AMD: What went wrong? Five years ago, AMD looked set to topple Intel. Now its very existence is under threat. Mike Jennings investigates what went wrong In 2006, AMD could seemingly do no wrong. Its processors were the fastest in the PC market, annual revenue was up a record 91%, expansion into the graphics game had begun with the high-profile acquisition of ATI, and it was making exciting plans for a future where, we speculated, it could "smash Intel’s chip monopoly" for good. PC Pro

Analysis of Haswell's transactional memory One of the most profound challenges for modern software developers is the emergence of multi-core processors. Over the last 10 years, individual CPU cores have grown faster, but applications must be optimized for parallel execution to take full advantage of the power and performance benefits of Moore’s Law. Real World Technologies

Internet Explorer Performance Lab: reliably measuring browser performance Web performance matters to everyone, and one engineering objective for Internet Explorer is to be the world’s fastest browser. To achieve this goal we need to reliably measure browser performance against the real world scenarios that matter to our customers. Over the last five years we designed and built the Internet Explorer Performance Lab, one of the world’s most sophisticated web performance measurement systems. MSDN Blog

Pentagon’s Project ‘Avatar’: Same as the movie, but with robots instead of aliens Soldiers practically inhabiting the mechanical bodies of androids, who will take the humans’ place on the battlefield. Or sophisticated tech that spots a powerful laser ray, then stops it from obliterating its target. If you’ve got Danger Room’s taste in movies, you’ve probably seen both ideas on the big screen. Now Darpa, the Pentagon’s far-out research arm, wants to bring ‘em into the real world. Wired

Oh my God, entertainment industry people are still pitching for SOPA You'd think that the proponents of SOPA would give up that legislative dead parrot's ghost. But they're still doing the rounds on radio and in print, claiming that millions of Americans were 'duped' into opposing their harmless little internet censorship law. The fresh (!) talking points go like this: Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing and others 'lied' to the public about what SOPA was in the crucial final moments. Boing Boing

OS X Mountain Lion will be Mac Store only, Apple tells us USB key will not be available Apple has confirmed that the next version of its desktop operating system, OS X Mountain Lion, will be available to customers only via the Mac App Store when it comes out this summer. The new update, which is released as a developer preview on Thursday 16 February, means that Apple has finally ditched all form of hard media to distribute all its operating systems... Pocket-Lint

FRANDs forever: how the smartphone industry turned a gentlemen's agreement into a full-scale patent war Until recently, patent licensing arrangements for industry standards like MPEG and 802.11 have been relatively benign and invisible to the general public. Times have changed, though, and the explosion of smartphone patent litigation has made the once unfamiliar acronym FRAND the subject of mainstream conversations. The Verge

Alienware X51: The Xbox with teeth While Alienware isn't openly inviting comparisons to Microsoft's Xbox 360 with their brand new X51 gaming desktop, it's hard not to see the resemblance, at least in form factor. But where Microsoft's aging console continues trudging away with generations old hardware, Alienware has produced an authentic Windows 7 gaming PC in a shell roughly the same size. AnandTech

Redesigned iPad 3 with 8-megapixel camera pictured for the first time Purported images of Apple’s next-generation iPad have been published by Chinese language Apple Daily ahead of the new tablet’s official announcement. The slate had leaked only in bits and pieces until now, however alleged photos of an assembled iPad 3 show a device that is very much in line with earlier reports. Boy Genius Report

ASRock revives the "Blaster" sound card brand in cooperation with Creative ASRock just released a card which is the first sound card outside Creative to bear the name "Blaster" without a worry of a lawsuit. In the past, Creative was very vigilant in protecting the "Sound Blaster" heritage but the company opened to 3rd parties who can manufacture products of required quality. VR-Zone

Nevada passes regulations for driverless cars Last summer, Nevada became the first state in the country to pass a law authorizing the use of driverless cars on its roadways. That law directed Nevada state agencies to complete a set of regulations that would govern their use. Earlier this week, the state announced that those regulations have finally been approved. Forbes

How to optimize your caffeine intake Two doctors at Penn State University have developed Caffeine Zone, a free iOS app that tells you the perfect time to take a coffee break to maintain an optimal amount of caffeine in your blood — and, perhaps more importantly, it also tells you when to stop drinking tea and coffee, so that caffeine doesn’t interrupt your sleep. ExtremeTech

Office on the iPad: A litmus test for the modern Microsoft We know now that Microsoft is working on a touch-friendly version of Microsoft Office for Windows 8. But here comes that age-old question, resurfacing once again: What about Microsoft Office on the iPad? Veteran analyst Rick Sherlund, now with Nomura Research, threw some cold water on the possibility... GeekWire

Single-atom transistor built with precise control Seeking to keep Moore's Law on pace, researchers have developed a repeatable technique for assembling a single-atom version of the transistor -- the building block of semiconductors and computers. CNET