Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Better Chip

This weekend went fairly well, but I'm sad that it's over. I met more closely with the people on my team at my boss's pool party, I played some soccer and went for a swim on Friday, I kicked back with some interns at Plucker's, had a couple of friends over today, and played some basketball. Almost sounds like more fun than a weekend in Austin, but that's only because I don't have homework to worry about here. Let's get down to business though: which company gives you the better bang for your buck to drive your high-end machine: AMD or Intel? Since Intel has 80% market share and everyone has Pentiums (or I should say Core processors nowadays), shouldn't they be the clear choice? As it goes in the OS market (arguably), a bigger name doesn't necessarily mean a better product. In fact, the article almost wholeheartedly throws its endorsement behind AMD and only throws Intel some support to avoid fanboy backlash. While it's true that AMD chips have lower power consumption and do pretty well in benchmarks, the writer overlooks how much better the Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), or the interface for communicating with the chip, is, which gives it a bigger edge than Intel's clockspeed advances are making up for. I don't think it's unreasonable to believe that the Core 2 family may meet or surpass what AMD has out now, but I'd still go with an AMD chip for now. It's not like you're a retard if you get an Intel chip, but if you're really putting a lot of effort into your dream machine then you may as well go with an Athlon.

I'm sure that you all remember my diatribe about how the House voted down net neutrality, and we now have a roll call of who voted which way. I think it's vital that if your representative voted 'No' that you write to them and threaten to convince your community to pull support from him if he continues voting this way (and follow through on it), or pat them on the back if they voted 'Yes' (that'll encourage them to stay the course). The beta for Google Spreadsheets came out last week, and I know I linked to some impressions already but we have a much better review now showcasing what features it really packs, including support for xls and csv formats. If I end up getting into the beta then I'll let you know, but until then we have to just hope that it's really as cool as people are claiming. That's not all from Google though: they've revealed how they rank videos, and someone else has discovered a paper illuminating how they can take advantage of people's viewing habits for more statistics, bookmarking, and a better community. They're really on fire, but Apple isn't so lucky as they've now been getting pressure from Scandinavia regarding their closed audio format on iTunes. I'd be surprised if Apple didn't come out on top though. The Firefox development never ceases to amaze me, and CNet has even decided to start a 3-volume feature highlighting the best Firefox extensions, a couple of which I already use and love. They're worth a look if you like messing with your Firefox. Bad news for Sony fanboys: an insider has revealed that not only have betas yet, but they'll probably have to lower the clockspeed of the Cell. It's not that the latter is a big deal in reality, but for a company that's banking on the power of their machine this does not bode well. Lastly, if you're stuck on what to get your dad for Father's Day, you may want to check out this list.

The number one movie in the box office this weekend was Cars with a cool $62.8 million, which may not compare to Pixar's other movies but I would still consider it a strong opening that probably won't have a very steep dropoff, unlike X3 (which stuck to third place at just over $15 million). I was really impressed that The Break-up managed to keep the #2 spot despite not getting great critical reception. The trailer has finally hit for Jet Li's supposedly final martial arts movie, Fearless, and it's pretty neat. I still don't buy that he won't be fighting on the big screen anymore. We also have a trailer for The Oh in Ohio, which I was pleasantly surprised to actually find funny. The only weird thing is seeing the actor who played the creepy Big Tim in Requiem for a Dream in the trailer and not being a sexual deviant. Lastly, a blogger who was lucky enough to find himself on the set of Spider-man 3 nabbed some video footage and cool pictures, including the one below. Granted, it's nothing special, but I'm just too excited about this movie to not clutch onto anything we get.

Click to enlarge

Now for some Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Band :: Camp

  2. Tan :: Line

  3. Mount :: Rushmore

  4. Arcade :: Fire

  5. Customize :: Browser

  6. Hamburger :: Fudrucker's

  7. Solid :: Blacksploitation films (no clue how to spell that)

  8. Forbidden :: Fruit

  9. Deter :: rent

  10. Torment :: Torture