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  • Exelius - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    This is a very curious article... I don't know why you bring up the stock price issue; of course, raising the stock price is the goal of any company. But due to the release/adoption cycle of a company like Intel, ANY feature is unlikely to have any impact on share price any time soon. Also; this feature is of limited use to the server market, which is a pretty significant part of Intel's business. Stocks are based off expected profits, sure, but the majority of Intel's revenue comes from scheduled replacement / obsolescence. There's no immediate pressure for Intel's new products either; upgrade cycles are complicated and overlap a lot. A product announcement from Intel takes months to make an impact financially, where Apple will release a new product and it will have an immediate impact on the cash flows of the company. That's how consumer products work though.

    Also; strong form market efficiency says that keeping information secret will have zero impact on the stock price. The information is priced into the stock whether it is public or not. The market knows what Intel is spending on R&D and they know the expected return of that R&D. Over the long term (which is what stock price measures) these numbers are pretty accurate.

    In other words, stick to the tech Anand. Secrecy is marketing; in Apple's case they sometimes cut or change features at the last minute so they don't want to hype features they can't deliver by the release date. In this case, the secrecy created intrigue: what could Intel's secret announcement be? It's just a marketing trick, and an old one. There's something amazing behind the curtain, but it ceases to be amazing once I pull back the curtain.
    Reply
  • HibyPrime1 - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    I think what Anand was getting at isn't the history of Intel's stock, its a situation they were hoping to create in spite of it's history, taking queues from what they believed made Apple's stock go up after their releases. It's a very likely situation, because just as you said Intel's stock is (or at least should be, I don't know the specifics) not all that time-varying. It's not hard to imagine them trying out a gimmick to give them short term benefits with little to no long term issues.

    It could very well have had nothing to do with trying to tinker with their stock, and could have been solely marketing based. It's not something that anyone outside of Intel could know for sure.

    The other point you made, about the product not being immediately related to profits is exactly what the article is talking about, and is giving a new example of how they're trying to change that. See quote.

    "If Intel wants to raise its share price it will ultimately have to do two things: 1) release killer technology, 2) put said technology to good use right away without waiting on its partners to do so."
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    Never understood why content owners are afraid of audio being ripped and pirated. I mean, seriously now. And with HDCP permanently broken, this isn't going to really help. Reply
  • jasperjones - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    "The thinking is that PCs are too easily compromised and thus the ultra-secure Blu-ray DRM should be the only way to get the best quality video on the PC."

    Blu-ray ultra-secure? I'm a non-native speaker and obv must be missing the irony here--you can't be that unworldly :)
    Reply
  • rajaf - Monday, March 28, 2011 - link

    I have to agree. Torrent sites are full of Blu-ray rips, some even before the official release. Reply
  • designerfx - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    uh, DRM will be gone when these companies are ready to grow and realize the 21st century. Basically when the old out of touch execs die, so anywhere from 10-15 years from now.

    in the meantime, we're all not even inconvenienced, it just becomes one more company to avoid. AACS doesn't even stop bluray ripping, and after that the rest doesn't matter. Why do you need 1080P streaming when you can download a 1080P movie in less time than it takes to watch it?

    good riddance to intel - with this DRM on a chip and graphics integrated with every single cpu, who would want their products? what a waste. For once I actually hope Nvidia outcompetes intel.
    Reply
  • mino - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    Could you clarify how the presence of a feature YOU will (obviously) never use affect you? Reply
  • mino - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    .. how does ... Reply
  • derek_b - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    "uh, DRM will be gone when these companies are ready to grow and realize the 21st century. Basically when the old out of touch execs die, so anywhere from 10-15 years from now."

    Don't forget that the idealistic teenagers of the 60s became the stock-brokers of the 80s. I expect the kids of today may even adopt a _more_ conservative attitude when they eventually come to take charge of the financial bottom line.
    Reply
  • Exodite - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    You don't put your faith in the hippes man, you put your faith in the geeks! Reply
  • 3DoubleD - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    While DRM is obviously important to content owners despite its complete and utter failure, there is one other reason why 1080p streaming hasn't come to fruition: North America has terribly slow internet connections.

    A quick search reveals that the US average download speed in 2009 was 5.1 mbps. This is certainly well below the bitrate of a BD and even below the bitrate of properly encoded 1080p x.264 files. High quality streaming will never be realized until average internet speeds dramatically improve.

    ... I'm not holding my breath though. At least in Canada, all ISPs are also cable/satellite providers who have no financial interest in seeing cable/satellite go the way of the dinosaur. They will fight to their last breath before they let that happen - net neutrality be damned. 2000 - 2010 was the lost decade where we barely saw any speed increases to "high-speed" internet. Here's for hoping 2010 - 2020 is different! (and that movie studios wake up and abandon DRM already)
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    My thoughts exactly, I've used both broadband options in the area I live in and both can be hit or miss on what is currently available (Netflix, ESPN3, MLB.TV HD, etc). Now obviously some of this could be server load related and not just my connection, but if that is the case the servers are unlikely to be able to deal with release-day streaming of Blu-ray quality content either. Reply
  • HibyPrime1 - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    I was under the impression that Canada and the US were among the areas with the highest bandwidth, with only a few countries beating us out.

    I'm in Toronto. I remember when we first got broadband it was ~2000, I don't remember the specific speed, but I do remember downloading ~200MB movies (remember those days of crappy quality, 1080p? naw, try 180p) in round about an hour - which is about 0.5Mbits/s, it was also the only speed available other than dial-up. My connection is at 10Mbits/s now, and it's far from the fastest available here, which I think is round about 25Mbits/s. At least where I am, speeds have increased a lot.

    Why would you expect to have high-bitrate 1080p streaming available anyway? Bandwidth overage prices aside, ISP prices would skyrocket from all the extra needed servers and cabling with everyone streaming blu-rays every night. An additional problem created by the even more infrastructure needed, is that competition would have even less of a chance than they do now. They already bend you over and step up from behind, you don't need them to grab your hair too.
    Reply
  • 3DoubleD - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    If you search "internet speed by country" and find the speedtest.net global results you will see that North America is far behind. Canada is ranked #36/#61 for download/upload speeds while the US is similarly ranked #33/#35. These numbers don't even paint the full picture though. The top 9 countries with the highest average download speeds are 20mbps+.

    I admit that you caught me exaggerating, internet speeds did improve between 2000 and 2010. I'm on 4/0.4mbps DSL (no data cap) through and independent ISP. But the improvement in North America (excluding Verizon's FTTH in the US) is rather insignificant in comparison to the pace set by 30+ countries around the world. In Toronto (Canada's largest city) I buy a synchronous 10/10mbps connection as a consumer? No. How about 50/50, 100/100, 1000/1000? Surely not, yet all of these services are widely available in many other countries. (By the way, I'm not saying everyone needs 1000/1000mbps connections, just pointing out how behind the times our infrastructure is at this time)

    You quote the fastest available residential speed in Toronto as ~25 mbps (probably Bell Fibe, which is 25/7mbps). This is actually a very interesting service which supports my previous point about the conflict of interest that our Telcom providers are guilty of:

    Yes, Bell Fibe can give you up to 25 mbps via DSL (provided you have fiber really close to your home - which is rare even in the city). However, if you watch their Bell Fibe TV, the video/audio bandwidth is taken from your 25 mbps - your internet connection slows down! At first you would think "that's fine, it is the same if I streamed it over the internet" - this is wrong, it isn't fine. Bell Fibe comes with a 65 GB monthly data cap... but TV does not come out of that cap. Bell just blew Net Neutrality away, how can you differentiate one type of data from the other if it is coming over the same fiber/phone line? It is blatantly anti-competitive.

    What if you wanted Bell Fibe internet without Bell Fibe TV? If you tried to stream the same HD content (assuming the same bitrate ~5mbps) then you would hit your 65 GB cap in about 30 hours.

    Also, how can we accept the excuse that their fiber networks can't handle the extra traffic from streaming video when that is precisely what they are doing?

    The sad state of affairs in Canada (and to some extent the US) is likely due to the lack of competition. In Ontario, Bell owns all of the phone lines and Rogers OR Cogeco own the cable. Any other ISP must purchase wholesale from these companies to offer services. How did it get this way? The government handed it to them! Make no mistake, there is NO competition in this market already, demanding better service will not make it any harder for new companies to enter the market.

    So what is the current situation:
    1) Telcoms who own everything (with government sanction): phone, cable/satellite, internet
    2) Internet services (existing or upcoming) that threaten phone and cable/satellite services

    The result:
    1) Data caps (crush streaming video - eg. Rogers lowered their cap when Netflix went live in Canada)
    2) Loss of Net Neutrality (See Bell Fibe)
    3) 2nd class internet infrastructure (do you really think it is acceptable that Canada is #36/#61 - we are on the G8!)
    Reply
  • Exodite - Sunday, January 16, 2011 - link

    I got my own place in '97 and it had 10/10 Mbit already. Strictly speaking 100/100 but the router limited bandwidth to 10/10. This wasn't cable or some glorified DSL alternative either but Ethernet.

    No data cap.

    Now, in my current place of residence, I have the same 10/10 Mbit Ethernet but the option of upgrading to 100/100 through my choice of ISP. I'm currently enjoying 100/100 Mbit Ethernet, uncapped, for the cost of ~$10 US a month.

    Granted this isn't true for every residential location in the country but it's by no means rare or the exception either.

    Just to give some perspective.

    (Sweden here by the way.)
    Reply
  • 3DoubleD - Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - link

    I am so jealous. $10/mo for uncapped 10/10 mbps internet. The nagging proof of how badly North Americans are ripped off. It isn't like Sweden has insanely high population densities either. On the other hand, I live in a 35 story condo (eg. high population density) and I pay $45/mo for uncapped (not for much longer though) 4/0.4 mbps internet. The difference as I understand it is that Sweden has a healthy ISP market where competition occurs. We could learn a lot from our Swedish friends! Reply
  • BugblatterIII - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    LoveFilm is our Netflix. They recently added the ability to stream content to the PS3, which as far as I'm aware is far more secure than PCs (in that it's only recently been pwned).

    The streaming quaity is abysmal. I tried the free trial and didn't bother watching a single film; the quaity was worse than SD TV.

    I have a 20Mbps cable connection so the bandwidth was there at my end; until they get some decent quality streaming they really have nothing to offer.

    Anyway I'm not so sure that the illusion of increased security is really going to do the trick in getting decent HD streaming out there; content owners tend to be at least five years behind content consumers.

    I also remember all the DRM crap MS added to Vista to appease the content owners. Damn stuff stopped my brand new Plantronics BlueTooth headset from working (because I might have been trying to copy DRMd audio over USB audio apparently!). After many hours of trying different drivers and 'fixes' from the internet I discovered I had to get a replacement dongle.

    Hopefully Intel's new initiative won't cause that kind of issue, but it's interesting that all those people who had to buy new TVs and so on just because their old one didn't support HDCP will now have to buy a new PC, again just to get some more built-in DRM functionality.

    And the end result? Legitimate customers have to jump through all these hoops and pay for new equipment. Those willing to downlod pirated content have it easy. So are they discouraging piracy or encouraging it?

    Hmm, that started off as a nice reasonable little post; then it got away from me a little ;o)
    Reply
  • cbgoding - Monday, January 10, 2011 - link

    Yeah, when a pirated copy is easier to use than the official one, there's a problem. Looking at you, iTunes! Reply
  • visibilityunlimited4 - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - link

    I usually purchase a product only after I have enough information to answer my questions and calm my doubts. I like to read the manual before making a decision to see what I have to do to use the item. I like to read comparisons to show how the product compares with the alternatives. Marketing is all about information. The more information the better.
    Sometimes a company is insecure or trying to hide a weakness in their product and so withhold the information that would act against them. This DRM on a chip is purely a HTPC feature when most computers are used for browsing or email without having or needing a Blu-ray disk nor streaming at high megabit rates. Is this a chip designed for use in a $50 set-top box or a $100 Blu-ray player? Will this slow down my number-crunching? Do I need this secret code machine working on my private files? How do I turn off this crypto DRM cypher decoder mystery secret withholder code? Should I worry?
    Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - link

    When are laptops based on Sandy Bridge going on sale?

    obviously with GTX530 or better GPU's and 1080p screens with contrast over 500:1. (that's a given)
    Reply

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