Weekend tech reading: Intel selling $50 'upgrade' cards to unlock built-in CPU features

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Intel wants to charge $50 to unlock stuff your CPU can already do Hold onto your hyperthreaded horses, because this is liable to whip up an angry mob -- Intel's asking customers to pay extra if they want the full power of their store-bought silicon. An eagle-eyed Engadget reader was surfing the Best Buy shelves when he noticed this $50 card -- and sure enough, Intel websites confirm -- that lets you download software to unlock extra threads and cache on the new Pentium G6951 processor. Engadget

Id Software vs. The Supreme Court – Are video games free speech? This landmark Supreme Court case will determine whether video games will continue to be protected as free speech like any other respectable medium of art. Today was the last day to file, "friend of the court briefs" to be be considered by the court before the case is heard. Well, the gaming pioneers over at Id Software have done just that. In a 32 page document, Id states many reasons why games should receive the same free speech protection as do movies, books and other forms of media... Ripten

USB 3.0 to begin hitting critical mass in 2011 The adoption of USB 3.0 is expected to begin hitting critical mass in 2011, with NEC on track to ship at least 20 million next-gen xHCI controllers by the end of 2010. "The high-rate of SuperSpeed adoption illustrates that USB 3.0 is a thriving and advanced ecosystem. It is already driving and creating a new generation of devices and components," USB-IF president and chairman Jeff Ravencraft told TG Daily at IDF 2010. TG Daily

4chan DDoS takes down MPAA and anti-piracy websites Following a call to arms yesterday, the masses inhabiting the anonymous 4chan boards have carried out a huge assault on a pair of anti-piracy enemies. The website of Aiplex Software, the anti-piracy outfit which has been DDoSing torrent sites recently, is currently down having been DDoS’d. They are joined in the Internet wasteland by the MPAA’s website, also currently under huge and sustained attack. TorentFreak

Why bricks and clicks don't always mix Not so long ago, in 2005, Blockbuster seemed invincible. However you preferred to rent movies -- in stores or online -- the company was ready to accommodate you. At the time, Netflix could offer only one way of obtaining a movie (the mail) and one way of returning it (the mail). It was clicks, with no bricks. As for Blockbuster, which was spun off from Viacom in 2004, it's now a penny stock, and its woes are as visible as the "Closing" banner in the window of a store in your neighborhood. The NY Times

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