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December 2009
NEC Police Car PC (59 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 30-December-2009  05:11:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thommo sent over some interesting info about a project that NEC Australia are involved in, to make what they're calling the world's most advanced law enforcement vehicle. With both domestic and international applications, customers are likely to include the Los Angeles Police Department. The solution is based on NEC’s Mobile Access Controller (MAC), an integrated voice and data communications platform which was developed at the company’s Australian Design and Development Centre.

More info in a PDF here, and here's a few photos. It's interesting to see how the professionals attack the "Car PC" concept!





Wednesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 30-December-2009  02:55:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Storage:
QNAP TS-439U-RP Rackmount NAS on ThinkComputers.
ioSafe Solo Disaster-Proof External HDD on Techgage.
OCZ Agility EX Series SSD on HotHardware.
Western Digital Caviar 2TB Green Drive on GamePyre.
In Win Ammo 2.5-inch HDD RFID Enclosure on LegitReviews.

Video Cards:
Sapphire HD 5770 Vapor-X Overclock Edition on OCClub.
XFX and GIGABYTE RADEON HD 5970 CrossfireX on Motherboards.org.
HIS Radeon HD 5750 iCooler IV on Tweaktown.
Asus EAH5870 Radeon HD 5870 on HotHardware.

Power Supply:
Seasonic S12D 850W on APHNetworks.
Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W Modular on ThinkComputers.
Nexus RX-6300 630W on RBMods.
Ultra X4 Fully Modular 850W on Tweaknews.
Ultra X4 600W and 1050W on RBMods.

Cases:
NZXT Gamma Mid Tower on ThinkComputers.
LanCool PC-K58 ATX Mid Tower on MadShrimps.
Scythe FenrisWolf Mid Tower on Tweaktown.
Vidabox vCase3 HTPC on TechPowerUp.
Zalman MS1000-HS2 Professional Tower on Pro-Clockers.
Cooler Master Storm Series Sniper Black Edition Gaming Case on FutureLooks.



Wednesday Morning (4 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 29-December-2009  16:27:55 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I noticed Jay has done a big update to the Australian Internet Filtering page in our Wiki. It seems Electronic Frontiers Australia are ramping up their campaign against the filter. During the week starting Monday 25 January, EFA is encouraging Australian Internet users to take part in its Great Blackout Campaign, by blocking their profiles on Twitter and by 'blacking out' the home page of their web site.

Similarly, Robert wanted me to remind everyone that the Federal Government is accepting submissions about introducing an R18+ classification for video games. There's a submission template here to get you started.

In the UK meanwhile they're estimating the cost of tackling online piracy at 500 million pounds. The Digital Economy Bill would force internet service providers (ISPs) to send warning letters to anyone caught swapping copyright material illegally, and to suspend or slow the connections of those who refused to stop.

Jason noticed that the 28th was Linus Torvald's birthday, as well as my son's! To this student loan, Linus added what he termed “Christmas money”. As anyone who has a birthday very near Christmas will tell you, such “Christmas money” almost invariably includes money for the birthday bundled in too, so it's likely that some funds for the PC arrived in the form of birthday presents. Significantly, Linus wasted no time in buying the new computer after Christmas – and hence his birthday.

From le_foxx: I received some spam for “Canadian Pharmacy” and found a nice security analysis of the botnet running it. It’s a very convincing site and I haven’t seen much news about spotting these scams lately.

China has a new record-breaking high-speed train. The Harmony express, which reached a top speed of 394km per hour in pre-launch trials, travelled at an average rate of 350km per hour on its debut. This compared with a maximum service speed of 300km per hour for Japan's Shinkansen bullet trains and France's TGV service.

mpot spotted this project to attach SLR lenses to a phone. Mainly just to see if it was possible (and to teach myself about optical couplers), I thought I'd try my hand at building an adapter so I could attach SLR lenses to my iPhone. The result is pretty cheesy, but nevertheless - I present to you, the Phone-O-Scope.



Misc Pics (29 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 29-December-2009  01:36:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg

We missed out on Misc Pics last Friday due to Xmas, so here's a bonus lot. :) Thanks to Axe and others for these!






Monday Night (9 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 28-December-2009  09:38:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's an upcoming video game based on the TV series "House". GoN have some screenshots. Sometimes I post screenshots here because everyone's really excited about a game. Sometimes I post them because they're exclusive. And sometimes I post them because they're giving me nightmares and I hope that by sharing the terror I can dissipate it.

Bjorn3D visited a Kingston memory factory, while Engadget checked out the Klipsch headquarters. The Indy HQ (where we visited) is home to a dedicated design lab, one of only a smattering of anechoic chambers in the world, an in-house painting facility, a construction lab (for building wooden mockups as well as cabinets and the like), an environmental simulator for testing product response to weather variations and an SLA machine that's used to create minuscule mockups of earbuds.

Fudzilla report on an Australian-developed and NVIDIA-powered colonoscopy simulator. "In a similar way that a software development company produces a computer game, we have generated realistic environments that enable trainees to search for polyps and abnormalities inside virtual patients," Mr Passenger said. "We are currently developing a system that can produce realistic, randomised colons, so that surgeons can be prepared for a wide variety of colonic anatomies."

HWZone have a GTX 285 roundup. 2009 heralded the rise of 3D movies, and if you want the same immersive experience on your desktop, you only need to look to NVIDIA. To that end, we are taking a look at some of the most powerful GeForce GTX 285 cards money can buy to power your 3D gaming rig.

Rage sent word of a sale at Good Old Games, so if you want some bargain retro gaming you might be in luck.

Amazon apparently sold more Kindle e-books than physical books on Christmas Day. Yes, this is obviously the result of everyone who got a Kindle for Christmas (lots of folks) firing it up and ordering a bunch of eBooks on a day in which most physical-book readers weren't shopping. But it's still important and impressive. Speaking of which, I thought Kindle was only on dedicated hardware, but it seems to be available for PC now too.

Joseph spotted this fairly silly video from Intel where they fire some employees. Hello, I'm Martti Roth from Intel Finland. At Intel, we love trying new things. So, when me and my team decided to create the world's biggest Intel chime, we used five big cannons, five big tubes and five big heroes with helmets on.



Avast Issues, Forum Login (7 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 28-December-2009  03:19:48 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The popular Antivirus/Antispyware program "Avast!" was reporting false positives all over the net last night, so if you are using Avast and are having trouble accessing OCAU and other sites, update the virus signatures in Avast (or wait for it to do it automatically) and you should be fine again.

On an unrelated note, a forum software update we did just before Xmas might require you to log in to the forums again. Make sure you tick the "Remember Me" box (as long as you're not on a shared/public PC) so it doesn't keep prompting you each time you visit. If you're still having issues, try deleting your OCAU cookies and logging in again.



Sunday Afternoon (2 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 27-December-2009  02:06:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Autopia report on the new Boeing 787's interior. But the composite construction means the airframe isn’t prone to corrosion like aluminum. That means the crew can increase the humidity of the cabin, reducing that parched feeling you have after a long flight.

From Tarrith: With all the doom and gloom surrounding our Hon (Ahhh hahaha) Stephen Conroys plans to filter our Internet I am glad to have come across a Labor pollie that doesn't seem to be suffering some kind of mass insanity and has spoken out about her concern (about the direction) that Mr Conroy is taking Australia's Internet.

LegitReviews have a P55 motherboard roundup. Present for this review are products from ECS, EVGA, Gigabyte, and MSI. ECS represents the budget option with their P55H-A which has a budget price but enthusiast features. MSI steps up the price with their P55-GD65 which sits closer to the average price, quality and feature-set for a P55 motherboard. EVGA bumps the price up into the enthusiast price-range while offering a board geared primarily towards overclocking enthusiasts in the EVGA P55 FTW. Finally, Gigabyte sits on top with price and features and is the only board to feature USB3.0 and SATA-III connectivity with the P55A-UD6 motherboard.

There's a safety alert on some Acer laptops, thanks Symon. This recall covers the external power adapter of the Acer AS5738 and AS5738ZG notebook computers. Owners are to contact Acer with the product serial number or the "SNID" number to establish if their unit is affected. Instructions as to where to locate the serial number or the SNID number will be given at the point of contact with Acer. Sounds like a firmware update will fix the problem so you should be able to fix it without sending it offsite.

A few people pointed out a big Steam sale until January 3rd. Discussion here.

XbitLabs have a guide to choosing DDR3 for LGA1156. Even an experienced user may be taken aback by the diversity of dual-channel DDR3 SDRAM kits for Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3 processors. Let’s try figure out how memory frequency and timings can affect the performance of LGA1156 systems.

Kunoichi wanted to point out that Kim Peek, who inspired the film Rain Man and died recently, was not autistic but more likely had FG syndrome. A 2008 study concluded that Peek probably had FG syndrome, a rare genetic syndrome linked to the X chromosome which causes physical anomalies such as hypotonia (low muscle tone) and macrocephaly (abnormally large head).

Willybomb let us know that OCAU Iron Musician voting is on again. After all that time, we finally scored 5 tracks. All very different, all from increasingly familiar faces. Anyway, for those who forgot, the topic was 'One Hand Only'.

LegitReviews checked out a wireless phone charger called the PowerMat. For those that haven't seen the commercials on TV, the Powermat is a charging mat that allows you to wirelessly charge up to 3 electronic devices simultaneously. It also allows you to reduce the number of cords needed for charging and is a great conversation piece as you are charging your devices wirelessly.

Issue #8 of The Overclocker magazine is out now. One thing to note, there's a news story about DFI possibly exiting the motherboard market, but they have recently denied these rumours. She was eager to share immediate product plans that include releasing new BIOS revisions for its X58 motherboards to add support for Intel's 6-core 32nm processor, code-named Gulftown.



Sunday Midday Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 27-December-2009  01:07:38 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
Hannspree HF237HPB 23 Inch HDMI LCD Monitor on BigBruin.
Airlive Aircam POE-200HD H.264 1.3 MegaPixel Dome Camera on TechnoYard.
Masscool MP-1371RS Media Player on ThinkComputers.
Auzentech X-Fi Home Theater HD 7.1 Soundcard on Guru3D.
Asus O!Play HDP-R1 Digital Media Player on HotHardware.
Snell Acoustics IC-K7 bookshelf speaker on DigitalTrends.
Sony BDP-N460 Blu-Ray player on TechReviewSource.
Western Digital WD TV Live HD Media Player on FutureLooks.

Input Etc:
Razer Abyssus Gaming Mouse on DriverHeaven.
Roccat Arvo Keyboard on XSReviews.
VidaBox Premium Wireless Keyboard on RWLabs.
Belkin Washable Travel Mouse and Pouch Pad on DragonSteelMods.

Portable & Prebuilt:
ASUS Eee PC 1201N On Linux on Phoronix.
Asus Eee Top E2203 on DigitalTrends.
Fujitsu M2010 Netbook on HWZone.
ViewSonic VOT132 NVIDIA Ion Nettop on Tweaktown.
Verizon HP Mini 1151NR Netbook on HWSecrets.
Verizon HP Mini 311-1037NR Netbook on TestFreaks.
ASRock ION 330HT-BD HTPC system on TechPowerUp.



Sunday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 26-December-2009  14:39:38 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Software:
LOTRO: Siege of Mirkwood PC game on GamingHeaven.
Puzzlegeddon PC game on GamingHeaven.
GFI WebMonitor 2009 on BusinessComputing.

Motherboard and CPU:
ECS A785GM-M AM3 board on OCClub.
Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P AM3 board on iXBTlabs.
ECS A785GM-M AM3 board on TBreak.
Asus M4A79XTD EVO AM3 board on OC3D.
Gigabyte P55A Series LGA1156 boards on Overclockers.com.
EVGA P55 FTW LGA1156 board on Techgage.
ECS P55H-A LGA1156 board on NeoSeeker.
ASUS Maximus III Formula LGA1156 board on PureOC.
Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD6 LGA1156 board on BenchmarkReviews.

Cooling:
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme CPU Cooler on Tweaknews.
Aero Cool V12 Touch-screen Fan Controller on DriverHeaven.
Zalman CNPS 10X Quiet and Extreme CPU coolers on Guru3D.
Evercool HPH-9525EA CPU Cooler on HWSecrets.
Cooler Master Choiix Air Through Stash Notebook Cooler on CCEReviews.
Noctua NH-U12P SE2 CPU Cooler on TestFreaks.
Thermaltake T3000 Fanless Notebook Cooler on iGadgetLife.
Noctua NH-U9B SE2 CPU Cooler on BonaFideReviews.
Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro GPU Cooler on Tweaktown.
Thermolab BADA CPU Cooler on RWLabs.
NZXT Sentry 2 Fan Controller on OC3D.
Titan Fenrir TTC-NK85TZ CPU Cooler on Tweaknews.
Igloo 5710 Plus Silent and F101 PWM Coolers on XbitLabs.

Memory:
G.Skill DDR3 2200 MHz C7 PI on Guru3D.
Kingston HyperX 1866MHz on XSReviews.
Team Group Xtreem 2000 MHz CL7 6GB Kit on TechPowerUp.



Saturday Night Reviews (3 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 26-December-2009  11:49:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Can't... breathe. Too much... food...

Video Cards:
Nvidia GeForce 210 and GeForce GT 220 on XbitLabs.
Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 Vapor-X 1GB on Tweaktown.
XFX Radeon HD5850 on BenchmarkReviews.
AXLE GeForce GT 240 on LegitReviews.
Sapphire HD 5870 Vapor-X on HWZone.
Diamond Radeon HD 5750 on OCClub.
ASUS ENGT240 1GB DDR3 on Bjorn3D.

Storage:
G.Skill Falcon II 128GB on LegionHW.
QNAP TS-219P Turbo NAS on XbitLabs.
Thecus N2200 Dual Bay NAS on DragonSteelMods.
Crucial M225 2.5” 256GB Solid-State Drive on Motherboards.org.
Seagate Barracuda XT 6Gb/s 2TB SATA III on TechwareLabs.
Silicon Power Armor A50 External USB Drive on TBreak.
Sharkoon SATA QuickPort USB 3.0 "Toaster" 2.5 and 3.5-inch Docking Station on Tweaktown.
QNAP TS-419U Turbo NAS on OCOnline.
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB on Techgage.
Hitachi SimpleTough 500GB Rugged Portable Hard Drive on Techspot.
SanDisk 8GB Memory Stick PRO Duo on TechWareLabs.

Cases:
SilverStone Raven 2 on Metku.
NZXT Panzerbox Aluminium Case on Tweaknews.
Cooler Master AMD Limited Edition HAF 932 on OCIA.
NZXT Panzerbox Mid Tower on Modders-Inc.
Antec Skeleton on ThinkComputers.
Xigmatek Midgard on RBMods.

Power Supply:
Antec Truepower Quattro 1200W on JonnyGuru.
Antec CP-1000 on PCPerspective.
OCZ Fatal1ty 550W on PCShopTalk.
Seventeam V-Force 850W on PureOC.
CoolMax 850Watt on TechWareLabs.
Ultra X4 750W on DriverHeaven.
XFX 850W Black Edition on LegitReviews.



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! (24 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 23-December-2009  02:51:27 (GMT +10) - by Agg

As usual at this time of year, things will quieten down a bit (more) here over the next few days as I take a little time to chill out with the family (and gorge on ham.) I hope you have a great Xmas and New Year and please keep safe if you're travelling.

2009 has certainly been a challenging year for OCAU. We lost our long-term hosting provider and had to scramble to find a new one, even spending some time hosted overseas for a while. Then of course we had some security issues and the extended outage earlier this month. But with the global financial situation unfolding this year there have been a lot of people having a difficult time, so it pays to keep things in perspective.

We've also managed to draw a lot of positives from the stressful times, including moving to shiny new hardware and a great new hosting provider, and other behind-the-scenes changes. OCAU has continued to grow and in many ways we have emerged from this year with a more solid footing and more prepared to face the challenges of 2010. So, thanks for being part of the site and here's to another great year in 2010!



Wednesday Afternoon (6 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 23-December-2009  02:40:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It's being widely reported that Michael Schumacher will be racing in F1 next year, after several years of retirement. Schumacher will partner compatriot Nico Rosberg in the team that won the drivers' and constructors' titles in 2009 in its former guise as Brawn. Discussion in the "2010 F1 Silly Season" thread here.

Kim Peek, the autistic sauvant who inspired the film Rain Man, died recently. He would read eight books a day, taking just ten seconds to read a page. He could read two pages simultaneously, his left eye reading the left page and his right eye reading the right page. The video is interesting too.

Rezin spotted this article on the death of Duke Nukem. On May 6, 2009, everything ended. Drained of funds after so many years of work, the game’s developer, 3D Realms, told its employees to collect their stuff and put it in boxes. The next week, the company was sued for millions by its publisher for failing to finish the sequel.

Speaking of which, Wired have their Vapourware 2009 Awards posted. This is the 12th year we’ve offered our annual roundup of the tech industry’s biggest, brashest and most baffling unfulfilled promises. As in years past, we turned to you, our readers, to offer suggestions on what we should include.

There's a video doing the rounds of someone apparently fired from Microsoft for not Bing!ing enthusiastically enough. Hard to tell if it's real or not, but it's pretty funny anyway. It’s humorous, and the man’s impression of Ballmer is spot-on. As a matter of fact, we wouldn’t even put this past Ballmer. But many on the internet are questioning the validity of the man’s claims. Discussion here.

Another viral video claims HP's face tracking is racist, or rather, that it doesn't work that well for African-Americans. In the video, two co-workers take turns in front of the camera -- the webcam appears to follow the white employee as she sways in front of the screen and stays still as the African-American man moves about.

Tasmania's Police have an iPhone app which helps them nab unregistered vehicles and drivers, thanks JD. By entering a vehicle’s registration number, the system’s operator is able to transmit the details to a central database and retrieve vital information within moments. Similarly, officers can use the Police-only iPhone app, along with the device’s 3G connection, to achieve the same results when away from the vehicle.



Proluma Messiest Desk Contest Top 10 (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 22-December-2009  16:10:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

We've narrowed down the messiest desk competition entries to a top 10. So now we're having a poll to see who will win the dual-LCD monitor stand from Proluma.

Check out the entries and cast your vote here!



Tuesday Midday (11 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 22-December-2009  01:07:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

GoN have a timely reminder that the Federal Government is accepting public comments on the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games. Writing your own Submission is surprisingly easy. You can download a Submission Template, which is basically a three page form with a multiple choice section, fill it in, and send it back. You'll be done in ten minutes.

LegitReviews have some more info on the GPU acceleration feature of Flash 10.1. Here, we are taking a look at the pre-released version of Flash 10.1 to see what kind of improvements Adobe has really offered with comparison to Flash 10.0. To test their claims, we'll take a look at both gaming and video playback performance.

PCPerspective ponder whether the FTC case against Intel is setting NVIDIA up to become a player in the x86 processor market. The Times seems to think that the FTC is going to purposely open up the market in such a way that will enable NVIDIA to make the oft-rumored x86 processor that could make it an equal of AMD and Intel.

Here's some amazing photos of Dubai from the air. All the text is in Russian but the photos are pretty cool. It's like something out of a science fiction film.

From JC: Wow! When did this happen? We have to register with Medicare now to ensure our organs get donated. This takes 40 seconds tops. Travel safe on the roads this XMas guys =)

Speaking of sci-fi, David spotted this video about a new interface technology. Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data -- including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper "laptop."

Intel's new Atom has appeared in a new Asus EeePC. Tech Report and HotHardware checked it out. Intel didn't intend for its Atom CPU to revolutionize the ultraportable notebook market, but it happened anyway. Today, the next-gen "Pine Trail" Atom platform debuts in Asus' Eee PC 1005PE. We take a close look at Atom's second coming to see what's new.

If your existing Linux distro isn't quite doing it for you anymore, perhaps Hanna Montana Linux is more your style. Hannah Montana Linux is a unix-like Linux Operating System based on Kubuntu. The Package Manager is Debian apt. The GUI is KDE 4.2 with Hannah Montana themes.



Monday Afternoon (2 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 21-December-2009  05:33:06 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The previously banned-in-Australia game Aliens vs Predator is apparently due to be released in uncensored form thanks to a re-classification as MA15+. We are particularly proud that the game will be released in its original entirety, with no content altered or removed whatsoever. This is a big win for Australian gamers. We applaud the Classification Review Board on making a decision that clearly considers the context of the game, and is in line with the modern expectations of reasonable Australians.

The Australian Federal Police have launched a ThinkUKnow YouTube channel, which is "Think U Know", not "Think UK now". “The ThinkUKnow channel is a great initiative that raises awareness of how to keep young people safe online,” Mr O’Connor said. “The launch of this channel highlights the Australian Government’s commitment to protecting children from all kinds of harm and provides information about the ThinkUKnow program to people across Australia and the globe.”

Darkness spotted a cool multi-touch Dungeons & Dragons video. If there is seriously a use for Microsoft's crazy-ass Surfacescapes tech besides Dungeons & Dragons, I have no idea what it might be. Admittedly, I'm not a major tech guy, but the only times I ever hear about the Surface is when it's debuting some new D&D functionality, which I think is both hilarious and awesome.

Gizmodo meanwhile have an article on the physics of space battles. But suppose we get out there, go terraform Mars, and the Martian colonists actually revolt. Or suppose we encounter hostile aliens. How would space combat actually go?

TestFreaks compared eight network attached storage devices. Today I’ve gathered eight different NAS boxes for comparison. They range from four drive boxes down to single drive ones. The brands I’ve collected are a sampling from Seagate, Thecus, Synology and QNAP. These companies are the biggest and most popular NAS box providers out there, and the ones I have represent low end to high end versions for both home or personal use up to higher end feature packed boxes.



Sunday Midday (4 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 20-December-2009  01:40:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's been another high-profile hacking, with Twitter apparently suffering the wrath of the "Iranian Cyber Army", thanks Stygian. Certainly, there is a contentious history between Twitter and Iran. In the wake of supposed results of that nation's presidential election in June, protesters in Iran used Twitter to skirt government filters to report events, express outrage, and get people out to opposition rallies. Twitter even rescheduled some planned downtime in order to stay accessible for Iranian users in the midst of political upheaval at the request of the U.S. Department of State.

An SMH blog has an amusing take on the internet filtering plan. In an ambitious plan to protect Australia's children, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has announced plans to install speed humps every 100 metres on all Australian freeways. Discussion here. Meanwhile Mr Conroy seems to have lost his website, with it being initially replaced by a parody page, but now offline.

VR-Zone compared some low-profile CPU coolers. Building a mini computer these days means going small on casing, motherboard, and even coolers. But which low profile coolers should you go for?

Meanwhile Frostytech have updated their comparison and now have 252 heatsinks included. This is the most up to date copy of Frostytech's invaluable thermal and acoustic Heatsink Test Charts for Intel and AMD processors, containing data for over a dozen as yet unpublished heatsink reviews, for a total 252 different heatsinks compared. Given the mass of email requests FrostyTech has received in the last week for definitive answers on A-heatsink vs. B-heatsink, we're publishing these charts here so you have the most current comparisons going into the Holiday shopping and Boxing Day sales.

IBM have listed five innovations that will change cities in the next five years. An estimated 60 million people are moving to cities and urban areas each year – more than one million every week. The fourth-annual “IBM Next 5 in 5” focuses on cities because the world is experiencing unprecedented urbanization. I thought all our electronic interconnectedness meant the trend was moving away from all cramming into cities?

SAAB is the latest automotive brand to quietly die off. General Motors Co. said it will shut the money-losing Saab unit after talks collapsed on a sale to Spyker Cars NV, the second failure in less than a month to keep the 72-year-old Swedish brand alive.

This Australian blogger has an interesting idea to hopefully get your camera back after you lose it. All you have to do is take some photos – which you never delete from your camera – so when someone finds your camera at the bottom of the gorilla pit they are able to locate you and return the lost property to its rightful owner.

A single-digit typo made for a major aircraft malfunction recently, thanks IntelInside. The Airbus A340's first officer mistakenly entered the plane's take-off weight as 262.9 tonnes, when in fact it weighed 362.9 tonnes, the latest report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found. Makes me wonder why the plane can't measure its own weight through the suspension.



Proluma Competition (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 19-December-2009  01:38:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Remember we're having a messiest desk competition at the moment, where you can win a dual LCD monitor stand from Proluma. You can check out the entries submitted so far and add your own in this thread.


Misc Pics (14 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 18-December-2009  03:39:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Last Friday before xmas! Thanks to Shaun, Simon, Allan and YoGi_B for these. I guess the last one could be considered NSFW so be warned. :)






Friday Afternoon (7 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 18-December-2009  03:11:38 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Former High Court judge Michael Kirby has described Australia's internet filtering plans as the thin edge of the wedge. Most experts agree that Conroy's policy will not result in any meaningful dent in the availability of harmful internet content, will create significant freedom of speech issues and will be prone to abuse by politicians.

Meanwhile Paul spotted a guide to writing to Ministers effectively. Most of all, get your friends, acquaintances, family members, work colleagues, passing strangers, all writing. The bureaucratic capacity to handle ministerial correspondence is a lot like the net filters trialled earlier this year. At low levels of traffic they work OK, but once the traffic picks up, things start to choke up.

Iraqi insurgents have hacked the USA's Predator drones, thanks looktall. Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations. Discussion here.

A blogger is reporting her laptop was shot by Israeli immigration security. An announcement played over the sound system, interrupting my break in the sunshine. First in Hebrew, then Arabic, then in English. It was something along the lines of, ” do not to be alarmed by gunshots because the Israeli security needs to blow up suspicious passanger luggage.” More info here.

XbitLabs have a 2.5" SAS HDD roundup. For a few years we have been putting aside an absolutely new type of hard disk drives: server solutions in 2.5-inch form-factor. We realized it was a big omission on our part and today we are ready to rehabilitate ourselves at least partially by introducing to you six solutions like that.

There's a new Battlefield: Bad Company 2 video. No dialogue, no cut-scenes, no garbage. This is Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s multi in the (mostly) raw -- the explosions, vehicle mayhem, blood, gore, and flags.

Tech-Report say that the high-end Radeon drought may be coming to an end. These cards became so hard to find that, in our Christmas system guide, we were forced to recommend older, DirectX 10 GPUs in our primary configs and relegate the DX11 Radeons to the alternatives. After checking availability at major North American online retailers this week, however, we can say the drought is now over—or at least in its last throes.

Today's timewaster is Miami Shark. Daryl also spotted this animated jigsaw puzzle.



Photography Gallery (4 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 17-December-2009  10:33:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's some recent photos from our Photography Gallery forum:



















Thursday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 17-December-2009  10:06:55 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
Biostar TA785GE AM3 board on OC3D.
ASUS P7P55D-E PRO LGA1156 board on Techgage.
MSI P55M-GD45LGA1156 board on iXBTLabs.
AMD vs. Intel CPUs for Around 60 Euro (90 USD) on InsideHW.
Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition Processor on TechARP.
Zotac ION ITX-F motherboard on OC3D.
ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 board on iXBTLabs.
MSI 785GM-E65 AM3 board on Guru3D.
ASUS P7P55D Deluxe LGA1156 board on LegitReviews.

Audio Visual:
Patriot Memory’s Box Office HD Media Player Video Review on Tweaktown.
EGREAT EG-R1 HD Media Tank on RWLabs.
Sony PlayTV Integrated Digital TV and PS3 ABC iView Integration on RamblingThoughts.
3D Vision with ViewSonic’s VX2268wm FuHzion LCD on Tweaktown.
Samsung SyncMaster P2350 LCD Monitor on BenchmarkReviews.

Input Etc:
Gboard Gmail Keypad on I4U.
Cooler Master Sentinel Advance Mouse on Motherboards.org.
Roccat Sota mousepad on XSReviews.
Apple Magic Mouse on HWZone.
Logitech G19 Gaming Keyboard on ASELabs.
EFO Wireles Handheld PC Keyboard on RBMods.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Alienware M17X Notebook on TBreak.
Acer Aspire One D250 netbook on HWZone.
Jetway JBC230C63P-330D-W Ion Nettop - Unboxing and Undressing Video on Tweaktown.
Asrock Ion 330HT-BD Nettop on TechSpot.



Wednesday Morning (29 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 15-December-2009  16:01:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Top story today would have to be the Federal Goverment announcing that mandatory internet filtering will go ahead in Australia. That sound you just heard was several million internet users smacking their foreheads simultaneously. The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, said today he would introduce legislation just before next year's elections to force ISPs to block a blacklist of "refused classification" (RC) websites for all Australian internet users.

Thunderbird 3, the latest version of Mozilla's email client, was released recently, thanks metamorphosis. If you like Firefox’s tabbed browsing, you’re going to love tabbed email. Thunderbird 3’s tabbed email lets you load emails in separate tabs so you can quickly jump between them.

On a related note the French military have gone with open source over closed source for a military-grade email program, thanks IntelInside. France's military chose open source software after an internal government debate that began in 2003 and culminated in a November 6, 2007, directive requiring state agencies "Seek maximum technological and commercial independence."

If you're one of the 32 million people with a RockYou account, you might want to change your password, thanks Iain. It’s no secret that most people use the same password over and over again for most of the services they sign up for. While it’s obviously convenient, this becomes a major problem if one of those services is compromised. RockYou make apps for Facebook etc, it seems.

Claims that piracy is killing the movie industry are a little shaky given the record numbers being reported by the industry. In 2009, the leading Hollywood studios made more films and generated more revenue than ever before, and for the first time in history the domestic box office grosses will surpass $10 billion.

DVHardware report on a cheap GPU-powered supercomputer at the University of Antwerp. For under 6000 euro, the ASTRA research group managed to create a new personal desktop supercomputer that can do their tomography reconstruction calculations four times faster than a four-year old 3.5 million euro supercomputer.

Overclockers.com, as well as having had a big facelift since I last visited, have a Windows Showdown posted, comparing 8 operating systems in 6 benchmarks. Since its debut, Windows Vista has taken nothing but flak from almost every demographic one could think of. Windows 7 on the other hand has been hailed as being noticeably better performing, and supposedly as light as XP. And what about XP? How do they really stack up to one another?

If you have an i7 or i5 you might like this Turbo Boost Technology Monitor, thanks Timbot. Intel® Turbo Boost Technology Monitor is a Windows Sidebar gadget which provides simple display of increase in processor frequency when applications request and Intel Turbo Boost Technology delivers more performance.

Panasonic are apparently blocking aftermarket batteries from being used in their Lumix cameras. A Panasonic Australia spokesperson defended the policy change vigorously, stating that the decision was made "first and foremost to protect the customer's safety and their investment in their LUMIX camera." They continued, "We permit the use of only genuine quality-assured Panasonic batteries with our products, as there have been reported instances of third-party batteries damaging the camera's electronics, overheating or even exploding."



Wednesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 15-December-2009  14:19:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Software:
Borderlands: Zombie Island of Dr. Ned PC game on GamingHeaven.
King Arthur: The Role Playing Wargame PC game on GamingHeaven.

Video Cards:
Axle GeForce GT 240 512 MB on TechPowerUp.
AXLE GeForce 210 on PCShopTalk.
XFX HD5770 on Tweaknews.
ASUS GeForce GT-240 GDDR3 on BenchmarkReviews.
ASUS ENGT240 512MB GDDR5 on Bjorn3D.
apphire Vapor-X HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 on TestSeek.
MSI GeForce GTX 275 Lighting on iXBTLabs.

Storage:
Thermaltake BlacX Duet HDD Docking Station on APHNetworks.
Vantec NexStar SATA/IDE to USB 2.0 Universal Storage Adapter on Tweaktown.
Corsair Flash Survivor GT 32GB USB Flash Drive on CCEReviews.
Crucial 256GB SSD video review on Motherboards.org.
Samsung 256GB SSD video review on Motherboards.org.
Imation 64GB M-Class Solid State Drive on BigBruin.
HITACHI Travelstar 7K500-500 2.5'' Hard Drive on PCShopTalk.
OCZ Technology 60GB Agility Solid State Drive on BigBruin.

Memory:
G.SKILL F3-8500CL7D-8GBSQ 2X4GB LAPTOP DDR3 RAM on APHNetworks.
Geil Black Dragon DDR3 Gaming Series PC# 12800 2x2GB on OCClub.
Team PC3-12800 Xtreem LV 4GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit on Tweaktown.

Prebuilt & Portable:
Alienware Aurora ALX Desktop on DriverHeaven.
Cryo PC Tetrad Extreme prebuilt PC on XSReviews.
Gateway One ZX Series all-in-one PC on DigitalTrends.
ASUS K50IN Laptop on DriverHeaven.



Tuesday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 15-December-2009  09:15:36 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cooling:
Thermaltake ISGC-400 CPU Cooler on Tweaknews.
Xigmatek Thor's Hammer CPU Cooler on RBMods.
Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler on PureOC.
Prolimatech Mega Shadow Deluxe Edition LGA 1156 Ready CPU Cooler on OCIA.
Thermaltake Contac 29 CPU Cooler on Tweaknews.
GlacialTech F101 CPU Cooler on RWLabs.
Noctua NH-D14 on OCClub.
CoolIT Domino i5 CPU cooler on Tech-Reviews.
GlacialTech F101 CPU Cooler on TechWareLabs.
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 CPU Cooler on HWSecrets.
Cooler Master NotePal U1 and U2 notebook coolers on InsideHW.
Thermaltake Massive 23 CS Notebook Cooler on Virtual-Hideout.
Spire TherMax Pro CPU Cooler on LegitReviews.
Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler on RBMods.
Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler on Guru3D.
Xigmatek Dragoon and Cuirassier Memory Heat Spreaders on Tech-Reviews.
Noctua NH-D14 and NH-U9B SE2 CPU coolers on NeoSeeker.
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Cooler on DriverHeaven.

Power Supply:
Zalman ZM500-RS on HWSecrets.
Thermaltake EVO_Blue 750W Modular on ThinkComputers.

Cases:
Thermaltake LANBOX Lite on Motherboards.org.
AzzA Helios 910 on Motherboards.org.
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme on XSReviews.
Zalman MS1000 RS2 on Hi-TechReviews.
NZXT Tempest EVO on HWSecrets.
Lian Li Tyr PC-X1000 super tower on PureOC.
Cooler Master HAF 932 AMD Limited Edition on Pro-Clockers.
Enermax Phoenix Neo on OCModShop.
Corsair Obsidian Series 800D on HWSecrets.
CoolerMaster Gladiator 600 on Hi-TechReviews.
In Win Fanqua on OCClub.
Silverstone Sugo SG06 Mini-ITX SFF Case with SST-TOB02 Blu-Ray Drive on PCPerspective.
NZXT Panzerbox on APHNetworks.



Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 14-December-2009  10:37:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A quick snapshot of what's going on in there:

Computer things that annoy you in Overclocking & Hardware.
What's the oldest computer you know somebody is still using? in Overclocking & Hardware.
MSI AfterBurner Skin Poll/vote now open! in Overclocking & Hardware.
Thermalright to Launch Venomous X, New Flagship CPU Heatsink in Overclocking & Hardware.
Samsung to launch a six monitor setup for AMD Eyefinity in Video Cards & Monitors.
Optimal performance from G.Skill Falcon in Windows 7 in Storage & Backup.
Intel's six-core Core i7 980X to arrive in March 2010 in Intel Hardware.
Flickering screens plague new iMac owners in Apple Hardware & Software.
Powermat - Wireless Charging in Electronics.
The awesome Class A amplifier build thread in Electronics.
Whitelisting of Internet at company in Business & Enterprise Computing.
IP camera server - Need huge storage in Business & Enterprise Computing.
Mozilla exec urges Firefox users ditch Google for Bing in Networking, Telephony & Internet.
Things you LIKE about Windows 7 in Windows Operating Systems.
Alt tabbing styles in Windows Operating Systems.
Google Chrome OS: Source Released in Other Operating Systems.
Windows 7 Browser Benchmarks in General Software.
Submissions are open for an R18+ Games classification in Australia in Games.
Ball blowing robot demonstrates extreme dexterity in Science.
VW going for Suzuki in Motoring.



Monday Evening (3 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 14-December-2009  07:07:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

IBM have a new multi-million dollar datacentre - in New Zealand. The data center will be cloud computing enabled, highly resilient and have the environmental protection advantages of IBM's industry-leading data center design characterised by energy efficiency, green technologies, scalability and the latest power and cooling technologies. For instance, the data center will include a cooling system which, during cold months, will leverage outside air, reducing the need for chillers.

There seems to be some SATA 6G SSD prototypes floating around, with coverage on BenchmarkReviews and PC Perspective. In truth, this is nothing but an exercise to see how early SATA 6G implementations can actually show notable improvement over current generation SATA 3.0 Gb/s drives.

If you're looking for something to do over the Christmas break, you could try one of the most popular DIY projects of 2009 on Lifehacker. Who hasn't dreamed of having a mystery-story-style secret passageway? While a trick bookshelf is pretty awesome in itself, this secret passage hides a home office with clever style.

Byteside have their Christmas episodes out: Our panelists - all top editors and journos from the games and tech scene - shared their top tips for great Christmas gifts. We covered every price range, so no matter what your budget is, this is the show to watch for smart ideas. Games show here, Tech show here.

Western Digital have a new Advanced Format partitioning scheme. This is a new format method they will be incorporating into their various drive lines. Advanced Format represents a new way for their drives to handle data internally. Discussion here.

There may be a surprisingly simple cure for Multiple Sclerosis, thanks James. In an initial study, Dr. Paolo Zamboni took 65 patients with relapsing-remitting MS, performed a simple operation to unblock restricted bloodflow out of the brain - and two years after the surgery, 73% of the patients had no symptoms. Dr. Zamboni's thinking could turn the current understanding of MS on its head, and offer many sufferers a complete cure. Early days yet, but it is attracting interest. Discussion here.

Charg3r reminded me of the traditional Christmas timewaster, Winterbells. Not very reminiscent of an Australian xmas but there you go. :)



R18+ Classification Submissions (21 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 14-December-2009  05:22:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Just got an interesting press-release from the Attorney-General's Department: Submissions are being sought on whether the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R 18+ classification category for computer games. Submissions can be made by downloading and completing the submission template. Submissions may also be mailed or faxed. The discussion paper and submission template contain the contact details for making a submission.

More info here.



Win a Dual Monitor Stand! (2 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 13-December-2009  15:27:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg

OCAU sponsor Proluma are giving away one of their dual-monitor stands to a lucky OCAU member. Because these stands are great for tidying up the look of your desk, we're going to give it to the person with the messiest desk on OCAU.


Click for the entries thread!


So if you think your desk is the messiest, or you think you can MAKE it the messiest, here's how to enter. Take a photo of your desk with a note somewhere with OCAU written on it and clearly visible. Upload it to OCAU Pix or your other favourite image hosting site, and post it in a reply to this thread. Next Monday I'll pick the one I think is the messiest (or funniest, or otherwise best) and send the prize to the winner. Easy! More info on the stand in their Sponsor Specials thread.



Forum Projects (2 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 13-December-2009  10:26:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Some interesting things from the forums:


SilverSilence has some
HD5770 Crossfire details

Team.AU checked out the
Antec 1200OC @ 1600+ W

Quan-Time reviewed the
Asus K70IC 17" Laptop


CarlosTheJackal has a
rackmounted WC i7 worklog

n3wbi379 is building a
600L in-wall fish tank

dinos22 has a video of
Antec's Quattro 1200W OC PSU


windwithme reviewed the
MSI Wind12 U200 CULV notebook

and Gigabyte's MA790FXT-UD5P
overclocking with an X4 965

Rake fixes his
over-earthed sound



Sunday Evening (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 13-December-2009  09:29:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Pretty much this entire news post comes from Oh Smeg, so thanks for that!

This article on OSNews follows up on the recent Microsoft/Danger data loss issue and considers more widely the issue of storing your data on the internet. In the Microsoft/Danger disaster, it turned out to be not as bad as everyone (including the involved parties themselves) had thought; Microsoft was still able to recover the lost data, meaning that users still got their stuff back. Still, I'm sure Sidekick owners were less than pleased.

Computerworld cover 802.11n's long road to standardisation. The result: it took five drama-packed years for the standard to come to fruition. The delay was never over the technology. In fact, the technical tricks that give 802.11n its steady connection speeds of 100Mbps to 140Mbps have been well-known for years.

Germany are setting up a centre to fight botnets. Germany has the third highest number of infected computers in the world. According to the BSI, the objective of the project, which is unique in Europe, is to get Germany out of the top ten originating countries for cybercriminality.

Here's a blog article about the instruction set war. There is an almost invisible war going on between Intel and AMD. It's the game of who is defining the new additions to the x86 instruction set. This war has been going on behind the scenes for years without being noticed by the majority IT professionals. Most programmers don't care what is going on at the machine code level, so they can't see all the ridiculous consequences that this war has.

Apparently this conference was attended by our own Senator Conroy recently. This is the official Web site of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), run by the IGF Secretariat. Its purpose is to support the United Nations Secretary-General in carrying out the mandate from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) with regard to convening a new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue - the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

The UN are also pondering Ten Net Commandments, report ArsTechnica. As the UN-backed Internet Governance Forum 2009 met last week just a stone's throw from Mount Sinai, some wondered whether it wasn't time to draft a "10 commandments" for the Internet. And everyone had ideas about what should be on it.

The first programmable quantum computer has been created, according to ScienceNews. Using a few ultracold ions, intense lasers and some electrodes, researchers have built the first programmable quantum computer. The new system, described in a paper to be published in Nature Physics, flexed its versatility by performing 160 randomly chosen processing routines.

For something of a timewaster, here's one person's list of the 50 most interesting articles on Wikipedia. Feel free to suggest others. :)



G Skill Falcon II 128GB SSD Review (2 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 12-December-2009  15:56:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Feartec has posted a detailed review of the new 128GB G Skill Falcon II SSD. With SSD’s becoming more popular I decided to take the plunge and replace my 150GB Western Digital Raptor X (WD1500AHFD) with a G.Skill Falcon II SSD (FM-25S2I-128GBF2). The Raptor was doing fine and performance is OK but with 70GB dedicated to Windows there was not much room for games. The aim of this upgrade is not to get the best synthetic benchmarks but to speed up my system drive and measure the benefits.


Click for the review!



Saturday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 12-December-2009  12:02:56 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
Intel Xeon 3450 Processor on iXBTLabs.
AMD Athlon II X4 630 & 620 CPUs on HWZone.
AMD Phenom II 965 X4 Black Edition C3 Processor on OCIA.
MSI 785GM-E65 AM3 board on TBreak.
Zotac IONITX-A-U Mini-ITX Ion Motherboard on LegitReviews.
DFI BI 785G-M35 (AMD 785G) AM3 board on HWZone.
Asus Maximus III Gene LGA1156 board on NeoSeeker.
MSI Big Bang Trinergy P55 3-Way SLI Motherboard on PCPerspective.
ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 board on Bjorn3D.

Video Cards:
GTX 295 VS ATI RADEON HD 5970 on Motherboards.org.
NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 on iXBTLabs.
GIGABYTE Radeon HD 5750 1GB on Tweaktown.

Storage:
SSD vs HDD on a Netbook - OCZ Neutrino on TestFreaks.
Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA 3 6Gbps on OCClub.
Areca ARC-1680X PCIe Eight-Channel External SATA/SAS RAID Controller on Tweaktown.
Kingston DataTraveler Mini Slim 4Gb USB Stick on MadShrimps.
Addonics CipherChain Hard Drive Encryption on Techgage.
Thermaltake Blacx Duet Hard Drive Docking Station on ThinkComputers.
Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB Hard Disk on Tweaktown.
DroboPro RAID box on TBreak.
Iomega Ego vs Seagate FreeAgent Go portable hard drive 320GB on RamblingThoughts.
LITE-ON BD Combo Drive iHES208 on TechWareLabs.
Verbatim 500GB InSight USB Portable Hard Drive with "Always On" Display on TestFreaks.
Kingston SSDNow V+ 64GB SSD on InsideHW.
Seagate FreeAgent Go ST910004FAA2E1-RK on BenchmarkReviews.
QNAP TS-809 Pro Turbo NAS on TechSpot.
Patriot Memory NAS GearBox Mini Adapter Video Review on Tweaktown.
Kingston 32GB DataTraveler 200 USB Flash Drive on LegitReviews.

Portable:
Acer Aspire 5738DG-6165 15.6-inch 3D Notebook on Tweaktown.
Acer Aspire 5738PG-6306 15.6-inch Touch Screen Notebook on Tweaktown.
Virgin Media Freedom Netbook Video Review on eTeknix.

Software:
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 PC on Metku.
Colin McRae Dirt 2 (PC) VGA Graphics performance on Guru3D.

Memory:
OCZ Platinum DDR3-1333 4GB Low Voltage Dual Channel Memory Kit on ThinkComputers.
A-DATA Xtreme PC3-16000 4GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit on Tweaktown.
GeIL Ultra DDR3-2000 on PureOC.
Corsair Dominator GT DDR3 1600MHz on NeoSeeker.
LGA1156 Platform and DDR3-1600 Memory on iXBTLabs.
G.Skill Pi PC3-17600 4GB Dual-Channel Memory Kit on Tweaktown.
6GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer Triple Channel on TechWareLabs.



Misc Pics (42 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 11-December-2009  03:22:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It wouldn't be Friday without..





And in case you missed the previous lot of Misc Pics due to the outage, you can check them out here!



Friday Midday (6 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 11-December-2009  01:01:52 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Tzorst spotted this secret office fridge idea. When I used to work at a bank we had a bar fridge under one of our work benches, but it had the face plate from a huge old IBM PS/2 server stuck to the front of it. The perfect disguise. :)

ArsTechnica consider what companies can do to be the world's greatest ISP. The OECD once published a table (PDF) with burnrates, which showed that in countries like Australia, customers could actually burn through their purchased amount of bytes in under a minute. Interestingly enough, the countries that have high bandwidth networks available don’t have heavy caps. For instance, NTT in Japan has a 900GB upload limit but no download limit.

Phalanx spotted the niftiest robots of 2009. As this BBC video shows, the bot is camera-equipped so doctors can see the insides of your insides. Once the spider bot arrives in the colon, doctors can use a wireless remote to order spidy to unfold its legs and scour the colon for polyps or tumors. There's still some potential issues, though.

Wessam sent in this new Peer-to-Patent site for Australia. Peer-to-Patent is an online forum created with the aim of improving the quality of issued patents. It is designed to achieve this aim by enabling self-selecting members of the public to supply the patent office with information relevant to the novelty and inventiveness of pending patent applications.

Atomic have a new publication called KitLog. We've recently started publishing a new online-only magazine, itself an extention to the printed Atomic magazine, named KitLog. It's a quarterly guide to choosing and tweaking the best components in a PC.

TechReport looked at USB 3.0 performance. USB 2.0 has been around for nearly a decade—an eternity in the PC world. We've taken a quick first look at its replacement, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, to see what's up with the spec and how a first implementation measures up. LegitReviews looked at USB 3.0 on the ASUS P7P55D-E Premium motherboard.

Darkness sent in a couple of Lego animation videos: Trinity, Help! and City Fire Response 2. Cool, but way too much spare time. :) On a different note, game anywhere by taking your own projector with you.



Friday Morning Reviews (7 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 10-December-2009  13:54:38 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
Inno3D GeForce GT 210 and 220 on Guru3D.
Asus EAH5970 on NeoSeeker.
ASUS GeForce GT240 GDDR5
Inno3D GeForce GT 240 on LegionHW.
XFX Radeon HD 5850 Black Edition Video Review on Motherboards.org.
XFX Radeon HD 5870 on I4U.
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X HD5750 on InsideHW.
ASUS GeForce GTX 285 Matrix on PureOC.
ATI Radeon HD 5770 CrossFireX Performance on Techgage.
XFX Radeon HD 5850 Black Edition on Motherboards.org.

Power Supply:
Rosewill Green Series 630W
Ultra X4 750 Watt Modular
Kingwin Lazer LZ-850 850 Watt Modular on Tweaknews.
Fractal Design Newton R2 800W on RWLabs.
Topower Tiger 1200W on OCClub.
Seventeam ST-650P-AF on HWSecrets.

Cases:
SilverStone GD04 HTPC Case
SEED MA-280 Mini-ITX Case on Tweaktown.
Zalman MS1000-HS2 on HWSecrets.
LanCool Dragonlord PC-K58W Mid-Tower on OCOnline.
Cooler Master Gladiator 600 on BigBruin.
Thermaltake Element V VL20001W2Z on Motherboards.org.
NZXT Panzerbox Aluminium Mid-Tower on PCPerspective.
NZXT Panzerbox on XSReviews.
Lian Li PC-B25FB KingMod Edition on TechPowerUp.
NZXT Beta EVO Black Mid-Tower on RBMods.



Thursday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 10-December-2009  12:55:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboards:
ECS P55H-A P55 LGA1156 board on PCPerspective.
MSI X58M LGA1366 board on RBMods.
ASRock X58 Extreme LGA1366 board on PCShopTalk.
MSI 785GM-E65 AM3 board on TBreak.
Gigabyte P55A-UD6 Sata 3 & USB 3.0 on Bjorn3D.

Cooling:
Thermaltake SpinQ Heatpipe CPU Cooler on FutureLooks.
Noctua NF-P14 FLX 140mm Fans on DragonSteelMods.
Coolink LapChilla Notebook Cooler on OCModShop.
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev B CPU Cooler on Pro-Clockers.
Gelid Tranquillo CPU Cooler on Guru3D.

Storage:
Corsair Flash Voyager GT 32GB on Phoronix.
Thermaltake Vi-On HDD Enclosure on HWSecrets.
Verbatim Insight 500GB Portable Hard Drive on OCModShop.
Filemate 3.5" Hard Drive Enclosure on Pro-Clockers.



Outage (186 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 9-December-2009  04:02:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Welcome back. :)

Thanks for your patience while we sorted out some technical issues over the last week or so. I can't give too many details but basically as noted previously we had some security issues with the servers. These made me have to re-think how we handled some aspects of the site and until they were addressed I wasn't comfortable having the site online. It was a very tough call but it had to be made. Will we have similar issues again? Well, I hope not, but given the current online climate and the reports of website hacking all over the world, there's absolutely no guarantees. Big popular sites seem to be targets at the moment but we are at least in a better position now than we were two weeks ago.

So, thanks again for your patience. Also thanks to the MANY people who reached out and offered assistance of various kinds - even just a friendly email was hugely appreciated during this very stressful time. Particularly I want to thank Simon from Whirlpool who hosted our placeholder page and had some great advice while we were offline. Also to the lads at Insiteful for helping us out in a big way with the technical side of things.

I also want to clarify that our downtime was in no way related to our bandwidth sponsor Internode. The problems were restricted to our own servers and Internode have been very helpful with datacentre access etc, not to mention providing our crazy-fast bandwidth! Our other sponsors have been very cool about letting us get on with what we needed to do which is great also.

Some bits of the site are still offline and will hopefully be returning soon. In the meantime, it's good to have you back!



Wednesday Afternoon (7 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 9-December-2009  01:58:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Tweaktown have part two of their the state of Solid State article posted. Like all things in this industry, eventually all things become dated, so it is time to make some new predictions, look at emerging technologies and even make some suggestions to the companies that are offering products to the masses. They also have info on a new enterprise-class SSD from Seagate, called Pulsar.

LostCircuits have the second part of their Brave New World of SSDs article as well. To put things into perspective, flash memory was originally developed as an inexpensive media for digital cameras with rather limited write/erase cycles and, with the exception of some high-end cameras in use by professional photographers, rather infrequent accesses to the media. It is fairly easy to appreciate how the adaptation of this low-cycle frequency flash technology into a completely different set of application, specifically the use in solid state drives can cause some problems.

Tech-Report checked out GPU acceleration for Flash video. At long last, playback of Flash videos on YouTube, Hulu, and elsewhere can be GPU-accelerated. Join us as we take three different low-power systems for a spin to see how they handle the Flash 10.1 beta.

Intel have cancelled the Larabee chip for now. "Larrabee silicon and software development are behind where we hoped to be at this point in the project," Intel spokesman Nick Knupffer said Friday. "As a result, our first Larrabee product will not be launched as a standalone discrete graphics product," he said. "Rather, it will be used as a software development platform for internal and external use," he added.

Apparently a Trekkie linguist has encouraged his child to become bilingual - in English and Klingon. It's widely reported that he ONLY spoke Klingon to his son for the first 3 years but various comments make me think that's not the case. Original article here. As for Speers, who still gets nostalgic when he recalls singing the Klingon lullaby "May the Empire Endure" with his son at bedtime, the experiment was a dud. His son is now in high school and doesn’t speak a word of Klingon.



Wednesday Midday (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 9-December-2009  00:44:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Paul spotted this interesting mashup of emergency and disaster events overlaid on Google Maps. Might be quite handy during bushfire season.

Fuzzy Kaos sent in this very cool OS Xbox Pro project, with a timelapse video here. Built so that Will can run Final Cut Pro for his job as a video editor, the machine is based on an EFI-X hackintosh dongle, and inside it sports an 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550s paired with an NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT card, 8GB of RAM, an 16GB SSD, and four traditional hard drives: one each to boot Windows 7 and OS X, and two 500GB 7,200rpm drives in a RAID0 array for video editing.

It looks like TweakGuides have released their Windows 7 Tweaking Companion, thanks Marek. At over 400 pages in length, this book is designed for novice and advanced users alike. It is written in plain English to help you genuinely understand all key aspects of Windows 7 and your PC. Every major topic is covered in detail: from the correct installation of critical drivers and software, through to simple explanations and recommendations for every significant Windows setting and feature, all performance and convenience tweaks and customizations, as well as thorough troubleshooting advice.

iXBT continue their multi-part article on CPU features vs performance. We proceed with our series of articles devoted to analyzing performance of modern CPUs in real applications and finding out the effect of processor features. This article dwells on the number of cores of Intel Core i7. That is we actually redo the first part of this series, but with a different processor this time.

Tech chatshow Byteside have been pondering "the best of the decade": A stellar collection of Australia's leading tech and gaming journalists discuss the highs and lows of the noughties. Topics covered include: the most influential, the very best, the very worst, the biggest surprises, the biggest disappointments, and a taste of what may come in the years ahead. Plus, the journalists give a unique perspective on how they covered this changing decade in the media. Games show here, Tech show here.

Team Australia recently won the F1 OC 3DMark06 IGP Challenge in Taipei. "This round of F1OC was the most enjoyable for us so far," said James Travaskis (aka YoungPro) from Team Australia. "GIGABYTE has really listened to the overclocking community and the GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H motherboard is a perfect example in terms of its ease of overclocking and extensive overclocking specific features, giving us the edge required to win this month’s competition."

IntelInside noticed this article from IBM about UNIX turning 40. Ken Thompson developed a game on the GE-645 mainframe called Space Travel. Unfortunately, the game was just running too slow on the GE box, so Thompson rewrote (in assembly) the game for DEC's PDP-7, with the help of Dennis Ritchie. The porting experience led Ken to develop a new OS for the PDP-7.



Sunday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 6-December-2009  09:46:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio Visual:
Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray Player on TrustedReviews.
Olympus PEN EP1 Micro 4/3rds Digital Camera on RamblingThoughts.
GlideTV Navigator remote on TestFreaks.
Samsung Series 7 UE55B7020 55in LED LCD TV on TrustedReviews.
Zowie Gear Hammer e-Sports Headset on OCClub.
Samsung DualView TL225 / ST550 Digital Camera on EverythingUSB.

Power Supply:
Ultra X4 500W on HWSecrets.
Corsair HX650W on DriverHeaven.
Ultra X4 1200W on JonnyGuru.
SilverStone Nightjar 400W on HWSecrets.
Enermax Eco80+ 500W on SilentPCReview.
Thermaltake Toughpower XT 750W on TechWareLabs.
Seventeam ST-650P-AF on HWSecrets.

Cooling:
CoolAge X120TF, Zalman CNPS10X Quiet and Evercool Transformer 4 on XbitLabs.
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 CPU Cooler on RWLabs.
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B LGA1156 CPU cooler on PureOC.
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 CPU cooler on TestSeek.
Tuniq TX-3 thermal compound on PureOC.
Corsair H50 Hydro Series Liquid CPU Cooler on OCIA.
Logisys NP160 Laptop/Notebook Cooler on TechWareLabs.
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B CPU Cooler on HWSecrets.
Cooler Master Notepal X2 laptop cooler on BigBruin.

Storage:
OCZ Colossus 3.5-in Solid State Drive on PCPerspective.
AMP 4GB USB Drives on DriverHeaven.
Seagate Barracuda 2TB Sata 3 (Sata 6Gb/s) HDD on Bjorn3D.
Wintec Filemate SolidGo Silver 60GB SSD on Pro-Clockers.
QNAP TS-419P Turbo NAS 4-Bay Network Storage on LegitReviews.
Seagate Barracuda XT HDD on TechReport.
Thermaltake BlacX Duet HDD Docking Station on HWSecrets.



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