced the platform a little more aggressively than Palm has. So there are advantages to all these things, and you really have to look at what target market we are really going after, and if these advantages come to bear, and if we should do products that support those platforms. It's a massive effort to go and develop on another platform. It's not a trivial thing. It's not a decision we would make lightly, and we really have to feel like we are going to swing the market in a completely different direction to do it. Read

EA Offers to Buy Rest of Digital Illusions

EA announced a tender offer this morning for the rest of shares in Digital Illusions, the Swedish game developer which makes the Battlefield series of games. Currently EA owns 19% of DICE and wants the rest. Analysts are estimating the size of the tender offer to be $120-$150 million. Not a bad pay day for the Swedes. Read

November 13, 2004

Half-Life 2 Final Hours

Gamespot has an excellent lengthy article on the development of Half-life 2. Lots of insider details from the re-design, missed release dates, the source code leak, the hacker capture, and the lead up to final gold date, it's a good read. The source-code leak turned out to be only the opening salvo from a man calling himself "Osama Bin Leaker." (It would later be learned that the hacker was "Axel G," a 21-year-old man in Germany). On October 7, only three days after the source code leaked, the second bomb dropped: A playable version of the game was released, including portions of the E3 2003 demo. Newell didn't know what to think--was the worst over? "It just felt like each day things kept getting worse," he recalls. "First the source code. Then the game. And then people started using the game to compose their own screenshots of Dr. Kleiner performing [oral sex] on Alyx. It's basically your worst nightmare." Read

November 12, 2004

Dell CEO Considering AMD

Dell told reports on Wednesday the company is actively seeking AMD server CPUs in the future for its PCs. CEO Rollins pointed to AMD's technology lead on Intel in the 64-bit category as the primary reason for the shift in Dell's Intel-only strategy. "They've been getting better and better. The technology is better. In some areas they're now in the lead on Intel. That is what is interesting us more than anything." Rollins however did say they aren't considering AMD desktop CPUs yet due to manufacturing capacity issues. However analysts are skeptical as Dell has often in the past flirted with AMD just to win more concessions from daddy Intel. Read

EA Workers Readying a Class Action Lawsuit

With the celebrated blog entry of the EA spouse complaining about long hours and no over-time pay reverberating through the internet. Reporters have found out a Partner at Schubert & Reed LLP is pursuing a class action lawsuit against EA for improperly classifying employees, so they wouldn't have to pay overtime. "On July 29, 2004, a class action lawsuit was filed against Electronic Arts Inc. ("EA"). This communication responds to earlier email communications from EA management regarding the litigation. The lawsuit alleges that EA improperly classified some of its employees, including 'animators,' 'modelers,' 'texture artists,' 'lighters,' 'background effects artists' and 'environmental artists' as exempt from overtime, and therefore failed to pay those employees overtime compensation. Plaintiff's action seeks statutory penalties, damages, restitution, and injunctive relief. "EA denies plaintiff's claim. It is EA's position that it treats its employees fairly and lawfully, and that it has properly classified its employees within the meaning of the law. The plaintiff is seeking to bring this lawsuit on behalf of himself and to represent a proposed class of current and former EA employees as a class action. The Court has not yet certified this case as a class action" "If the case is certified, members of the class will be notified as directed by the Court, and may be given the opportunity to be excluded from the class ("opting out"), or to hire their own lawyers to represent them" "EA will not retaliate against employees for exercising legal rights, including by participating in the proposed class action." Sad to see white-collar workers slave away 90 hour weeks, while executives sell stock worth tens of millions in the past year. I have nothing against hard work and long hours, but I do think engineers deserve to get paid more for it. Of course we don't know how much stock option compensation these engineers also received for their efforts. But shown here it's obvious EA executives are not hurting and with over two billion dollars of cash on their balance sheet and no long term debt, they sure can afford to pay a few more shickels. Read

Marvel Suing NCSoft

Marvel is suing NCSoft because City of Heros allows customers to make super-heros that look like carbon copies of X-Men and Hulk characters. Courts will have an interesting time delving in this area as NCSoft just provides the tools and environment for its customers to be creative in a virtual world. Read

November 11, 2004

Microsoft's Google Killer Search Engine

Microsoft kept true to its word and launched a beta version of their new search engine using their own technology. The new engine indexes more than 5 billion pages and offers answers to factual questions using its Encarta encyclopedia. Google upped the ante by saying it doubled its index to over 8 billion pages. You have to love free market competition. The link to Microsoft's Google killer search engine is below. Link

Electronic Arts Labor Practices

A significant other of an Electronic Arts engineer pontificates on long hours. Empty promises and work schedules that went from 8 hours a day six days a week to 12 hours a day six days a week to 90 hours a week with no overtime compensation and no additional vacation days while executives made tens of millions is tough to take. This journaler says they will leave EA soon and the turnover of EA's Madden team is 50%! Wow. Read

Gmail Enhancements - POP3 and AV

The rich millionaire engineers at Google are hard at work at improving Gmail. Some beta users have received the ability to download their email using POP3 to Outlook or other desktop applications. Yahoo currently charges $19.95 a year for the POP3 feature. Google is also working on anti-virus protection and improving their spam filtering capability. I wish I worked at Google pre-IPO. The land of riches. Dennis Hwang sold almost half million dollars of Google stock on Monday. Guess what he does? He makes the cute Google logos during holidays. Oh by the way, he's 23 years old and probably a multi-millionaire.

Microsoft vs. Sony vs. Nintendo

With the huge success of Halo 2 and the Xbox hardware & software dominating the charts in the past six months, anyone care to think what will happen in the next-generation console war? In the current generation I bought two PS2s and then sold them on eBay. Bought and sold a Gamecube too. Both platforms had exclusives that I enjoyed, but after a while I got jealous of Xbox LIVE and the better ports done on Xbox. So a few months ago, I bought an Xbox. Although I'm scratching my head because after next few months, there is going to be a dearth of new releas as Xbox 2 is slated to come out in late 2005. What do you guys think? Xbox 2 with Rare and Bungie? Nintendo making a come back? Or does Sony continue to dominate in 2006 with PS3. I have to admit at the beginning of this cycle, I had no idea Nintendo would flounder and Xbox would be a solid #2. How will Nintendo differentiate itself from Xbox since both will use the same ATI graphics hardware and IBM PowerPC cpu? Let us discuss. Discuss

Halo 2 Makes $125M in One Day

2.4 million gamers stood in line to buy Halo 2 the first day it went for sale. For a 24 hour period it eclipsed any entertainment product in the history of mankind including blockbuster movies. Spiderman holds the record for 3 day take at $114M. "It's no longer just a huge game for us but has become a seminal milestone for the entire industry." - Peter Moore, Microsoft If Xbox has the same installed base as PS2, Halo 2 probably would of outsold GTA San Andreas.

November 10, 2004

First Dell 2005FPW Pictures Out in the Wild member A64 is the first to post his pictures of the Dell 2005FPW out in the wild. They are in the thread below. Enjoy.


Key Ruling on VOIP, Less Regulation, Less Taxes

The FCC made the right decision by voting 5-0 on a petition by VOIP provider Vonage, which wanted the company's product to be declared interstate giving the federal government regulatory control. Ever wonder why your phone bills are so high? It's because every local and state government politician wants a piece of the pie to pay for their pork barrel projects, so that can get re-elected. This ruling hopefully closes the door on local governments from taxing VOIP phone calls. However I'm sure politicians will do their best to fight back. Read

Microsoft to Launch Google Killer on Thursday

People talk about Steve Job's reality distortion field, but Microsoft likes to talk a big game too. Steve Ballmer is now on record that they will surpass Google in search starting with an official launch of their new engine this Thursday. Good luck Microsoft. Not. One sure loser in all this is Yahoo as Microsoft replaces Yahoo's Inktomi search engine for its own. Read

Sony Unveils Vaio U

Sony unveiled Vaio U, a 1.2lb pocket sized PC with 1.1ghz CPU, 800x600 resolution, 6.6 inch color screen, and 20 gigabyte hard-drive. It will be released in December at a hefty price of $2000. Kind of tough to figure out the end-market for this product. It's too big and heavy for PDA use and doesn't have a built-in keyboard for office applications, although you can attach one using a docking station. Read

November 09, 2004

Nintendo DS Early Impressions

IGN has early impressions of the Nintendo DS. For $149.99 you get the DS, AC adapter, a wrist "thumb" strap, Pictochat, Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, and 2 stylus pens. The "thumb strap" let you use your thumb instead of a stylus for touching the bottom screen when playing games. Each screen is 256X192 resolution, which is a bit larger than the GBA. The screens are back lighted however, which is much better vs. the front lighted GBA. Read

Mozilla FireFox 1.0 Release has finally released the 1.0 version of Firefox, the browser competitor to the evil empire's Internet Explorer. An amazing fact is Firefox users are already 35% of the traffic of Congrats to you readers for truly being First Adopters. Firefox comes with popup blocking, tabbed browsing (probably the killer feature currently), and true standards web rendering. I'll admit though I'm still sticking with IE due to the speed, but Firefox is gaining ground. Read

Halo 2 Early Impressions by Arogan

I was at Walmart last night at midnight. Got some free stuff and some nice glow pens. Bungie has hired a 3rd party to help promote the game. So there was a Halo 2 guy there handing out free stuff. Walmart was very unorganized and had NOT a CLUE on what was going on. It took them 40 minutes to find the damn game. Half the people left because the manager assured us they didn't get them in.

I hung around since they were calling other Walmarts. About 5 minutes later another employee came by and said he found them. We even pulled the Halo 2 colored notice post card taped in front of the register informing them of the midnight release when they kept acting like they were clueless. Real quality people work the graveyard shift at Walmart.

Very early impressions Single player:
- Dual wield is incredible and really adds a lot to the combat. I really like how you can pretty much mix and match any two single handed weapons but you also lose the ability to throw grenades. It's a great balance.
- Controls are about as perfect a gamepad can get for a fps.
- Wasn't able to test the 5.1 sound since it's kind of late.
- Graphics look a bit better, frame-rates are solid.
- Story is excellent so far. You get a lot more from the Convenant perspective this time.

- Played several 8 player matches and things were very smooth. There are several new team play variations but I still really enjoy good old CTF.
- 16 player games showed some lag and warping.

Bonus DVD:
- Standard video dvd.
- 4 features including a few making of's - SPOILERS. DO NOT WATCH until after you finish the game. I only watched a few minutes.

Yeah I'll finish this in 1 week before half life 2....just's that good.

America Online to Split Into 4 Units

AOL new CEO is taking the reins can restructuring the company by firing three senior executives, cutting 700 jobs, and splitting the company into four divisions. The division are Access (ISP, broadband), AOL Europe, Audience (selling ads), and Digital Services (VOIP, music sales). AOL is in dire straights as it lost 2 million subscribers in the past year, down to 22.7 million. As everyone moves to broadband, there is no point to stay on AOL. People are realizing paying $22 a month is a rip-off just to keep an old email address. The recent deal to include McAfee anti-virus software for free is a sign of things to come, but it’s too little too late. AOL die in peace. Read

PalmOne No Palm OS Cobalt Devices till 2006?

PalmOne's president has gone on record saying the company would not commit to releasing Palm OS Cobalt devices in 2005. "Nobody knows when we'll start the shift to Cobalt, OS 6, or on which devices," Mr. Colligan said. "For now, we're saying that we've built the functionality we need into the Treo and the Tungsten T5 and there's no need to confuse developers by switching. I'm not even prepared to commit us to a change next year, or the year after, at this stage." This is truly a bummer for Palm PDA fans. It looks like PalmOne is focusing on the Treo line of smart phones and doesn't care about the latest and greatest operating system. Moreover it adds fuel to the fire that PalmOne may switch to Windows Mobile OS next year. It's pretty pathetic that we haven't seen any Cobalt devices yet since the OS was released at the beginning of 2004. Do device makers not like Cobalt? Read

November 08, 2004

Spitzer Nails eBay False Bidders

I have to hand it to Eliot Spitzer. He is going to be governor of New York some day for his efforts in bringing down mutual funds, insurance companies, and investment banks. And now he just nailed a bunch of eBay scammers who used falsified bids to jack up prices. One buyer, Brad Clarke, 48, of Peachtree City, Ga., already has received a check for $3,089 after overpaying for a 1999 Jeep Cherokee sport utility vehicle he bought on eBay from a New York seller in 2002. Eight eBay sellers will pay $90,000 in fines after they admitted bidding up prices. Three sellers allegedly made 610 bids in 106 car auctions. I wonder how they figure out how much each person gets back in restitution. eBay is full of scammers. Watch out! Read

Creative Announces Sound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro

It's been a long time since Creative has launched a new soundcard. The new Audigy 4 Pro seems to be for the music home entertainment ethusiast. No real feature strikes my fancy. It has 6 stereo inputs / outputs, karaoke vocal remover, THX, EAX 4.0, and two 1394 firewire ports. I think Creative will win the FirstAdopter award for most glacial technology market leader in terms of innovation. Good thing Intel is attacking the company from underneath with new motherboard audio technologies. If it wasn't for that, we'd still be paying $100-300 for the last decade's sound technology. Read

Halo 2 Review Barrage

I heard there is some game coming out this week. I doubt it will be worth playing. *cough*

Oh Bungie how far you've come from the good old Macintosh days. So rich, so powerful now with a tens of million dollar marketing budget from the evil empire itself. That's it! The Convenant is metaphor for Microsoft. You use the empire's money to make fun of itself. Haha, Bungie you rock.
IGN - Gamespy - Gamespot

November 05, 2004

Star Wars Episode III Trailer

The first Episode III trailers are out. The first two pre-quel movies flat out sucked, let's hope this one is different. However I don't expect much since it seems George Lucas doesn't seem to take any criticism to heart these days. Being a billionaire makes one a bit heady and arrogant I think. That being said, YES I will go an see this movie to complete the pre-quel trilogy. I can't believe we keep paying Lucas hundreds of millions of dollars for crap just because the original story was so good. Watch

Pixar's New Film - Cars Trailer

Now that Incredibles is out, Pixar released a trailer for their next film "Cars" coming out a year from now. Frankly this one doesn't look that great, but what do I know. I thought the same thing when the trailers for Finding Nemo came out. Watch

Mossberg Reviews Motorola RAZR V3

Walter Mossberg, the partaker of the job I would die for, reviews Motorola's RAZR V3 this week. He loves the all metal construction, design, and form-factor calling it the best the company has done since the old Star Trek StarTac flip phone in 1996. The phone is 3.4 ounces and 3.9"X2"X0.5" in size.

It seems the Mossman is wowed more by the design than any real features. He even complains the UI and email interface is a bit clunky. The RAZR is set to go on sale on November 15th through Cingular at $499 for 2 year contract. Seems a bit pricey when you can get a Treo or a RIMM Charm smart-phone, but I guess its a different market.

Nokia Plans 40 Handsets for 2005

Nokia plans on launching 40 new handsets next year to catch up to its rivals Samsung and Motorola. The market leader has been beaten to a pulp this year for not having fashionable clam-shell type phones. The public decided that Nokia's brick form-factor was a thing of the past. The amazing thing is the market growth projections. Nokia expects 630 MILLION phones to be sold this year and 10% growth on that in 2005. Looks like a LOT of people are annually refreshing their phones as a fashion item. I want to refresh my Treo 600 for a Treo 650 myself. Hmmmm. Read [Via Engadget]

BitTorrent 35% of Internet Traffic?

According to Cachelogic, a British research firm, BitTorrent accounts for 35% of all internet traffic. It astounds me sites like still remain in business with its blatant piracy of movies, TV shows, and games. I presume they are outside the legal boundaries of U.S. law. Warning to all those who use these services, the movie industry is now about to sue individual file sharers. BitTorrent does NOT hide your IP address. In fact it makes it open for the whole internet to see. Public P2P is definitely on the wane these days. Just for kicks I tried Kazaa yesterday, it loads tons of spyware on your computer and made my PC slow to a crawl + crash a bunch of times. And you get the lovely random pop-up advertisements. I uninstalled it pronto and ran Lavasoft Ad-aware to get rid of the spyware. It made me feel so dirty. Read

Virginia Gets Tough on Spammers

Finally a state has the guts to clamp down on the EVIL of our time. No not global terrorism or some dude in a cave, I'm talking about SPAM. Virginia convicted the 8th most prolific spammer in the world with a 9 year sentence and $7500 fine. Mr. Jeremy Jaynes was nabbed for falsifying send information. So for you spammers who keep sending me those Viagra emails, watch out! Our government is finally doing something. Read

November 04, 2004

MPAA to Sue Their Best Customers

The Associated Press is reporting the Motion Picture Association of America is going to follow their music industry buddies this Thursday by suing 200 individuals over movie P2P piracy. Got to love how these conglomerates love suing their best customers. I mean how many people that download the crappy renditions of movies online stop going to movie theaters? They should focus on stopping DVD piracy in China vs. annoying American consumers and their privacy. Read

ATI Working on SLI Technology

According to sources, ATI is working on SLI technology to compete with Nvidia. The code-name is "Multi-Rendering" and the plan to to introduce the technology in 2005. I rather ATI focus on making cheaper and better graphics cards even ones with dual graphic cores vs. trying to match Nvidia feature for feature. Putting all the graphics technology on one card is definitely more efficient and cheaper. Furthermore using up two PCI Express slots and two power plugs isn't that great either. SLI sure didn't save 3dfx Interactive.

Samsung Develops Thin CRT

Samsung is developing a 32 inch thin HDTV CRT television to compete with low-end LCD TVs. The new TVs will be 35cm deep about 40% smaller than normal TVs and cost about $1000.

Traditional CRTs have better response times, picture quality, and full 1080 HDTV resolution, but are much bigger and weigh more than the latest flat panel LCDs and plasma TVs. Samsung is betting the CRT isn't a dinosaur yet with a new thinner line. As a current Samsung CRT HDTV owner myself, I approve of this message. Read

November 03, 2004

Dell Launches New 20" LCD Monitor - UltraSharp 2005FPW

UPDATE: Dell has contacted and said 2001FP is NOT being replaced. Dell sees the 2005FPW as a new addition to their product line as their "wide-screen" LCD monitor. The email is as follows -

The 2005FPW does NOT replace the 2001FP. It is a new addition to our product line. It is Dell’s first widescreen, but we do feel customers will still want a 20” standard 4:3 aspect-ratio monitor, so we are not discontinuing the 2001FP, nor will there be a “firesale.”

Dell released a new 20" LCD monitor which replaces the 2001FP. Improvements include a 16:10 aspect ratio, a lower response time (12ms vs 16ms) and a initial price of $799. It looks like the 2001FP is going on firesale to get rid of inventory.

Technical specifications of the Dell UltraSharp 2005FPW include:
Native Resolution: 1680 x 1050 @ 60Hz
Response Time (typical): 12ms grey-to-grey, 16ms black-to-white Contrast Ratio: 600:1
Brightness (typical): 300cd/m2
Number of Colors: 16.7 million
Horizontal/Vertical Viewing Angle (typical): +/-90°
Inputs: Analog/Digital/S-Video/Composite
Dimensions (HxWxD): 15.3" x 18.6" x 9"
Weight: 17.64 lb.

One bad thing about the 2005FPW is that I don't think a lot of games support the native 1680X1050 resolution, so it will probably have to run and scale a lower resolution. Most games do support the 1600x1200 of 2001FP however.

Join us for the largest 2001FP and 2005FPW discussion in the world.

Discuss - Dell Link

November 02, 2004

Top 100 Season Passes

Tivo has published the top 100 season pass results of an anonymous survey of 20,000 users. 1 The Apprentice 2 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 3 Desperate Housewives 4 Lost 5 Survivor: Vanuatu, Islands of Fire 6 Joey 7 ER 8 The West Wing 9 CSI: Miami 10 The Sopranos Unfortunately the reality show wave seems to be holding strong. Read

November 01, 2004

Full Transcript of Bin Laden's Video

Note: It looks like some global terrorist leader is a fan of Michael Moore. I wonder if they have Netflix delivery of Fahrenheit 9/11 in the caves of Pakistan. Praise be to Allah who created the creation for his worship and commanded them to be just and permitted the wronged one to retaliate against the oppressor in kind. To proceed: Peace be upon he who follows the guidance: People of America this talk of mine is for you and concerns the ideal way to prevent another Manhattan, and deals with the war and its causes and results. Before I begin, I say to you that security is an indispensable pillar of human life and that free men do not forfeit their security, contrary to Bush's claim that we hate freedom. If so, then let him explain to us why we don't strike for example – Sweden? And we know that freedom-haters don't possess defiant spirits like those of the 19 – may Allah have mercy on them. No, we fight because we are free men who don't sleep under oppression. We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our nation. So shall we lay waste to yours.
No-one except a dumb thief plays with the security of others and then makes himself believe he will be secure. Whereas thinking people, when disaster strikes, make it their priority to look for its causes, in order to prevent it happening again. But I am amazed at you. Even though we are in the fourth year after the events of September 11th, Bush is still engaged in distortion, deception and hiding from you the real causes. And thus, the reasons are still there for a repeat of what occurred. So I shall talk to you about the story behind those events and shall tell you truthfully about the moments in which the decision was taken, for you to consider. I say to you, Allah knows that it had never occurred to us to strike the towers. But after it became unbearable and we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American/Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind. The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorized and displaced. I couldn't forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy. The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn't include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn't respond. In those difficult moments many hard-to-describe ideas bubbled in my soul, but in the end they produced an intense feeling of rejection of tyranny, and gave birth to a strong resolve to punish the oppressors. And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children. And that day, it was confirmed to me that oppression and the intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy. Destruction is freedom and democracy, while resistance is terrorism and intolerance. This means the oppressing and embargoing to death of millions as Bush Sr. did in Iraq in the greatest mass slaughter of children mankind has ever known, and it means the throwing of millions of pounds of bombs and explosives at millions of children – also in Iraq – as Bush Jr. Did, in order to remove an old agent and replace him with a new puppet to assist in the pilfering of Iraq's oil and other outrages. So with these images and their like as their background, the events of September 11th came as a reply to those great wrongs, should a man be blamed for defending his sanctuary? Is defending oneself and punishing the aggressor in kind, objectionable terrorism? If it is such, then it is unavoidable for us. This is the message which I sought to communicate to you in word and deed, repeatedly, for years before September 11th. And you can read this, if you wish, in my interview with Scott in Time Magazine in 1996, or with Peter Arnett on CNN in 1997, or my meeting with John Weiner in 1998. You can observe it practically, if you wish, in Kenya and Tanzania and in Aden. And you can read it in my interview with Abdul Bari Atwan, as well as my interviews with Robert Fisk. The latter is one of your compatriots and co-religionists and I consider him to be neutral. So are the pretenders of freedom at The White House and the channels controlled by them able to run an interview with him? So that he may relay to the American people what he has understood from us to be the reasons for our fight against you? If you were to avoid these reasons, you will have taken the correct path that will lead America to the security that it was in before September 11th. This concerned the causes of the war. As for it's results, they have been, by the grace of Allah, positive and enormous, and have, by all standards, exceeded all expectations. This is due to many factors, chief amongst them, that we have found it difficult to deal with the Bush administration in light of the resemblance it bears to the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other half which are ruled by the sons of kings and presidents. Our experience with them is lengthy, and both types are replete with those who are characterized by pride, arrogance, greed and misappropriation of wealth. This resemblance began after the visits of Bush Sr. to the region. At a time when some of our compatriots were dazzled by America and hoping that these visits would have an effect on our countries, all of a sudden he was affected by those monarchies and military regimes, and became envious of their remaining decades in their positions, to embezzle the public wealth of the nation without supervision or accounting. So he took dictatorship and suppression of freedoms to his son and they named it the Patriot Act, under the pretense of fighting terrorism. In addition, Bush sanctioned the installing of sons as state governors, and didn't forget to import expertise in election fraud from the region's presidents to Florida to be made use of in moments of difficulty. All that we have mentioned has made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two Mujahideen to the furthest point East to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies. This is in addition to our having experience in using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers, as we, alongside the Mujahideen, bled Russia for ten years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat. All Praise is due to Allah. So we are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah. That being said, those who say that al-Qaida has won against the administration in the White House or that the administration has lost in this war have not been precise, because when one scrutinizes the results, one cannot say that al-Qaida is the sole factor in achieving those spectacular gains. Rather, the policy of the White House that demands the opening of war fronts to keep busy their various corporations – whether they be working in the field of arms or oil or reconstruction – has helped al-Qaida to achieve these enormous results. And so it has appeared to some analysts and diplomats that the White House and us are playing as one team towards the economic goals of the United States, even if the intentions differ. And it was to these sorts of notions and their like that the British diplomat and others were referring in their lectures at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. (When they pointed out that) for example, al-Qaida spent $500 000 on the event, while America, in the incident and its aftermath, lost – according to the lowest estimate – more than 500 billion dollars. Meaning that every dollar of al-Qaida defeated a million dollars by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs. As for the size of the economic deficit, it has reached record astronomical numbers estimated to total more than a trillion dollars. And even more dangerous and bitter for America is that the Mujahideen recently forced Bush to resort to emergency funds to continue the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is evidence of the success of the blee-until-bankruptcy plan – with Allah's permission. It is true that this shows that al-Qaida has gained, but on the other hand, it shows that the Bush administration has also gained, something of which anyone who looks at the size of the contracts acquired by the shady Bush administration-linked mega-corporations, like Haliburton and its kind, will be convinced. And it all shows that the real loser It is the American people and their economy. And for the record, we had agreed with the Commander-General Muhammad Ataa, Allah have mercy on him, that all the operations should be carried out within twenty minutes, before Bush and his administration notice. It never occurred to us that the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces would abandon 50 000 of his citizens in the twin towers to face those great horrors alone, the time when they most needed him. But because it seemed to him that occupying himself by talking to the little girl about the goat and its butting was more important than occupying himself with the planes and their butting of the skyscrapers. We were given three times the period required to execute the operations – All Praise is Due to Allah. And it's no secret to you that the thinkers and perceptive ones from among the Americans warned Bush before the war and told him, "All that you want for securing America and removing the weapons of mass destruction – assuming they exist – is available to you, and the nations of the world are with you in the inspections, and it is in the interest of America that it not be thrust into an unjustified war with an unknown outcome." But the darkness of the black gold blurred his vision and insight, and he gave priority to private interests over the public interests of America. So the war went ahead, the death toll rose, the American economy bled, and Bush became embroiled in the swamps of Iraq that threaten his future. He fits the saying, "Like the naughty she-goat who used her hoof to dig up a knife from under the earth" So I say to you, over 15 000 of our people have been killed and tens of thousands injured, while more than a thousand of you have been killed and more than 10 000 injured. And Bush's hands are stained with the blood of all those killed from both sides, all for the sake of oil and keeping their private companies in business. Be aware that it is the nation who punishes the weak man when he causes the killing of one of its citizens for money, while letting the powerful one get off, when he causes the killing of more than 1000 of its sons, also for money. And the same goes for your allies in Palestine. They terrorize the women and children, and kill and capture the men as they lie sleeping with their families on the mattresses, that you may recall that for every action, there is a reaction. Finally, it behooves you to reflect on the last wills and testaments of the thousands who left you on the 11th as they gestured in despair. They are important testaments, which should be studied and researched. Among the most important of what I read in them was some prose in their gestures before the collapse, where they say, "How mistaken we were to have allowed the White House to implement its aggressive foreign policies against the weak without supervision." It is as if they were telling you, the people of America, "Hold to account those who have caused us to be killed, and happy is he who learns from others' mistakes," And among that which I read in their gestures is a verse of poetry, "Injustice chases its people, and how unhealthy the bed of tyranny." As has been said, "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure." And know that, "It is better to return to the truth than persist in error." And that the wise man doesn't squander his security, wealth and children for the sake of the liar in the White House. In conclusion, I tell you in truth, that your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaida. No. Your security is in your own hands. And every state that doesn't play with our security has automatically guaranteed its own security. And Allah is our Guardian and Helper, while you have no Guardian or Helper. All Peace be Upon he who follows the Guidance. Discuss