(link) Saturday, 31-October-2009 11:02:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg
From Dalien, about the OCAU Iron Trader competition: Congratulations to cyberalienz for picking the best performing stocks for October. A impressive 34% profit - well done! Congratulations to hobo-jo for being the closest predicting to where the ^AORD finished at the end of the month. These winners will have bragging rights and will also have the honour of the Iron Trader title under their username for the month. Do you think you have what it takes to become a Iron Trader? If so, join November's competition here. Give it a go, as you might surprise yourself, and the rest of us!
PCPerspective compared AMD and NVIDIA graphics performance in the Left 4 Dead 2 Demo. Our benchmarking was done on our current graphics test bed that includes an Intel Core i7-965 processor, ASUS P6T6 WS motherboard, 6GB of Corsair DDR3-1333 memory, 160GB Intel X25-M SSD, PC Power and Cooling 1200w power supply and the appropriate graphics card all running on Windows 7 x64 RTM. The NVIDIA 191.07 driver was used for all NVIDIA cards while for AMD we used the Catalyst 9.10 driver on the HD 5870 and HD 5850 cards and the Juniper beta driver on the HD 5770 and HD 5750 cards.
Paul spotted this Win 7 hotspot info. An unfinished project to fit Windows 7 with virtual Wi-Fi devices makes every laptop into a hotspot with the smallest of patches. The patch comes from Nomadio, who followed Microsoft's plans for virtual Wi-Fi support until Redmond dumped the project in 2006. Nomadio then noticed that most of the code is present in Windows 7, which can thus be turned into a Wi-Fi hotspot with the aid of a patch the company is handing out free for beta testing.
Deanzo has an article on Tweaktown covering AMD Athlon II X4 630 Extreme Overclocking with LN2. How far can I push it with only a 14 times multiplier to play with? How will the CPU and motherboard hold up to minus 180 degrees celcius? And of course, there’s the all important benchmark numbers.
There's two more episodes of Byteside up for viewing. Tech #4: Inside the nefarious world of cyber-crime, Byteside lays on an alarming reveal of the dark side of the internet. Guest panelists: Stilgherrian, stilgherrian.com; David Peterson, Trend Micro; David Hollingworth, Atomic; Stephen Fenech, The Daily TelegraphGames #4: Lifting the creaky lid on a classic genre, our panel exposes the dirty tricks game designers use to scare you witless. Guest panelists: Nic Healey, Official Xbox Magazine; Ben Leffler, Game Designer, Exmortis and 3rd Sense / Fizzy.com; Randolph Ramsay, Gamespot Australia; Daniel Wilks, Hyper.
I'm warning you in advance that the upcoming link contains partial nudity and is not safe for work. So, consider yourself warned! I'm not entirely sure because I don't read Russian, but it seems recently there was a battle at a gaming cafe where strippers were used to balance the odds a bit. As in, the better you were doing in the game, the more attention the strippers paid to you or your team, thus distracting and handicapping you. Or so it seems, anyway. Maybe two random girls just decided to even the odds for their favourite team. Did I mention NSFW and partial nudity? Yes? Well, here's the link, then. :)
Hrm, is that a knock at the door? Trick or treat? Release the hounds!
ICANN are apparently going to allow non-latin URLs soon. Of the 1.6 billion people who use the Internet, about half are native speakers of languages that do not use the Latin alphabet. "This is the biggest change technically to the Internet since it was invented 40 years ago," said ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush at a press conference in Seoul, South Korea yesterday.
CoD: MW2 has drawn criticism for in-game violence. A prominent children's lobby group is calling on the Government to review its decision to classify as suitable for 15-year-olds an upcoming video game that allows players to assume the role of a terrorist and shoot innocent civilians in an airport.
Internode MD Simon Hackett has driven his Telsa Roadster into the electric car record books, travelling 501km on a single charge. Hackett and Prelgauskas used the long, flat straights offered by the Global Green Challenge course to give the Tesla maxmium mileage after its charging port was sealed by race authorities to ensure against tampering.
Jolt Cola, one of the earliest energy drinks on the market and a staple of the early LAN party crowd, may be a thing of the past soon. But Pittsford-based Jolt Co. Inc. now seems likely to close, according to an attorney for the company, after a contentious attempt at reorganizing fell apart earlier this week.
dfcowell pointed out that the Indie version of the popular Unity game engine/development environment (once US$200) is now available completely free on the Unity website. The number of new features and optimizations are too numerous to mention here, so be sure to check out the what's new page to hear all about the performance profiler, animation editor, threaded streaming, and much much more! Oh, and one more thing, Unity is now free!
Google have unveiled turn-by-turn voice guidance for Google Maps, for the USA, and on Android 2.0 phones. Hopefully more widespread *cough*iPhone*cough* soon. There's a demo video on the page, or view it on YouTube here.
A few people sent word that Intel have yanked their SSD toolkit and associated TRIM firmware because of reports it's bricking drives under Windows 7. Yes, we have been contacted by users with issues with the firmware upgrade for our 34nm SSDs and we are investigating. We take all sightings and issues seriously and are working toward resolution. We have temporarily taken down the firmware link while we investigate. More info here, thanks Wizzard67.
It's not too unusual for a forgiving bride to indulge her gamer geek husband-to-be, but what kind of wedding do you get when both parties are gamer geek girls? We wanted a ceremony that reflected our geeky, romantic, pink aesthetic, while at the same time being profound and meaningful. Our ceremony was themed around the video game Portal and the anime series Revolutionary Girl Utena.
Yahoo finally shut down Geocities a couple of days ago. "We have enjoyed hosting websites created by Yahoo! users all over the world, and we're proud of the community you've built," the California-based internet pioneer said. "However, we have decided to focus on helping our customers explore and build relationships online in other ways."
Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has written a letter to the California State Assembly which apparently contains a hidden message, thanks IntelInside. See if you can spot it. :) Give up? This article explains. "My goodness. What a coincidence," said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear. "I suppose when you do so many vetoes, something like this is bound to happen."
We're a bit late reporting this, but apparently there were geeks going wild in Canberra last weekend. There will be a massive range of information on offer at the geek-fest, ranging from research on the distribution of frogs around South Australia to detailed crime statistics. The full list can be viewed at data.australia.gov.au.Update: Err, that's THIS weekend coming, so not too late at all. :)
HotHardware have a sneak peek at the Fusion-io ioXtreme cards. We've received two cards for testing here; one is the ioXtreme Pro, that you can install multiple cards into a system for RAID configurations and the other is the ioXtreme for single-card installations.
CW sent int his internet speeds and costs comparison. Number one is, predictably, Japan, where the average broadband speed is 60mbps and they pay $US0.27 per 1mbps. The US, in comparison, averages 4.8mbps and pays $US3.33 per 1mbps, putting them at #15.
Intel has released the Intel Solid-State Drive (SSD) Toolbox, with Intel SSD Optimizer and a firmware update to enable TRIM and to boost performance on select 34nm Intel X25-M Mainstream SATA SSDs. More info on LegitReviews, PC Perspective, HotHardware and Techgage.
Later tonight NASA are intending to perform the first launch for the Ares I-X, the next-generation spacecraft and launch vehicle system. Weather may be an issue, though. As of the 2 a.m. EDT weather update, today's forecast still remains at 60 percent "no-go" due to possible clouds and precipitation in the launch area. A new weather balloon was just released and weather updates will continue throughout the countdown today.
Next on the list of classic TV shows turned into a probably godawful movie is The A-Team. The film stars Bradley Cooper as Lt. Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck, Liam Neeson as Col John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, Sharlto Copley as Capt. ‘Howling Mad’ Murdock, and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson as Sgt Bosco ‘B.A.’ Baracus. The film is currently in production, aiming for a June 11th 2010 release. I pity the fools.
Senator Conroy has revealed the value of Telstra, which may affect negotiations on its break-up. The Opposition's communications spokesman, Nick Minchin, says the revelations bring private discussion between Telstra and the Government out into the public domain. "I mean this is incompetence on a grand scale," he said.
Enigma spotted the first DX11 benchmark. Phoronix have more info. Unigine Heaven is using hardware tessellation, DirectCompute, Shader Model 5.0, and other newer GPU technologies. Unigine released this demo today for the launch of the Microsoft Windows 7, but there remains the OpenGL 3.x renderer too.
NGOHQ meawhile have info on some DX11 demos from AMD, mecha and ladybug. The Ladybug demo shows the results of a new approach to simulating lens-accurate depth-of-field effects based on real-world parameters of focal length and focus distance.
From IntelInside: The White House has ditched the proprietary content management system that had been in place since the days of the Bush Administration in favour of the latest version of the open-source Drupal software.
From Alex: A political party, Gamers4Croydon, are planning to run a candidate in the 2010 South Australian election in the Croydon electorate currently represented by Michael Atkinson, the SA Attorney-General who has consistently blocked the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games.
I recieved two press-releases in rapid succession recently. One from Good Game saying they have a new host: Joining Bajo (Steven O’Donnell) in the Den of Gaming from Monday 26th October will be new Good Game host, Hex (Stephanie Bendixsen). Also, they have a new show: Good Game: SP will be the show for younger gamers by gamers. With 95% of young Australians aged 6 to 15 calling themselves gamers and the launch of ABC3, a channel dedicated to them, it was time for Good Game to spawn a new program with the needs of young gamers firmly in its sights.
The second press-release was from Junglist, of Good Game fame, saying he will no longer be on the show. Not my decision. Kotaku have some info too, mostly in the comments. To say the community response is "mixed" is an understatement. Strange, but best of luck to Junglist with his next move.
Flight sim fans will enjoy this report from Oz Flight Sim Expo 2009, with discussion here. The huge projection screens made for an awesome spectacle, and more than one observer stood glued to the screens making Top Gun references, fighting air to air engagements with their hands and muttering things like "Extend!" and "Splash!" as commentary on the action.
Reuters report that there may be an Intel Anti-Trust suit filed in the USA soon. U.S. antitrust regulators are moving toward filing a complaint against Intel Corp after the European Union fined the world's biggest chipmaker $1.45 billion for engaging in anticompetitive practices, sources said.
A Queensland hacker discovered how to withdraw $30,000 in one hour from an ATM. Brian Sommer stumbled across the system in August 2007 which could cheat ATMs by changing their computer hard drive settings, but came unstuck after using his mother's, his girlfriend's and his own credit cards to access the machines at a Bundaberg service station and in Hervey Bay.
UCLA say that first-time Internet users experience a boost in brain function after just one week. The findings, presented Oct. 19 at the 2009 meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, suggest that Internet training can stimulate neural activation patterns and could potentially enhance brain function and cognition in older adults. I think learning any new skill is good for the brain - I'm learning the guitar at the moment and the theory certainly gives me a headache. :)
XbitLabs have a SAS HDD roundup. In our today’s roundup we are going to take a closer look at 17 SAS HDDs with storage capacities from 74 GB to 600 GB launched over the past several years. Find out who the winner is in the today’s SAS arena.
DigitalTrends ponder the numbers when it comes to getting caught for piracy. Maybe that’s why the practice of prosecuting individual consumers of pirated material has fizzled down to almost nothing, while organizations like the RIAA shift their focus to the supply side, including vendors who make thousands of peddling pirated wares.
NASA have extended their exploration of the universe to include the iPhone. A NASA App for the iPhone and iPod touch is available free of charge at the App Store from Apple. The NASA application will deliver a wealth of information, videos, images and news updates about NASA missions to people's fingertips.
Byteside is a new event being run by Ben Mansill, previously of Atomic fame etc. For Byteside first-timers, just roll up from 6pm onwards, enjoy a bite and a drink in the luxury of the Shelbourne Hotel's Altitude Bar, and lounge back and enjoy an evening of unique entertainment - it's free, we have cool prizes and it's the best thing to do in Sydney on a Tuesday night.
Meanwhile a different Ben spotted a girl geeks event in Sydney. Sydney Girl Geek Dinners are joining forces with Females In Technology and Telecommunications (FITT) for its first networking event that will provide a fun and interactive speed mentoring game, with the overall goal of sharing ways you can get involved in mentoring & give or receive support from your peers & our amazing role models we are lucky enough to have.
HWZone have a video comparing Win 7 and Snow Leopard. Now that Windows 7 is officially out, we couldn't resist taking a look at how Microsoft's latest OS compares with Apple's recently updated OS with the Snow Leopard release. Check out our fire-side chat with the executives in charge of the OSes for the new direction and features, as well as hands-on demo highlights of each OS in this video feature.
U2 Streaming Live Concert for Free on YouTube
(link) Saturday, 24-October-2009 04:50:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg
U2 are streaming a live concert tomorrow, or rather 2:30pm AEDT Monday for us. Irish rockers U2 have confirmed that they will be streaming a live concert via YouTube from California’s Rose Bowl this Sunday, October 25, beginning at 8:30 PM Pacific Time. While the 96,000 people at the sold out show paid no-doubt semi-astronomical prices to get in, viewers around the world will be able to tune in for free on YouTube.
Creator of the Linux OS Linus Torvalds gives Windows 7 the thumbs up. You know Microsoft, when you setup a big Windows 7 booth across the street from the Japan Linux Symposium you're just asking for trouble. Thanks Looktall.
Yahoo "Sorry" For Offering Lap Dances at Developers Event. Now an embarrassing debacle is earning the company some additional publicity. After Yahoo hosted Taiwan Open Hack Day, a special event for engineers and developers that was held last weekend, a series of photos found there way onto the internet -- as ill-thought out decisions often do. Thanks to Fuziwuzi for sending this in.
According to the BBC, The pirate Bay is back in the courtroom. A Dutch court has ordered them to to remove all links to the material of a group of Netherlands-based music and film makers. The trio could face fines of up to $9m (£5.5m) if they do not comply within three months These guys don't appear to be having a good year.
Microsoft starts selling PCs online. NEW YORK--In a surprise move, Microsoft has started selling computers and third-party software via its online store. It's part of a broader push to try to give Windows the kind of lift that Apple has gotten from its network of retail stores. Microsoft had said it would sell PCs at its brick-and-mortar stores, but it plans to open just two of those this year, including a Scottsdale, Ariz., location that opens later Thursday.
Digital Trends has a list of 2009’s Hottest Holiday Tech Trends. The holidays are almost here, and for most of us, that means feeling out proper gifts for friends and family – and, if we’re lucky, dropping just the right hints to unwrap what we’re after this year too. The especially good news for gadget enthusiasts being as follows: If your preferred pick happens to be a high-tech item, there’s a lot to get excited about this season.
Gaming Nexus has an Interview with Alan Flores, lead designer of Band Hero. The rhythm game genre is something that started small a few years ago and has exploded over the last two years. As the genre grew there was no doubt we'd see targeted version of the games pop up which is why we have Band Hero. We got the chance to talk to some of the folks behind the game to get some insight into Band Hero and what separates it from every other Band game that's on store shelves right now.
ARN reports that Stage 2 of Tasmanian NBN announced. The Federal and Tasmanian Governments have announced seven new locations to receive fibre optic broadband as part of stage two of the National Broadband Network rollout in the State.
I can't work out if this is real or not, but it seems to be: in Japan you can get a Windows 7 Whopper from Burger King. Seven stacked beef patties extend your usual Whopper to over five inches in height and the whole thing costs an appropriate ¥777 (or $8.55). It'll be available for one week only -- or seven days, get it? On a related note I had one of those Grand Angus things recently - better than I expected.
Internode have a blog about their electric car, among other things. There is a reason why we’re the only team driving a pure electric vehicle (not a hybrid or alternative liquid fuelled vehicle) in this years’ “Eco Challenge” event. Right now, there isn’t an EV charging infrastructure on the road from Darwin to Adelaide.
Gizmodo have cool footage from Saturn of moons disturbing the rings. Sir Isaac Newton would be amazed by this awesome video, showing Saturn moons causing waves as they orbit near its F Ring. These images can only be taken every 15 years, during Saturn's equinox. Thankfully, Cassini is there now.
Computerworld NZ report on some issues with internet filtering in recent trials. YouTube URLs continue to be problematic to block for hybrid Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) filtering systems such as the NetClean Whitebox that the New Zealand Department of Internet Affairs uses, and through which most of the country’s ISPs will filter their internet traffic.
IntelInside sends word of Apple's Sydney store having trouble with windows. No, not Windows 7, but the big glass kind. Apple has been forced to replace a 10 metre pane of glass on the façade of its flagship Sydney store after it was pierced by a small projectile last month. The repair job was understood to have cost Apple up to $1 million to date.
In a bit of a bizarre announcement, it seems Shane Warne may host Top Gear soon. Presumably the Australian one, although that article says Clarkson will be involved, so it's a little confusing. Anyway, I thought the second series of TG AU was a lot better than the first, so it's interesting to see they're (possibly) changing the formula once again. Anyway, discussion here. Update: Fortunately it seems too bizarre to be true, thanks Sharkx.
XbitLabs have taken a look at six-core computing. It no secret to anyone anymore that in about 6 months AMD and Intel will roll out their six-core processors for desktop platforms. However, we decided not to wait until then and put together a system with a six-core processor today. It is built around a six-core AMD Opteron 2435 from Istanbul family.
VicRoads have decided it will soon no longer be illegal to use a smartphone as a GPS in a car, with certain provisions. The use of mobile-phone GPS systems is becoming more widespread, and the ban was seen as a threat to the growing market in smartphone applications and services. The changes will now allow drivers to use their mobile as a GPS device as long as it sits in a cradle or is remotely operated.
The proposed Australian internet filter may apply to online games, report iTWire. The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy was investigating how the online games – the content of which is overseen by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) – would be affected by an internet filtering system, and whether the boxed games classification system (overseen by the Office of Film and Literature Classification) would apply.
iGadgetLife consider the best movie computer villains. With the advent of computers, came a fear that they would somehow develop human capabilities and turn on us. Hollywood capitalized on this idea… and thankfully we have these great ‘Computers Gone Bad’ movie computer villains. I remember Yul Brynner in Westworld scaring the willies out of me as a kid.
Carl sent in this scary video of a flooding datacentre in Istanbul. On Sept. 9, torrential rains in Istanbul,Turkey flooded much of the city’s Ikitelli section. Among the buildings flooded by the rising waters was a Vodafone data center (see news mentions at Total Telecom and a Turkish news site). The event was captured on the data center’s security cameras, and the video has been posted online.
Phoronix have an interview with an nVIDIA developer about their Linux support. While Linux is our focus, Andy's team and his answers for the most part apply equally to NVIDIA drivers on Solaris and FreeBSD platforms too. There are many questions that range from the status of new features in their proprietary graphics driver to why it is unlikely there will be any official open-source support from NVIDIA to download percentages of their Linux driver.
AirQ sent word of a new mouse from Apple. Big deal you say, but interestingly the upper surface is a multi-touch interface with gesture support. Click anywhere, scroll in any direction, and swipe through images on its smooth, seamless top shell. IntelInside sent in a last-minute update suggesting this mouse and some other Apple announcements are trying to steal the thunder from the Windows 7 launch tomorrow.
The ABC have picked up one of my favourite shows, QI or Quite Interesting. If you like British humour, trivia and learning stuff, you might want to check it out at 9:30pm AEDT tonight on ABC1. It's a panel quiz show where host Stephen Fry awards points not for being correct, but for being interesting. Discussion here.
Mad Shrimps have created an Intel Core i7 CPU Water Block Roundup. We got some strong contenders this time, which will give the blocks, that we already tested, a serious run for their money. Last roundup was really lacking most of the Europe fabricated blocks. This time we got them in the lab, due to the big effort done by the guys from Aquatuning.
AirQ has found an interesting video on MIT TechTV. The Indoor Autonomous Helicopter, is a project developed by the Robust Robotics Group at CSAIL.
iGadget Life has an informative article on Ejecting a Stuck Disc from a Mac Superdrive. It comes with a small amount of sexual innuendo for the bored Apple users out there. :) You know what’s snappy? Having a CD/DVD Superdrive on your Mac that is nothing more than a little slit on the side. It’s unobtrusive and stylish, and oh so fun to glide a disc into and wait for that moment when it grabs hold with its little motor finger and swallows the media. That sounded kind of sexual. My my.
On that note, we have an story that has no lack of phallic inference in it. In fact it is about a 4WD with seats made of whale penis. It may or may not surprise you that this thing is being made in Russia, and comes with a massive price tag. The €1 million ($1.6 million) Dartz Prombron Monaco Red Diamond Edition armoured car has been developed by the same company, RussoBaltique, that built armoured vehicles for Tsar Nicholas, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsk.
Thanks to Draco II for sending in this Kodak ZX1 vs Flip Mino HD pocket mini camera comparison. I recently went on a 1 week holiday to Charlotte Pass Ski Resort in Australia’s Snowy Mountains and took a media loan Kodak ZX1 HD pocket video camera with me. Soon afterwards I was lent it’s competitor, the Flip Mino HD to review so I have compared them.
T-Break have a cool little video demo of MSI Multi Touch Windows 7 Desktop with Wind Touch. MSI was at Gitex and one of the most interesting things they were showing was their multi-touch Windows 7 based All-in-One PC powered by the ION Platform.
Android 2.0 First Look: Fresh Face, Sick Speed. Gizmodo has a sneak peek at the new Android OS currently being devloped. You're best off trudging through the entire gallery here, since BGR has annotated every little shot with accompanying (and sometimes subtle) changes.
TorrentFreak has an article On the growth of uTorrent. Fresh data on the market share of BitTorrent clients shows that uTorrent remains the client of choice for over 60% of all BitTorrent users. Vuze is in second place, but its market share has dropped to 14%. Transmission, on the other hand, continues to gain ground, with the client’s market share increasing by 23% in the last two months.
BBC reports that Crystals hold super computer key. Tiny crystals could hold the key to creating computers with massive storage capacity, scientists believe. The crystals could be used as storage devices for desktop computers capable of holding 100-times more data than current systems.
OpenBSD 4.6 has been released. Originally expected to be released on the 1st of October, OpenBSD 4.6 was delayed due to a number of "serious CD production problems. Version 4.6 is the 26th release on CD (27th via FTP) of OpenBSD and includes a number of new drivers, performance improvements and new features. Visit the official web page here.
Khalil noticed that the Internet Movie Database recently turned 19. Yes, that's older than the web! Google, by comparison, is 11. Meanwhile, Yahoo is 14. IMDb is so old in fact, that is pre-dates the first web browsers. How?
There's a lot of grumbling about CoD : MW 2. Call of Duty community manager Rob Bowling, also known as 'fourzerotwo', has confirmed in a podcast that the PC version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will not support user-created mods. Worse, it will not support dedicated servers. PC gamers will have to suffer peer-to-peer connections, just like their console-owning cousins. Is it coincidence that for much of yesterday, all of Internode was IP blocked from the developer's forum? Discussion in our forums towards the end of this giant thread.
XbitLabs have a SSD roundup. Our today’s article will talk about a new Intel solid state drive using 34 nm chips and five solid state drives from OCZ, four of which are built on the Indillinx Barefoot controller that we haven’t discussed yet in our articles.
Motherboards.org meanwhile have a video review of three 5850 cards. ATI has two products on their list which are game-changing in the fact that they will likely be the only DirectX 11 supporting video cards on the market until 2010 when the consumer version of the Fermi architecture announced by NVIDIA yesterday will be released.
Asteroid spotted this shed index from Bankwest. The "Shed Index" also revealed some disturbing facts around sheds. Five per cent of sheds have been burgled, with thieves taking off with on average, contents worth $1,911, 16 per cent of men reported they had an accident in their shed, with one in five needing a trip to the doctors. We had a 60-person wedding reception in our shed once. :)
Here's a creepy mobile blob thing. Interesting technology. The Lovecraft thrill of watching that alpha-rollout ‘bot take its first so-called “steps” is about a thousand times more viscerally effective than any neatly-bound DARPA white-paper.
Dave sent in this article comparing netbooks with older CPUs. Although the Archos is the slowest of the new machines tested with the benchmark, it still beat the 3033 mainframe running COBOL which was still a popular language in 1980. So the net processing power that took up a room in 1980 now fits in a pocket. There are dozens of ARM processors and they are the most popular processors for cell phones. Because they are used in portable devices energy efficiency is a major factor in their design.
InTheFade noticed that unauthorised Xbox360 storage devices may stop working soon. If you’ve moved your profile or saved games onto one to “back it up,” you’d better move it back onto an authorized Xbox 360 storage device prior to taking the update. If you continue to use an unauthorized Memory Unit after the update, you will not be able to access your stored profile or saved games.
Today's timewaster is this one-button scroller game. Seems to have quite loud music which I can't work out how to turn off.
Sunday Night Reviews
(link) Sunday, 18-October-2009 11:50:17 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Techspot have a an interesting tutiorial on how to convert images to editable documents using free OCR tools. I guarantee that at least once in your life you've had to manually type the text of a printed paper into a digital document, and I'm sure halfway through you cursed at your keyboard and wished you could just scan the page into an editable text document. Sure, that can be easily taken care of with a scanner and OCR application at your disposal. But for those times when you are caught unprepared or on the go, a new Google Docs feature can help.
There has been a laptop provided to every pupil in Uruguay. Uruguay has become the first country to provide a laptop for every child attending state primary school. President Tabaré Vázquez presented the final XO model laptops to pupils at a school in Montevideo on 13 October.
MaximumPC have created a 2010 technology preview. In this article they reveal a lot of the new tech that will hit the markets next year. So much in life is unknowable. Will the economy rebound? Hard to say. Will oil prices skyrocket? Maybe, maybe not. Will Brangelina add to their brood? Frankly, we don’t care. But one thing’s for sure: Technology is ever-changing and each year guarantees new advances for the PC user.
A second high speed 'Internet' has gone global. The new service is aimed soley at the science and education fields and has got some impressive connectivity. A newly expanded global Internet, to focus solely on science and education, now includes half of the world's countries. The high-speed fiber-optic network connects users at speeds of 10 Gbps. Credit: GLORIAD.
According to TorrentFreak, The Pirate Bay has taken its latest appeal to the supreme court. Two of the main judges appointed to the upcoming Pirate Bay appeal have been accused of a conflict of interest, since they have both been members of pro-copyright groups. The appeal court decided that the judges are not biased, but the defense has announced that it will take the case to the Supreme Court, which is likely to delay the trial.
With the second fly related story for a week, flies have apparently had bad memories written into their brains. Researchers have devised a way to write memories onto the brains of flies, revealing which brain cells are involved in making bad memories.
Computerworld has a story on Microsoft putting Firefox users at risk. Computerworld - An add-on that Microsoft silently slipped into Mozilla's Firefox last February leaves the browser open to attack, Microsoft's security engineers acknowledged earlier this week. ..."The .NET Framework Assistant [the name of the add-on slipped into Firefox] that results can be installed inside Firefox without your approval," Bradley noted in a Feb. 12 story. "Although it was first installed with Microsoft's Visual Studio development program, I've seen this .NET component added to Firefox as part of the .NET Family patch." In fairness, It appears that users other browsers were also put at risk, though.
A reminder to users that you can send in news to news -at- overclockers.com.au, and hopefully get it posted on the OCAU main page. If you see anything cool just drop us an email and we'll check it out.
Our Sponsor Specials Forum has been quite busy lately. In there our many sponsors have special offers and deals on fitness supplements, video cards, media players, modding gear, web hosting and a range of PC components. Check 'em out!
According to this article, Google sees record $1.6bn profit. Google reported net profit of $1.64bn (£1bn) for the third quarter, a 27% increase on the same period a year ago. Revenue for the three-month period came in at $4.38bn, which was well ahead of analysts' expectations of $1.29bn In a related story it was reported that Google Accounts for 6% of internet traffic. It seems like it has been a pretty good year for them. :)
Heaven Media News has taken a look at the performance and quality difference between DirectX 10 vs DirectX 11, on the ATI Radeon 5800/5700 cards. The article also includes the worlds first detailed look at S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat running in DirectX 11 mode.
Research Group Uses Sonar for Computer Power Management. Discussions among the group led to the idea of using sonar. The group developed software that, when the user is not using the mouse or keyboard, plays a tone at a high frequency and records the tone’s echo. The computer then processes the tone and filters out everything except the frequency and looks for variance." “If the echo is constant over 10 seconds, that tends to indicate there is no one there,” Tarzia says. “If there are fluctuations, it’s likely due to a person’s movements.”
AnandTech has written up a story on the current issue with extreme overclocking on P55 hardware. Normally we do not worry too much about mishaps during extreme overclocking testing as they are typically caused by factors outside of the supplier’s control. The overriding concern is that we have damaged every motherboard in our possession for the P55 overclocking (extreme) shootout as well as two very expensive i7/870 processors. These problems are the cause of a single component and are repeatable. As such, we thought we would provide details on current problems and will provide an update once all of the motherboard manufacturers affected have had a chance to properly respond.
In a continuation of its coverage of the iiNet v AFACT case, TorrentFreak has posted another article with the latest developments. Day eight of the trial between anti-piracy group AFACT and Aussie ISP iiNet. Today’s proceedings centered around the quality of the evidence supplied to the court by AFACT. It was ascertained that AFACT likely counted breaches more than once, with one of their lawyers admitting that one method used was not 100% accurate.
With previous article on the lines between mobile techology posted recently, there is further evidence that things are changing in the mobile communication and computing environment. The BBC has reported that the Battle of the smartphones has begun. "The mobile internet is at the same stage as the internet was in 1998," said Ian Fogg, an analyst with research firm Forrester.
Government to re-write Privacy Act. THE Rudd Government will rewrite the 21-year-old Privacy Act for the technology age, ending the fragmentation of state laws and streamlining the rules to apply to both private and public sectors. "It is vital to ensure we have a Privacy Act capable of facilitating the great opportunities (offered by technology) whilst protecting the individual privacy we hold dear."
MaximumPC have a hands-On with Western Digital's TV Live HD Media Player. Yesterday, Western Digital officially announced the second generation of their WD TV HD media player. In our review of the original device, we loved its ability to play back almost any video we tossed at it, but lamented its inability to handle encrypted media files. Since then, Western Digital has issued a series of firmware updates that improve format compatibility (including DivX), but the new WD TV Live adds new hardware features as well.
12-million-digit prime number sets record, nets $100,000 prize. The computing project called the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) made the discovery on a computer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Mathematics Department. Computing manager Edson Smith installed and maintained the GIMPS software at UCLA, and thousands of other volunteers also participated in the computation
Thank you to BFM for sending in this slightly scary photography link. The Acidcow website currently has a gallery of Dead Fly Art. Within it are 15 pictures of flies carrying out various activities.
iXBTlabs is providing further information on How CPU Features Affect CPU Performance. As promised, this short article will be devoted to the analysis of probably one of the most interesting technologies used in Intel Core i7 processors -- Hyper-Threading. We were interested in a simple issue: when there are four physical cores, each split into two logical cores by HT, totalling in 8 processors per system, even an operating system may get lost in its cores. Especially as the issue of interaction between Windows Vista x64 Ultimate and eight processors hasn't been studied well enough. Again with the variety of processors out there these days, it pays to know what you're buying.
The Scotsman has spotted an article on a recent development in Finland. Suomi is apparently the first country in the world to pass legislation on the legal right to internet access. The policy will be active in July 2010, when every Finn will get a one-megabit connection. But that's just an intermediate step towards their final goal: By 2015, everyone will have a 100Mbps-yes, a hundred megabits per second-available.
T-Break have got an interesting review on the LG GD910 Mobile Phone Watch. It doesn’t do push email. It doesn’t sync my calendar or contacts with my Exchange server. It cant even take a video. And yet, its one of the coolest mobile phone I’ve used in years. The LG GD910 watch phone would make Inspector Gadget proud and bring out the kid in you. I received the unit from LG a week back and am having a blast playing with it.
Over at mydellmini, user Rob928 has created his own Dell Mini 9 Tablet. The base model is a Dell Vostro A90 (bluetooth, .3mp webcam, 1GB RAM, upgraded 16GB SSD). The touchscreen is the Hoda Technology solderless touchscreen kit. I started this project back in June, and it was 80% complete then. I took a break for a few months then finally started filling in the gaps in the frame with plastic epoxy. It took me another few weeks to come up with a way to mount the power switch and the covers for where the hinges were. It looks like a great amount of effort was put into this mod, and it seems to be quite functional.
Alleged Pirate Walks Free Under New Anti-Piracy Law. Earlier this year the Swedish Parliament passed the IPRED law, making it easier for copyright holders to obtain file-sharers’ details from ISPs. In the months that passed, no music and movie sharers were sued. Instead, the first IPRED case dealt with pirated ebooks, but this case has now been thrown out by the Appeal Court.
So, apparently Facebook Now Has 30,000 Servers. The folks over at Data Center Knowledge, have got some cool statistics on Facebook's userbase and even the sheer amount of log data generated daily.
With the increasing popularity of SSD drives as of late, it's of little surprise that tech companies are creating some amazing new products in this field. According to ComputerWorld, Samsung has been developing a mini SSD for use in laptops and mobile computing applications. Computerworld - Samsung Corp. said during an interview today that it is testing a new consumer-class solid state drive (SSD) with computer makers that's about one-third the size of a business card and that would plug directly into an internal PCI Express (PCIe) slot in a desktop, laptop or netbook.
If you use AVG antivirus you may be recieving warnings about some kind of "active threat" on OCAU. This seems to be an issue with AVG, and is fairly widespread on other sites today (see here and here, etc). It's possible that some kind of web worm has attacked OCAU and many other sites, but it seems more likely to be an issue with AVG, given no other program is reporting any problems. Disabling the AVG toolbar for now is one option if you're having trouble accessing OCAU. I have submitted a false positive report to AVG and hope to hear back from them soon - even if only with more info about what this "active threat" is specifically meant to be.
(link) Thursday, 15-October-2009 03:01:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg
HyRax1 has sent in a slightly disturbing link to the world's largest Gummy Bear. The once delicious gummy lollies have now been transformed in to grotesque baby sized treats. At around $30 USD plus delivery you would really have to like your sugar, though.
Creater of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee has apologised for adding slashes to the beginning of internet addresses. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, admitted that the // in a web address were "unnecessary". Although most OCAU users would be used to them by now, these things are the bane of anyone who has tried to give their grandparents tech support. :)
A research team from Tokyo have created a touchable interactive 3D hologram. The projector uses ultrasound to create the sensation, while two modified Wiimote to track the positioning of the users hand. The researchers say their system could be used for developing high-end video games or in 3D CAD.
Nokia has created a 3G notebook for the American market. Although this is not available in Australia, it's an interesting look at how the lines between mobile communication and mobile computing are becoming blurred. "It makes perfect sense for Nokia to get in this market," Current Analysis' Greengart said. "The PC guys are all getting into their business."
According to Torrentfreak Illegal Downloads are 150x More Profitable Than Legal Sales. Unlike most people might think, piracy is not necessarily a bad thing for copyright holders. In fact, German pirate-tracking outfit DigiRights Solutions shows that copyright holders can earn 150 times more money from illicit downloads than from iTunes and other legal stores.
MaximumPC have got 10 tips on how to get more out of GIMP, aka GNU Image Manipulation Program. This free graphics program provides a great amount of functionality, but can be slightly confusing for new users. Thankfully, you can perform a lot of the same photo editing tricks for free with GIMP. Short for GNU Image Manipulation Program, GIMP is the open source (and no-cost) equivalent to Photoshop, and like it's paid counterpart, GIMP can be a little overwhelming at first. That's where we come in.
iXBTlabs have got an interesting article on How CPU Features Affect CPU Performance. Having concluded the analysis of AMD Phenom II, we proceed to the latest platform from Intel: Core i7. We must admit that Core i7 is more interesting for a reviewer: as in case of Phenom II, we are going to "play" with the number of cores. However, while Phenom II could offer only various modes of the memory controller, Core i7 gives us two "toys": Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading. We'll give you a recap (details on the Core i7 architecture are provided in this article devoted to the announcement of this CPU line). The information may be useful to those of you in the market for a new CPU, or just for the curious geek.
Senator Stephen Conroy seems to have finally made a decision that will be popular with the majority of savvy internet users. He announced today that he would not delay the National broadband network as Telstra had requested. "There is no justification for delaying fundamental reform," he told an industry conference in Melbourne, adding: "How will more delays benefit consumers?"
The BBC reports that most british kids felt that they could not live without web access. A survey of 16 to 24 year olds has found that 75% of them feel they "couldn't live" without the internet. The report, published by online charity YouthNet, also found that four out of five young people used the web to look for advice.
Lastly, mysrh has sent in a fun little timewaster. You can access it here, and let us know your high scores in the comments.
Wednesday Night Reviews
(link) Wednesday, 14-October-2009 11:04:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg
(link) Wednesday, 14-October-2009 10:47:50 (GMT +10) - by Agg
There's an article here about the recent Moon impact mission that had people expecting, well, a bigger boom. Instead there was disappointment for millions as live pictures relayed back from the Moon showed no sign of an impact. Now, however, Nasa has released a photograph showing the flash of light as its massive Centaur rocket struck the lunar surface.
Dyson, of trendy vacuum cleaner fame, have turned their attention to desk/room fans, with typically unconventional results. Opinions are divided. Unfortunately, the downside of the Dyson method is that you can't make Darth Vader voices through the backside of the fan, and the whole assembly is closer in noise pollution to that of an actual vacuum cleaner than a regular table fan.
SilentPCReview checked out some 5900rpm HDDs from Seagate. Seagate's Barracuda LP and Pipeline HD .2 series hard drives sport 500GB platters and a rotational speed of 5900rpm, giving them a slight edge in performance over Western Digital Caviar Green and Samsung EcoGreen lines: Is there a cost?
MS have issued a further statement on the Sidekick data loss issue. T-Mobile and Microsoft-Danger continue to do all we can to recover and return customers' lost personal content. Recent efforts indicate that recovering some lost content may now be possible. Meanwhile Apple have acknowledged the Snow Leopard data loss issue.
Wayne spotted this irritatingly simple timewaster, Boomshine. I got stuck and gave up on level 11.. twice.
ATI Radeon HD 5770 and 5750
(link) Wednesday, 14-October-2009 09:59:22 (GMT +10) - by Agg
ATI's Radeon HD 5770 and 5750 were unveiled recently, adding another budget DX11 option. Based on the Juniper core, the HD 5770 and 5750 represent ATI's mainstream value proposition, with compute performance of more than 1 TFLOPS and pricing between $109 and $159 (USD). There's a significant dropoff in specs from the world-conquering HD 5870 and similarly potent HD 5850, but reviewers found the latest cards were still up to the task, with the 5770's performance said to be "just shy" of the very recent top dog for ATI, the HD 4890.
Our recent spamfest was a great success. Lots of fun was had, and over 30 prizes were awarded to quick-fingered forum-goers. The new servers coped with the stress-test extremely well - in fact, a little too well. We discovered a strange technical issue in our forum software caused by the servers being so quick to save everyone's posts. The forum software was confused by them all being timestamped identically - up to 31 in the same second in one instance. But we managed to iron out the wrinkles in the end, largely thanks to matthudson's scripting skillz.
Speaking of prizes, here's a few of them, but there were plenty more. That long roll thing from SteelSeries is, I believe, the largest mousepad in the universe.
So, congrats to these members who won prizes: say_wat, Scootre, aushades, C0L0N3L, TRG.d0inK, yorky, GAM, Braininator, Bismar, evilasdeath, HyperEvade, Lil Flipp, evo800v, Alby, Spork!, Flying Fish, mcrow5, NotHappy, krappo, kix and radeon_freak. Prizes have pretty much all been sent out now, so keep an eye on your mailbox.
Intel have allegedly been caught cheating in 3DMark. "3DMark Vantage developer Futuremark has clear guidelines for what sort of driver optimizations are permitted with its graphics benchmark. Intel's current Windows 7 drivers appear to be in direct violation, offloading the graphics workload onto the CPU to artificially inflate scores for the company's integrated graphics chipsets."
Original home of The Pirate Bay, Sweden apparently has some amazing statistics on the amount of citizens sharing files on a daily basis. According to new research carried out by music group IFPI, around 40% of Swedes between 15 and 74 illegally share files every single day. The research, carried out through a web survey, reveals that there are 2.8 million sharers in the group, an increase compared to earlier surveys. This works out to over 2.8million Swedes apparently breaking copyright law every day.
The BBC have an interesting article on firms in the UK mishandling sensitive data. About a third of UK employees throw sensitive documents in the bin instead of shredding them, research suggests. With the large amounts of data leaks and Increasing levels of identity theft happening in Britain in the past few years, it is quite scary that some companies are still not taking this seriously.
Telstra has recently addressed the senate regarding the proposed forced Telstra split. NBN engagement director, Geoff booth appealed the decision to split Telstra, while expressing support for the National Broadband Network. Telstra would like to find a mutually beneficial outcome for all, Booth said in his address. The legislation, as it stands, will not achieve that, instead causing a reduction on competition, especially in the mobile and media markets, he said.
TechRadar has made a list of the 10 essential OS X apps for pro web developers, for the Apple users out there. A built-in Apache server and the ability to run Mac OS X and Windows browsers simultaneously (the latter via virtual machines) takes you part of the way, but high-quality software products for development really make the Mac stand out in this space.
Youtube now gets over 1 billion hits per day, according to founder Chad Hurley. Chad Hurley's blog marks the third anniversary of YouTube's controversial acquisition by Google. The site was bought by Google in 2006 for $1.65bn - a price it later described as "a premium".
OC writer Splat has compiled a list of his favourite freeware applications for Windows. There are a nice range of apps listed that can be quite useful to make your day to day computer use a little bit more pleasent. A fresh install of Windows comes with just about everything a user would need for day-to-day computing. Still, some of the included programs and utilities are missing key features I enjoy or simply don't function the way I like. So I always complete my fresh install of Windows by downloading the latest versions of the following open source and no-cost software.
Neowin reports that Snow Leopard has a major bug that causes all user data to be deleted.Reports have been cropping up on the Apple Support forums that users have been losing all their data due to a nasty bug in Snow Leopard, Apple's latest Operating System. Many users are reporting that all settings are being reset and most data is gone, according to iTWire.
Enigma let us know that apparently Windows 8 plans have been leaked. Robert Morgan, a senior member of the Microsoft Research team for the last seven years, posted the details on his profile at Linkedin, a popular social networking site for business professionals.
With the crackdown on Bittorrent as of late, pirates are being forced onto file hosting websites such as Rapidshare.The site is already among the top 20 most popular in the world, according to Alexa. Uploads and downloads to Rapidshare account for 5% of all Internet traffic globally, says German networking vendor Ipoque.
Microsoft is set to provide a massive security update this month. The update aims to fix 34 vulnerabilities in Microsoft software including different editions of Windows, Internet Explorer and some elements of Office.
The final two Left 4 Dead 2 campaigns have apparently been leaked by a Taiwanese gaming website. One campaign appears to be set in a shopping mall, rumoured to have been inspired by the Dawn of the Dead. The other is set in a rainy flooded environment.
HotHardware has completed a review to find The Best CPU Under $300. The prices are in American dollars, but it's a good comparison for processors in that general price range. In this review, they put the Core i7 920 and Core i7 860 through their paces to see which one provides the best bang for your buck.
BenchmarkReviews compared CPU coolers. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests a new collection of LGA1366 coolers using the Intel Core i7-920 processor overclocked to 3.8 GHz @ 1.4V, allowing only the very best CPU coolers to endure our tests and reveal the most desirable heatsink for your computer system.
Massa has completed a Ferrari F1 test. Felipe Massa has tested in a Formula 1 car for the first time since suffering a fractured skull, but Ferrari say he will not return to competition in 2009. "It went very well," Massa said after his rain-hit session behind the wheel. "It seems that what happened in July hasn't changed anything. Good luck to Felipe!
NVIDIA have some new budget GPUs, the GeForce GT 210 and 220. PCPerspective have some coverage, as do HWZone. While we can't fault Galaxy for this at all, the new GeForce 210s and GT 220s have a hard time standing up against the almost exactly one-year-old Radeon HD 4670 card.
There's some red faces at T-Mobile and Danger, who have lost a load of Sidekick user data and seem to not have any kind of backup process, thanks Nick. That means that any contacts, photos, calendars, or to-do lists that haven't been locally backed up are gone. Apparently if you don't turn off your Sidekick and make sure its battery doesn’t run out you can salvage what's currently stored on the device, otherwise you're out of luck: Microsoft/Danger is describing the likelihood of recovering the data from their servers as "extremely low".
Sniper spotted an upgraded supercomputer, becoming the first academic system to pass one petaflop. Kraken came online on 5 October with a peak performance of 1.03 petaflops. It features more than 16,000 six-core 2.6GHz AMD Istanbul processors with nearly 100,000 compute cores. It also now has 129TB of memory, which doubles the size of Kraken for researchers running some of the world's most sophisticated 3D scientific computing applications.
HWZone have a P55 motherboard shootout. With the new mainstream Lynnfield processors lowering the price of entry for Intel's current platform, it's time to look at the rest of the supporting cast. Today, we bring together five of the top P55 motherboards from major vendors to find out which one deserves to be in your next PC.
LostCircuits have some info on threaded DDR3. To be clear from the get-go, the original Rambus technology as implemented in the Rambus Inline Memory Modules (RIMMs) used in Intel's i820 and i840 chipsets is obsolete and not a topic here. XDR/XDR2 and mobile memory initiative silicon vehicle are other legs Rambus is standing on but they are not the topic here either. The technology we are discussing here instead is an adaptation of standard DDR3 technology to better fit the requirement of multi-core, multi-CPU computing.
Quan-Time spotted an interesting keyboard biometrics video. We used the keyboard to biometrically authenticate a user with just eight entered characters. We measure four attributes about each keystroke, allowing us to compress a significant number of attributes within a relatively small word. More info here.
Believe it or not, but Photoshop is now available on iPhone. Featuring basic tasks such as image rotation, cropping and flipping as well as adjusting exposure and saturation, the app integrates well with your free 2GB Photoshop.com account. Its pretty impressive to see what the iPhone platform is capable of.
Apparently the French President is a DVD pirate, thanks Enigma. According to the French paper Le Canard Enchaine (The Chained Duck), the president rather fancied himself in a documentary called 'A visage decouvert : Nicolas Sarkozy', done by Galaxie Presse, and wanted to give copies of it to fellow diplomats attending a conference.
The NSW Police have recommended avoiding Windows for secure transactions, thanks HyRax1. Detective Inspector Bruce van der Graaf from the Computer Crime Investigation Unit told the hearing that he uses two rules to protect himself from cybercriminals when banking online. The first rule, he said, was to never click on hyperlinks to the banking site and the second was to avoid Microsoft Windows. Discussion here.
Kraft have realised that the name "iSnack 2.0" was, well, lame. So they're renamed the new cheesy Vegemite to Cheesybite. Kraft had picked iSnack 2.0 following a national naming competition which attracted more than 40,000 entries. But negative reaction was so strong to iSnack 2.0 that Kraft dumped the name just days after unveiling it during the AFL grand final on September 26.
The once-banned game Left 4 Dead 2 has been modified for Australian sale. But Australia's censorship board last month refused to give it the virtual zombie hunt classification at all, saying its high impact violence made it unsuitable for people under 18. But the board has given the OK to a toned-down version of the game because it meets Australia's MA15+ requirements.
PPC-1 has offically launched. "The game is now on" for a new era of capacity competition, Pipe Networks CEO Bevan Slattery declared at the activation of PPC-1. The new 6,900km fibre optic cable from Sydney to Guam with a spur to Papua New Guinea was officially 'switched-on' at a Sydney event, with Slattery saying the cable will forever change the telecoms landscape in Australia.
More on the AFACT vs iiNet case: iiNet say that AFACT promoted BitTorrent use itself, confusing consumers. iiNet claims that the studios had contractual agreements with BitTorrent Inc, and even promoted their companies on BitTorrent.com, a confusing situation for potential downloaders.
Microsoft will issue a security patch for Windows 7 on Tuesday. Microsoft officials posted an advanced security bulletin today that confirms Windows XP will have 6 critical holes patched, Windows Vista 5 critical holes and Windows 7 only one. Microsoft's critical rating is the highest out of all definitions used by the company, described as "a vulnerability whose exploitation could allow the propagation of an Internet worm without user action."
A few people sent in this editorial about fighting for our right to download. Now I have the Beastie Boys in my head. Now I hope I'm not the only one who thinks that any law that renders the vast majority of the public criminal is just a little bit ridiculous. But surely there is a good reason for all this hype, right? The answer lies in exploring why we even have copyright. Discussion here.
AirQ sent in Hubblecast. Hubblecast features news and Images from the Hubble Space Telescope - We live in a Universe of unimaginable scale and almost incomprehensible beauty. How is the light from the Universe transformed into the images that have inspired generations by making the Universe come to life?
NASA's LCROSS mission to impact the moon with a high-energy probe and observe/sample the resulting debris cloud kicks off in a couple of hours or so. More info here. At 10:30pm (AEDT), the rocket and, four minutes later, the spacecraft will race into the moon at 9,000 kilometres per hour to kick up about 10 kilometres of lunar dirt from the Cabeus crater floor near the moon's south pole. You might want to watch it live on NASA TV or discuss it here.
PC Authority Best Tech Awards
(link) Thursday, 8-October-2009 23:38:02 (GMT +10) - by Agg
PC Authority are running their annual survey/awards for the Australian IT industry. Welcome to the 2009 PC Authority Best Tech Awards. After the 2008 incarnation of the Reliability & Service Awards was once again Australia's biggest tech survey, we wanted it to be even better in 2009. For this reason, we've revamped the format and changed the name.
You can win prizes by participating, so put your entry in here.
Today we're having our spamfest competition, where a well-timed forum post could bag you a prize or two. All the info on how to enter is in this thread and you should post your entries in this thread. Good luck! :)
Interesting Forum Threads
(link) Thursday, 8-October-2009 10:37:36 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Here's a quick snapshot of what's going on in the forums:
The PC Database has been returned to working order and updated with the latest component options - let me know if I've missed any. So, you should be able to add or update your own PC now. There's actually been some impressive stuff added in the last few days - check these two out:
Check out the updated prize list here. I think that'll do for tomorrow, but if you're keen to include some goodies in our next spamfest, feel free to drop me an email. :)
Data Retriever Competition Results
(link) Thursday, 8-October-2009 01:52:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg
News from Crag_V:
Data Retriever's Sweet Loot Giveaway is now over, and the winners have been announced! OCAU member Yamunsa has won the Western Digital 1TB SATA HDD, while the following five lucky members walk away with an 8GB Kingston DataTraveler G2 USB drive each: Criminal_Colt, Deftone2k, johnamadeus, Drew_ and eskimogenius. The Mystery Prize goes to manol, with 4 referrals in total - for his efforts, he takes home a 32GB Kingston DataTraveler 100 USB drive! Thanks to everyone for your support, and congratulations to the winners! Keep an eye on the Sponsor Specials forum for our next competition!
Youngpro from Australia has won the SuperPi round of the recent F1OC competition in Taiwan. Participants in the F1 OC P55 challenge competed for the best SuperPi 32m score using motherboards based on the Intel P55 chipset combined with an Intel Core i7 processor.
TorrentFreak report that The Pirate Bay is in a nuclear bunker. CyberBunker is located in a former military nuclear warfare bunker in The Netherlands. The facility was built by NATO in the 50s to survive a nuclear war, but after the nuclear threats were over it was sold to its current owners. The bunker is now used as a webhosting data center.
Jason sent word of PhotoSketch, which sounds pretty amazing. According to authors, their software can take any rough sketch, with the shape of each element labeled with its name, find images corresponding to each drawn element, judge which are a better match to the shapes, and then seamlessly merge it all into one single image.
NASA are impacting the Moon twice on Friday. The Centaur rocket will strike first, transforming 2200 kg of mass and 10 billion joules of kinetic energy into a blinding flash of heat and light. Researchers expect the impact to throw up a plume of debris as high as 10 km. Close behind, the LCROSS mothership will photograph the collision for NASA TV and then fly right through the debris plume. Discussion here.
Fudzilla report that NVIDIA are working on using GPUs to speed up virus scanning. If Nvidia makes virus scanning drastically faster, they might have a chance of selling more GPUs than any time before. The opportunity is great and we hope that they might come up with something as currently CUDA applications for mainstream market are usually video encoding and image and video enhancement based.
In case you're wondering what's happening with the Large Hadron Collider, the latest news is, it's chilling out. With 6 sectors out of 8 at nominal cryogenic temperature (1.9 K= about -271 C), the commissioning at the LHC is progressing well. According to the present schedule, the whole machine will be cold in about two weeks.
Psyc0de spotted this article about NVIDIA exiting the high-end GPU market until next year. Basically, engineering failure after engineering failure has left Nvidia without a high end part, they are left waving shells while trying desperately to convince the loyal press that it is real. I'd take it with a grain of salt, but it has certainly sparked some discussion.
Gabe Newell of Valve fame visited Australia recently. The whole scenario, to be bluntly honest, was really quite weird. If you aren't aware of how it all happened, Gabe was asked by a local modder by the name of Joe W-A to check out his mod. Gabe jokingly responded that he would if Joe could fly him to Australia. Joe rallied the gaming community and managed to raise 3K to bring Gabe out, at which point the Valve head was forced to call the young man's bluff. More info on Byteside.
There's been a bit of chatter about NVIDIA drivers seemingly disabling PhysX when an ATI card is detected in the system. Qwertylesh noticed more on a patch to fix this. Although having a powerful ATI Radeon GPU aided by a less-powerful NVIDIA GeForce GPU for PhysX was possible on Windows XP, the succeeding Windows Vista restricted this, by making sure two active display drivers couldn't coexist. Windows 7 removed this restriction, but before you could rejoice, NVIDIA quickly released a driver-level code with its 186 series drivers, that disables NVIDIA PhysX altogether when a GPU from another vendor is coexisting and enabled, even an IGP for that matter.
Wayne sent in this timewaster where you control the economy by adjusting the federal funds rate. Annoying loud sounds!
20 HEURES DU SPAMS
(link) Wednesday, 7-October-2009 03:32:03 (GMT +10) - by Agg
This Friday we're having a spamfest - 18 19 20 hours of it! For those of you who missed the earlier ones, basically it's a competition where every hour we give away a prize to the first person to post a message in a given thread during that hour. It's a good stress-test of the servers and it's good fun. There's rules and specifics to keep things fair but I'll cover those in more detail later. For now, here's the prize list. Note: all times are Sydney time, which is currently AEDT or GMT+11.
2am Sat - Metal Gear Solid 4 (PS3) (Promo Copy) donated by nazty6.
I'll post more info about how to win tomorrow night. :)
Update: Note there is now a prize for 1am Saturday, taking us to 19 Heures du Spams! Also, every one of the original 18 prizewinners (so, not 1am Sat) will score a bonus 1.5M High End HDMI Cable from UglyCable. So, get a-flexin' your spamming finger!
Iro pointed out the Oz Flight Sim Expo in Brisbane this weekend. Expo visitors are invited to participate in a world record attempt. Can we break the current world record of 27.9 seconds for a paper airplane to stay in the air? Can you fold a single piece of A4 into a stunning and aerodynamic design that will break that record?
XbitLabs compared fourteen 1000W+ PSUs. Our roundup will talk about 14 power supply units from 12 different manufacturers that have one thing in common: they all offer capacity of 1000W or higher.
A few people (I think scon was first) sent in this nuclear missile silo house. We've seen a couple of these now, but they're always worth a look. But not everything is out of order: In the background sit the two giant overhead silo doors. They cover the 185-foot hole in the ground where a missile armed with a nuclear warhead used to be. Townsley has managed to get one of these massive doors up and running. It took a bunch of local volunteers and a rented crane, but he finally cracked it open.
The AFACT vs iiNet case continues, despite some claims being dropped. The judge has indicated he wants a live bittorrent demonstration. Outside the court, iiNet's managing director, Michael Malone, told media that he disputed AFACT's argument that it supported and profited from its customers downloading copyrighted material.
Interestingly, the FTC wants to regulate blogging in the USA. The FTC will require that writers on the Web clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products. The commission also said advertisers featuring testimonials that claim dramatic results cannot hide behind disclaimers that the results aren't typical.
Today's timewaster is Demolition City 2, thanks to matthudson. Doesn't seem to be any way to turn the music off, annoyingly.
Apple are apparently annoyed at Woolworths for using a logo they say is too similar to their own. Apple will have to convince IP Australia, the federal government agency that governs trademarks, to knock back Woolworths's application - first filed in August last year - to trademark its logo. Discussion here.
AirQ sent in some info about the directed energy system, aka a plane with a frickin' laser in it. More info here. New video released by the Air Force and Boeing Co. show what happens when a C-130H Hercules aims the Advanced Tactical Laser at the hood of car. In the video recorded Aug. 30 during a test flight at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., the laser melts the hood and sparks a fire. A press statement from Boeing said the laser "killed the vehicle." Another video on YouTube here, although this one seems to be in a 747 not a C-130.
InsideHW checked out 10 low-budget AMD motherboards. Since AMD presented some very interesting low-budget CPUs lately, next good question is: which motherboard should you purchase with that CPU?
Justin sent in this map of the USA, showing all the McDonalds locations. That's pretty amazing, and reminded me of how there's a whole bunch of not much in the middle of Australia. Between the tiny Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and Glad Valley lies the McFarthest Spot: 107 miles distant from the nearest McDonald’s, as the crow flies, and 145 miles by car!
Police are warning people to pay more attention and stop listening to music too loud when walking around the streets. "It's no surprise to police that with more and more people, especially school students, owning MP3 players, and lots of people walking and sending text messages, that we're seeing more and more collisions between distracted pedestrians and vehicles," Insp Parr said.
Google removed Pirate Bay from its index, but has now put it mostly back. Google has restored The Pirate Bay to its search engine index after briefly removing it last week following a copyright infringement complaint.
ArsTechnica have info on the Windows 7 Party Pack, thanks to a reader who got sent one after a stern email to Steve Ballmer. I recently caught wind of a promotion to host a Windows 7 launch party at select destinations across the globe and was initially very excited to be given the opportunity to apply to host a launch party. However I am very disappointed to read no Caribbean nations are represented in the selection of countries eligible for the promotion. Speaking of Mr Balmer, there's an interview with him here.
Short notice, but Perth people can go see the GO3 Electronic & Entertainment Expo in the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre today, as it's the last day of the show. GO3 is an exciting three-day Electronic & Entertainment Expo that will showcase the latest in Home Entertainment, Communication, Wireless/Internet, Electronic Games, In-Vehicle Technology, Pop Culture/Anime, Audio, Education & Training & more. It's free entry and there's even a few sci-fi TV stars on site.
Australia's anti-harassment laws are likely to be extended to include cyber-bullying of children. As it stands, a 15-year-old girl whose former boyfriend sends naked cyber images of her to their classmates has no protection under federal sexual harassment legislation. She would have to pursue other legal avenues to prevent him from harassing her. But a 16-year-old girl would be protected under the act.
On a similar note, Brad sent in a screenshot of an email but Porridge sent in the website with video, of some future technologies from XFX, showing their offerings from 2118AD. Finally, here is a NOT SAFE FOR WORK ad from them too. Their marketing people have too much spare time (but hey, we're linking them, so it seems to be working). :)
GlobalFoundries (the chip-fabrication spinoff from AMD) CEO Doug Grose has revealed some of the incredible costs involved in fabrication. A fab is expected to run from $2.5-to-$3.5 billion for the 90- to 65-nm nodes, to $3.5-to-$4 billion for the 45- to 32-nm nodes, to $4.5-to-$6 billion for the 22- to 12-nm nodes.
His Imperial Majesty aftahours spotted this suitably geeky urn. What's to be done with their corporeal remains after a geek has left for that great data bank in the sky? For my recently departed brother (long illness, Don't Smoke!!!), I thought this nice SPARCstation would be a cool place to spend eternity. Yes, he's really in there (after cremation).
IGN have a photo report from the Tokyo Game Show 2009. The show may have been underwhelming, but Tokyo never disappoints. More photos than you can poke a tentacle at.
LegitReviews have info on Lucid Hydra 200. Last week the folks over at LucidLogix (Lucid) introduced the HYDRA 200 real time distributed processing engine. We've spent the past few days asking questions and getting answers about this agnostic multi-GPU solution from companies like AMD, Lucid and NVIDIA. Read on to see a brief background on the technology and what the companies have to say about it.
Here's an interesting timewaster, where you can make a coconut cart. Once you've finished that, there's another game called Particle Pro as well.
Daylight Savings kicks in tonight at 2am for New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory. At 2am, set your clock to 3am. So if you've just woken up on Sunday and feel like you're missing an hour, that's why. :) Also, you may have to fiddle with your UserCP settings to get the forum to display the correct time for you. More info here.
Integral Energy are apparently suffering from a virus outbreak, thanks ikt. A spokesman for Integral Energy, a major energy supplier, confirmed that the company had called in external information security experts to "rebuild all desktop computers to contain and remove the virus". TheInq are meanwhile reporting that Linux saved the day. Quick thinking techies in the control systems department of the utility swapped the infected Windows boxes for machines running Linux that they were using for development.
Willybomb sent word that September's Iron Musician voting thread is up. This month's topic was absolutely awesome. DJ Fusion elected 'distortion', and that is what we got, in all shapes and sizes! Cyclonite summed up this month's entries saying they were 'off the hook'.
XbitLabs have some more Clarkdale info from IDF and they're also doing some Lynnfield overclocking. Using Core i5-750 and Core i7-860 processors we are going to find out how well they overclock with static and dynamic Turbo Boost implementation and will also discuss the features and functionality of Asus P7P55D Deluxe LGA1156 mainboard on Intel P55 Express chipset.
Gizmodo have a video about Microsoft's upcoming Courier tablet PC. Microsoft's Courier booklet was surprising, mostly because it was so far outside of what everybody now expects from a tablet. This internal video shows how Microsoft thinks we'll use Courier.
Corsair have a video on building a PC using one of their swanky new Obsidian 800 cases. Meanwhile AirQ spotted one of Thermaltake's Level 10 cases being unboxed over on MaximumPC. Earlier this year, Thermaltake wowed us all with the announcement of the Level 10, a concept case designed in conjunction with BMW DesignWorks. Rather than a standard aluminum box, the Thermaltake Level 10 would incorporate a central pillar, with individual compartments hanging from it for the motherboard, PSU, optical drives, and hard drives. Discussion here and here.
We haven't heard anything about Jack Thompson (the anti GTA lawyer, not the Australian actor), but it seems he's found someone new to sue: Facebook. Thompson's suit has little chance of success, according to Parry Aftab, a cyber-law attorney who is Executive director of Wiredsafety.org, a cyber safety and help group.That's because the U.S. Communications Decency Act makes it clear that companies like Facebook have no liability for what people do with their services. "They are no more liable than the phone company would be for anyone who is calling in a ransom demand," she said.
Anthrox spotted this video with some droolworthy servers etc. Dan talks about the $35 million wall of datacenter on display at the bottom of the Moscone Center escalator. As many of the attendees learned, this datacenter was used to power the nearly 40,000 VMs at VMworld 2009.