Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Wednesday 30/1/2002New chips are a good thing, right? Nvidia's GeForce4 graphics chip looks like a very good thing indeed, if the rumours about its top-of-the-range 300MHz core and enormous polygon pushing capabilities are true.

Wednesday 30/1/2002

New chips are a good thing, right? Nvidia's GeForce4 graphics chip looks like a very good thing indeed, if the rumours about its top-of-the-range 300MHz core and enormous polygon pushing capabilities are true. Which seems likely, given the degree of annoyance the company are showing over these rumours coming out before next week's launch.

I know it must be frustrating for marketing departments to have the launch of a new product taken out of their hands, but it's really very simple -- if you don't want anyone to know, don't tell anyone. Sending product out to distributors and getting pictures published in brochures doesn't help, and getting sniffy about it afterwards helps even less. There's a spate of paranoia around at the moment: companies are not only placing us under very restrictive non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) where we have to promise on our entire family's graves not to breath a word of what we've been told, but forbidding us to say when those NDAs are to be removed.

Not only are NDAs probably worthless in any legal sense, they only serve to annoy the journalists -- who are as capable of telling their non-NDA'd friends off the record as anyone. Intel was slightly more civilised this week, telling us stuff under 'a gentleman's agreement' -- although whether this applied to the two female journalists in the room wasn't clear

These days, the moment information leaves the building -- even if it's only the manual being printed -- you can assume some bright spark will bung it on the Web at lunchtime and it'll be on Google after tea. That's the way the world is now: a marketing department that uses this fact instead of railing at it is a wise one.