The process has begun to turn off analogue TV, so if you're in Mildura and your TV doesn't work, now you know why. Experts warn that despite improving popularity and $190 million in funding, many viewers are still not ready for the change and may soon see their screens fade to black.
Timbot sent in this old but interesting webpage about dodgy motherboards. We only remember seeing these boards with UMC or PC Chips labels, but apparently you could ask for anything at all: UMC, SiS, Intel, you name it. After all, from the importer's point of view, if it helped close a sale for 500 motherboards, how much did it cost to get some sticky labels printed up?
Automated mobile numberplate-recognition systems are being rolled out in NSW and trialled in South Australia. Fairfield Highway Patrol sergeant Rob Malovic yesterday nabbed three drivers in Surry Hills during a demonstration of how the vehicle worked. The technology, based on a similar system in Belgium, can track stationary cars as well as those in motion up to a speed of 200km/h. Up to 200km/h, you say..
IntelInside spotted some leaked Windows 8 info. The Italian Windows website “Windowsette” somehow managed to get a hold of a super-secret, highly confidential PowerPoint presentation outlining many of Microsoft’s goals and plans for Windows 8. Discussion here.
NVIDIA Surround and 3D Vision Surround are checked out on PC Perspective and HotHardware. Today, NVIDIA is ready to release 3D Vision Surround technology to the masses. With the release of their latest driver, users can connect three 3D Vision capable monitors to a pair of GeForce videocards to experience cutting-edge gaming that promises to provide a level of immersion never seen before on the PC. Of course, there are several differences between NVIDIA's technology when compared to other multi-monitor gaming solutions, and we'll provide you with those details on the following pages.
Whirlpool's DDoS has continued today, and will be reported to Police. In a humorous aside last night, Whirlpool founder Simon Wright tweeted that "someone out there doesn't want geeks to talk about stuff! What an evil villain. Somebody call Batman." Whirlpoolians seem to be hanging out in this thread at the moment.
Stephen Conroy has been busy the last few days, having retained the IT portfolio under Julia Gillard. He has reconfirmed his commitment to the filter and once again pulled out the opt-in to child porn line. There were a few questions about the NBN and the Telstra structural separation, but it was Conroy’s response to the filter question that is important here. Aside from pulling out the standard “child porn” response, the minister also claimed that they had “an election commitment” to deliver as a justification for the party’s stance.
Meanwhile Tarrith noticed EFA's response to Conroy's comments about them in Parliament. Each of Senator Conroy's responses to EFA's public statements are factually flawed, do not consider the entire matter or do not address the EFA statement they purport to respond to in the tabled document. EFA has endeavoured in every respect, and are confident that we have done so successfully, to maintain a factual and accurate opposition to what we have considered to be bad public policy in line with both our organisation's objectives and the concerns of our members.
Whirlpool suffered a DDoS attack earlier this morning, but seem to be OK again now, thanks Kosta. Modesto maintained his sense of humour during the attack. "Looks like Whirlpool was the target of at least 20,000 spams or scams coming through the portal," he told iTnews.
Bjorn3D had a play with 6-screen EyeFinity. AMD was kind enough to lend us 6 monitors so we could test one of these cards and in today’s review we test to see if the XFX HD5870 Eyefinity6 Edition video card together with 6 nice Dell monitors indeed does deliver the ultimate gaming experience.
Apparently Facebook is a gold-mine of evidence in divorce court. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81 percent of its members have used or faced evidence plucked from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites, including YouTube and LinkedIn, over the last five years.
AFACT have failed in their attempt to recover costs from iiNet related to the recent court case. Earlier this year, Federal Court Justice Dennis Cowdroy awarded all court costs to iiNet when he found that the ISP did not authorise its customers' file sharing. iiNet had reported that the total court costs incurred were $5.7 million.
Mozilla have a video showing why "tabs on top" is better in Firefox 4. The change to placing tabs on top isn't about one browser versus another browser, it's about the evolution of the Web as a platform.
ARN feel that Stephen Conroy isn't going anywhere, and Kate Lundy is unlikely to replace him anytime soon. But it’s important to note that Rudd was toppled after the Right faction backed Gillard. Whether she’ll admit it or not, the new Prime Minister will not be able to provide a bevy of ministerial positions to Left faction – and knocking down ministers this close to an election will rock an already shaky boat.
Dopefish spotted this cool animatronic Halo Elite costume. We’ve seen home made costumes from many videogame
series. Most use cardboard boxes and paint, the guys at PeteMander GFX went above and beyond to make this suit as realistic as possible.
Bjorn3D compared a few water blocks on a 470GTX video card. Since I absolutely loved this video card's performance, and its abilities that it was offering me, I did not quite want to give up on it just yet. Since I am a big fan of water cooling, I decided it would be the best choice to grab a few water blocks and then see how this video card cools down.
From Paul: The BigPond File Library will be discontinued after June 30, 2010 - due to low levels of general usage and limited appeal to a mainstream audience. Large file libraries such as download.com and tucows.com offer a range of files and content we can not match, so we have taken the reluctant decision to discontinue this service.
Saturday Night Reviews
(link) Saturday, 26-June-2010 13:23:55 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Gizmodo are campaigning for Kate Lundy to replace Stephen Conroy, thanks Tarrith. There's more reasons why here. Back when Kim Beazley was leading the ALP, Senator Kate Lundy had the position of Shadow Minister for IT. It was a position she excelled in, and we’d like to see her manage the portfolio full time.
Issue 10 of TheOverclocker is out now. There's Computex info, interviews with top overclockers from around the world, etc.
I think my nerdometer just imploded, with this site about a Sci-Fi Airshow, thanks timbot. The SCI-FI AIR SHOW’s purpose is to preserve and promote the rich and varied history of Sci-Fi/fantasy vehicles. Through display and education we seek to celebrate the classic design and beauty of these ships and the rich imaginations that created them. When the cameras stopped rolling, many of these proud old ships were lost and forgotten. Please join us in working to keep these rare and beautiful birds soaring!
A Senate enquiry into online privacy will get underway soon. The inquiry, pushed through by the Greens, will examine privacy protections and data collection on social networking sites and the data collection activities of private companies and government agencies. A report will be delivered by October 20.
TweakGuides have updated their Tweaking Companion. The TweakGuides Tweaking Companion (TGTC), the complete system customization and optimization guide for all Windows users, has been updated. There are separate PDF versions for XP, Vista and Windows 7. The TGTC covers every significant Windows setting and feature, and provides all the major performance and customization tweaks. Also provided are links and instructions for a large number of reliable free applications which can enhance your system.
Phoronix meanwhile compared five Linux distributions. With many Linux distributions receiving major updates in recent weeks and months we have carried out a five-way Linux distribution comparison of openSUSE, Ubuntu, Fedora, PCLinuxOS, and Arch Linux. We have quite a number of tests comparing the 32-bit performance of these popular Linux distributions on older PC hardware.
In case you've just emerged from a 24-hour World of Warcraft bender, we have a new Prime Minister. Kevin Rudd has stepped down, making Julia Gillard the 27th Prime Minister of Australia.
AMD has some new Opteron CPUs, the 4100 series. Developed under the codename "Lisbon," the Opteron 4100 line is the definition of an entry level part, as the cheapest model will sell for just $99 for quantities of a thousand or more. Lisbon is a four- or six-core processor with clock speeds ranging from 1.7GHz to 2.8GHz, and power envelops as low as 32 watts and as high as 75 watts. More info on PC Perspective and Tech Report.
There's also some new FireStream cards. At long last, AMD has brought the Cypress GPU that powers its Radeon 5800 series to FireStream cards geared towards high-performance GPU computing applications. Keep reading for the goods on AMD's answer to Nvidia's Fermi-powered Tesla products.
Viacom have lost their lawsuit against Google. A federal judge handed Google Inc. a major victory Wednesday by rebuffing media company Viacom Inc.'s attempt to collect more than $1 billion in damages for the alleged copyright abuses of Google's popular YouTube service.
Kotaku report on a real-world Mech developed during the Cold War. Built by Jered Industries in Detroit for General Electric's ominous — and very Metal Gear-sounding — Nuclear Materials and Propulsion Operation division, the Beetle was a mechanical terror designed for the Air Force Special Weapons Centre, initially to service and maintain a planned fleet of atomic-powered Air Force bombers.
Meanwhile, the first International Humanoid Robot Olympic Games has opened in China. The robots, designed by gifted young people from China, South Korea, the United States and Japan are competing in track-and-field, soccer, volleyball, boxing and even in non-Olympic events, such as playing the drums and dancing.
Overclockers.com have a guide to choosing an SSD. So, let’s say you are convinced; you know the size you need and you’ve decided you’ll get one. Wallet in hand, you are ready to buy one, but you realize there are a lot of them. Which is the best one? This is the question I am here to answer today. Which is the best SSD in a given size class?
There's some sneak previews of the iPhone 4 here on TechReviewSource and here on LegitReviews. Assuming Apple's legal beagles haven't had them pulled down yet.
JC reminded me that Computer Alliance are celebrating their 10th birthday at the moment. OCAU passed its 11th birthday a few days ago too, but more interestingly, Computer Alliance have been Major Sponsors of OCAU since July 2001 - nearly 9 years continuously. When you consider what a huge percentage of the life of both organisations that represents, it's pretty impressive. Computer Alliance have truly been one of the pillars that has helped OCAU grow from my "this is what I did with my PC today" blog to the massive community it is today - and they've certainly grown along the way too!
So, thanks and congratulations to Jason, Adam, Ken, Corbin and the rest of the gang at Computer Alliance - and here's to another decade or two. :)
(link) Wednesday, 23-June-2010 11:25:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Under a new proposal, Australians without anti-virus software could be refused access to the internet, and if they get infected, forcibly disconnected. Those are two of the recommendations to come from a year-long inquiry into cyber crime by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Communications. Results of the inquiry, titled Hackers, Fraudsters and Botnets: Tackling the Problem of Cyber Crime, were released last night in a 260-page report.
Overclockers.com tested 65 fans on a Megahalems. The Megahalems comes with no fans of its own. You can choose your own fans, but what fans do you get? How well do they cool your system? How loud are they? When I decided I wanted to cool a 4GHz Core i7 860 with a Megahalems, I figured I would test a few fans and see how well they did. Needless to say, I sort of got carried away. I tested 65 fans in many configurations.
Here's a cool project to turn a classic Mac into an iPad stand. Speaking of which, there's been a big security patch for some iPhones, but other products are left unpatched, thanks JD. IOS4 is also now available for updating.
ABC report on the digital underclass of Australians living in high-density apartments. When someone moves into such an apartment expecting access to all the digital communication and information services they've grown used to, including Digital TV and fast ADSL broadband internet access, they may get quite a shock due to old or nonexistent wiring infrastructure and a phenomenon called "digital cliff".
Tech Report are the latest to go on a factory tour. On our third day in Taiwan earlier this month, we left the hustle and bustle of the Computex show floor and hopped on a bus to Hsinchu, about 60 miles from the island-nation's capital. Hsinchu's Science and Industrial Park plays host to a Kingston factory where memory and flash products are assembled--and we got to enjoy a guided tour. LegitReviews meanwhile checked out ECS's headquarters.
MSI have a Lords of Overclocking contest. Lords of Overclocking is back for 2010 with four weeks of intense overclocking competitions across thee different regions: Americas; Europe and Africa and Asia Pacific region. Lucrative prizes await the fastest of the fast, with the best of the best invited to MSI's Master Overclocker Arena 2010 Grand Final in Taipei!
Electronic Frontiers Australia are holding a Wild West Internet Forum in Melbourne this Friday, thanks Paul. The Government contends that only it can save the internet from the anarchist nerds who want to keep it as the "Wild West". Come and hear how successful we think the self-appointed internet sheriffs are going to be. Join us in Melbourne on Friday, 25th of June for a free event dissecting the Rudd Government's mandatory internet censorship plan.
The Federal Government and Telstra have struck an NBN deal. The Government will pay $9 billion to access Telstra infrastructure - including pits and ducts - to avoid duplication. A further $2 billion will go towards dealing with structural separation issues, including setting up a new company, USO Co, to meet Telstra's universal service obligation for the delivery of standard telephone services, payphones and emergency call handling from July 1, 2012. More here.
Meanwhile the USA are looking into an internet kill switch, thanks Skymaster. US President Barack Obama would be granted powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet under a new bill that describes the global internet as a US "national asset". Local lobby groups and academics have rounded on the plan, saying that, rather than combat terrorists, it would actually do them "the biggest favour ever" by terrorising the rest of the world, which is now heavily reliant on cyberspace. Discussion here.
HWHeaven have a Hard Drive Roundup. Todays review includes SandForce, Indilinx and Toshiba based SSDs mixed in with the Seagate 6GB/s and VelociRaptor mechanical models then just for good measure a high spec 2.5" mechanical drive is added to ensure we have a complete picture of the real world performance available at each market segment.
KitGuru checked out the HQV Benchmark 2.0 using ATi, nVIDIA and Intel graphics. HQV Benchmark 2.0 is an updated version of the original tool and it consists of various video clips and test patterns which are designed to evalute motion correction, de-interlacing, decoding, noise reduction, detail enhancement and film cadence detection. There are two versions of the program, standard definition on DVD and high definition on Bluray. As our audience will be concentrating on HD content so will we.
OCClub have a H55 & H57 Motherboard Roundup. In this roundup we will be looking at five different H55/H57 models manufactured by Gigabyte, ASUS and ECS.
The New York Times report on a night in the Foxconn factory. His task is to help complete 1,600 hard drives - his workshop’s daily quota - and to make sure every one is perfect. Seated in the middle of the assembly line in his black Foxconn sports shirt, cotton slacks and company-mandated white plastic slippers, he waits for the conveyor belt to deliver a partly assembled rectangular hard drive to his station.
ZDNet have a more detailed look at the proposed data retention proposal for Australian ISPs, thanks Paul. Data retention requires telecommunications providers, including internet service providers (ISPs), to log and retain certain information on subscribers for local enforcement agencies to access when they require it. The regime sees certain data logged before any suspect is identified, meaning that every internet users' online activities are logged by default.
IBM are aiming to have a computer play the gameshow Jeopardy, thanks Matt. Way back in April of 2009, IBM announced plans to build a question answering (QA) computing system with the ability to understand complex questions and answer them with enough precision to compete against humans on Jeopardy! Last year, Dr. David Ferrucci, leader of the IBM Watson project team, said the system named Watson would have to spend a lot of time studying before it was deemed ready to compete.
From HyRax1: Sick of those noisy Vuvuzela horns ruining your World Cup viewing experience? For those using an HTPC of some description, filter them out with the following: HowTo for all platforms here. Plus a custom patch for MythTV users here. Ingenuity at its finest.
Remember to keep an eye on our Sponsor Specials Forum if you're shopping around. In there our various sponsors have specials and info on media players, fitness supplements, office chairs, hard drives, cooling gear, internet access, phone accessories, LCD monitors and stands, speakers and a range of other goodies!
HackerSpace Brisbane are having a logo design competition, says Lemming. What we are looking for is a simple logo that we can use on all our advertising material, something that is easily recognizable, portrays the ideals of a Hackerspace and it would also be nice if it portrayed us being in Brisbane. There's even prizes!
Hyundai's new premium sedan no longer comes with a printed manual, but instead, an iPad. That should help thieves narrow down their targets, then. ;) Hyundai USA President and CEO, John Krafcik, says the decision to use an iPad is in keeping with the luxury positioning of its new model. The iPad manual will incorporate interactive text, pictures and instructional videos to provide better assistance to owners. The iPad manual will also allow the owner to book the car in for a service without having to contact the dealer.
PCGamer report on hardware that responds to Starcraft II as you play - and can presumably be pursuaded to work with other games. Blizzard, when helping Razer make the hardware, opened up the game to pump out little bits of data, including a player’s actions per minute. Krakoff explained that if you’re averaging beneath 200 actions per minute, the LEDs will glow green. Up to 400, they’ll glow yellow. Go above 400, though, and they’ll turn red. The dream scenario is that at a tournament, all the pro-players will have flashing red headsets. The keyboard flashes when you're under attack, too.
There's a new Mac Mini, and CoD wonder if it could be useful as an HTPC. Meanwhile iFixit pulled one apart. One of the biggest changes here is the fact that the new Mini comes with an HDMI port! Apple has refused for some time to integrate this little bugger but now with the inclusion the HTPC market may just change dramatically. Aside from the inclusion of the much anticipated HDMI port, the Mini is smaller than a Wii at just 7.7 inches wide/deep, just 1.4 inches tall and only uses 10 watts of electricity when idle!
YouTube has a new video editor. YouTube has a new video editor that lets you create videos using excerpts from the videos you've already uploaded. You can also add a music file from the AudioSwap library, but YouTube mentions that it might display ads if you use some of the audio files.
Instead of Twitter being used to tell everyone what you're up to, one guy is planning to use it to get people to tell him what to do. You'll also be able to watch Perez's every move that week on a live webcam attached to his thick-frame glasses. So you won't have to take his word on the fact that he's following through with the Twitter commands. You'll be able to watch, in real time, as the internet turns him into a helpless puppet.
Virage87 sends word of a new sci-fi show developed exclusively for free online distribution. I just finished the first episode and it has an interesting storyline. The production is not on a par with that of, say, battlestar galactica, but it is certainly impresses with a budget of only $6000. Check it out here.
Time Magazine have weighed in on the Australian Internet Firewall issue. But if Canberra's plans for a mandatory Internet filter go ahead, Australia may soon become the first Western democracy to join the ranks of Iran, China and a handful of other nations where access to the Internet is restricted by the state.
XbitLabs have a roundup of 800-850W PSUs. This roundup discusses eleven power supply units from different manufacturers with capacities from 800 to 850 W. You will meet solutions from familiar makers as well as from the companies, which PSUs are featured in our article for the first time.
HWHeaven meanwhile have a DX11 high-end video card roundup. On the ATI based side we have Sapphire's 5970 Toxic 4GB and the Asus Matrix 5870 Platinum. From NVIDIA partners we have Zotac GTX 480's, Gigabyte and Palit GTX 470's and Gainward GTX 465s which allow us to compare single GPU and SLI based setups. We will be covering real world gameplay, PhysX, 3D Vision, GPU computing, High Definition / 3D media playback and power/noise readings in this review to establish which products are worth purchasing.
If you're hanging out for the new season of The IT Crowd, there's a small teaser ad out now.
DiGiTaL MoNkEY has made a few threads reporting on interesting things from E3:
One of the big stories is Microsoft's Project Natal, now launched under the official name "Kinect". This is similar to the idea of the Wii or the PlayStation Move, but instead of a controller, you use your whole body to interact with the games. Lots of info and videos in this thread:
Over on the PlayStation side of things, there's now PlayStation Plus, a subscription content service with some interesting features including "Full Game Trial": This premium feature gives you the chance to try PSN and Blu-ray disc titles before you buy them in a whole new way. We are not talking normal demos of selected parts of a game here. With Full Game Trial, you can download the full game and play it as if you owned it for approximately one hour, depending on the game, before you decide if you want to buy it or not.
Also, Steam is coming to PS3, along with the much-anticipated Portal 2. Newell said the new features will make Portal 2 "the best version on any console." Launch and release dates were not announced; Portal 2 will release sometime in 2011.
Mo' Motherboard Blues
(link) Tuesday, 15-June-2010 16:47:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg
I spoke to Dan of Motherboard Blues Window fame today, and he's been totally blown away by the response to his artwork. It's kind've ironic that his artwork involves motherboards, because he pretty much has no idea at all about the internet and computers etc. I was showing him how the photos and info of his artwork had spread across the internet and he was really amazed by it all. I even set up a Facebook page for him so people can keep track of his next projects etc.
Speaking of which, he's already hinting at his next work, but is having trouble finding the unusually-coloured PCBs needed. So if you have any red, black, grey or otherwise unusual motherboards, video cards etc that you'd like to donate and see recycled into some interesting artwork, drop me an email.
The response to the Government's proposed requirement for ISPs to retain browsing information for all customers has been somewhat mixed. Director of the Communications Law Centre at the University of Technology in Sydney, Michael Fraser, says keeping the private web browsing data of all internet users is a step too far.
An Australian restaurant is replacing menus with iPads. "The thirst for knowledge from consumers these days is massive," says Lucas. "It doesn't matter whether it's ingredients, origins of produce or wine, and particularly Old World wine, this platform can provide as little, or as much, information as each customer wants.
Bit-Tech have an article about what it's like to work at nVIDIA, thanks Sniper. The Developer Technology group is extremely diverse, given that we have my admittedly odd background alongside people who have worked in graphics for years, people who have worked at game development studios, and people who have worked in academia and research roles in the past. Overall though, now I’m working with developers, maintaining a development and testing environment for our group, and running some demos at events we’ve had or attended.
E3 kicks off this week and you can keep up to date via YouTube. YouTube's coverage of E3 is back, including live streaming from Monday through Thursday with IGN.com. Check the channel for regular updates on the biggest gaming event of the year. Meanwhile confusion reigns over Valve's E3 surprise or absence thereof.
Someone decided to see if the HTC EVO 4G's scratchproof screen is really scratchproof. An Android Forums member was due to return his defective EVO to Sprint anyhow, so he figured he'd take the opportunity to run the lame duck unit through some torturous scratch tests including keys, a screw, a penny, and -- of course -- a razor blade.
A few people sent in this cool monster Lego chess setup. A very large chess game using LEGO MINDSTORMS(R) robots for EACH piece. Or perhaps a Lego sniper rifle is more your style, thanks timbot.
The Pirate Bay has opened a dating site. According to Pirate Date founders, the site was created to "share their single friends in the same way they share files." The site will use a system of "social trust" that allows members to vouch for each other and verify that friends are real and available. Mmm, scurvy wenches.
If the internet seems slow, it's because it's running at record usage levels thanks to World Cup fever. And even though the traffic dipped going into the afternoon, it stayed well above normal - registering some 6.5 million vpn, or 130 percent of normal - at 5 p.m. ET. The bulk of the demand in the last 24 hours has come from North America and Europe - but all regions are reporting “Heavy” usage.
Australia's Federal Government is looking into getting ISPs to record browsing history for all customers, thanks TinTin184. Such a regime would require companies providing internet access to log and retain customer's private web browsing history for a certain period of time for law enforcement to access when needed. Currently, companies that provide customers with a connection to the internet don't retain or log subscriber's private web browsing history unless they are given an interception warrant by law enforcement, usually approved by a judge. Discussion here.
The private details of 114,000 iPad owners have been exposed, thanks Brian. A security breach has exposed iPad owners including dozens of CEOs, military officials, and top politicians. They - and every other buyer of the cellular-enabled tablet - could be vulnerable to spam marketing and malicious hacking.
TechSpot have a 12-mouse roundup. Logitech, Razer and Microsoft are well represented again in this piece, but we'll also showcase some new names that you may not be as familiar with. The newcomers in this comparison include SteelSeries, Roccat, Mionix and Ozone. Since we have expanded our selection to embrace so many devices, we thought it would be worth adding into the mix some high-end models aimed at enthusiasts that are not necessarily targeting hardcore gamers.
Tweaktown report on a 56-SSD RAID monster at Computex, thanks Anthrox. Seven LSI 9260-8i controllers like the one we use here at the office for testing SAS drives fill the Supermicro workstation board. Each controller is capable to running 8 drives without using an expander. Patriot also managed to shove 12, 4GB sticks of memory in the board.
I think we saw something similar recently, but Matcat spotted this external video card laptop setup which is fairly neat. I wanted to have better gaming performance while in my home office (I don't game "on the go"). I thought about building a small gaming desktop, but that would have added another computer back into the mix and I really liked the idea of just having the one machine with all my stuff on it. So, I needed to upgrade the graphics performance of my Thinkpad. Luckily, some members of the community over at NoteBookReview have been busy figuring out how to hook up desktop graphics cards to laptops.
Engadget report on a real guitar controller for Rock Band 3. Of course, if that hits the uncanny valley of plastic peripherals too closely, there's a Rock Band 3 Squier Stratocaster that'll be coming out that can actually be used as a real guitar or a Pro model. How long till we can play on our regular real guitars?
XbitLabs take a closer look at USB 3.0. New interfaces appear in computer life relatively rarely, because they cause pretty serious changes in the data transfer infrastructure. That is why it is especially interesting to see what USB 3.0, a long-anticipated replacement to the morally outdated but extremely popular USB 2.0 interface, actually is.
Google have unveiled a new web indexing system called Caffeine. Caffeine lets us index web pages on an enormous scale. In fact, every second Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages in parallel. If this were a pile of paper it would grow three miles taller every second. Caffeine takes up nearly 100 million gigabytes of storage in one database and adds new information at a rate of hundreds of thousands of gigabytes per day.
Thinq report on MSI's claim that BIOS will be dead in 3 years, replaced by UEFI. According to the MSI mole, the first new UEFI products will be based on Intel's Sandy Bridge chipset, spanning the whole field from entry-level boards to high-end kit. The company says that it expects the boards to be introduced towards the end of this year, and into early 2011. "We won’t consider UEFI as an expensive premium feature," said the spokesperson, "but as a must-have for everyone!"
Tweaktown checked out A-DATA's Taipei Factory recently. Walking distance from A-DATA's headquarters just out of Taipei City you will find A-DATA's factory production facility. It is here where all the magic happens. A-DATA has a capacity of 100,000 double sided memory modules per day and 3,000 SSDs per day.
There's been a breakout at a Chinese Internet Addiction Treatment Centre. Understandably, it’s not what you’d call fun – and last week, a group of inmates at the Huai’an Internet Addiction Treatment Centre decided they’d had enough of the “monotonous work and intensive training”. Working together, they tied their duty supervisor to his bed and made a run for it.
From Amfibius: The June OCAU Iron Chef is open! This month's theme is duck. The discussion thread is here and the entry thread here.
LethalCorpse sent in a few timewasters, the first of which is Manufactoria. Manufactoria is a puzzle game about putting robots in their proper place. Use conveyor-belts, ‘pullers’ and ‘pushers’ to build a machine that will work no matter what gets thrown at it!
The big news of the last couple of days would of course be the announcement of Apple's iPhone 4. Some info from Luke: Specs here and here. Due to go on sale 24 June in USA, UK, France, Germany and Japan. Due to go on sale to another 18 countries by the end of July 2010 (these include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland). On sale in another 22 in August and another 40 in September. Reviews here, here, here and here.
Meanwhile Google could be in hot water over an alleged WiFi privacy breach. Google Australia has confirmed tonight that it will hand over a hard drive holding private information it claims was mistakenly collected from wireless networks. The internet giant is reeling after the Federal Government's announcement that it's under a federal police investigation for breaches to the Telecommunications Intercepts Act.
OCModShop get a bit oldschool and make a radiator for watercooling out of a car heater core. One such viable alterative that is readily available and easily modified is a heatercore. While there are many different models that can be modified to work in a watercooling system, one that has gained quite a following is the Chevrolet Chevette heatercore. I think over here there's a Toyota Camry one that people favour.
Digitaltrends checked out Ford's virtual manufacturing. Using motion-capture technology borrowed from Hollywood, actors studded in motion-capture points like miniature ping pong balls simulate building virtual cars on a skeletal aluminum mockup, while computers capture their every movement from 15 different cameras. Ford compares the data from the actors to existing biomechanical models to determine whether workers will strain too much to put a car together, then they modify the design to compensate.
Kingmax sent out an interesting press release about an invisible heatsink. What they mean is instead of a metal heatsink on their memory chips, this module has "Nano Thermal Dissipation Technology". The Nano Thermal Dissipation Technology adopts the nano-size thermal dissipation silicon compound to increase the release of radiant heat. The nano-size silicon compound fills up the invisible vacant space of the smooth surface to remove the surface heat more quickly. It is like a sponge, pulls the heat and releases into the air at a faster rate than normal product by it self.
Interesting Forum Threads
(link) Tuesday, 8-June-2010 11:02:27 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Another of the oddities from Computex is this ASUS Immensity X58 Hydra with integrated GPU. Nah, it's not some lame-o integrated chip that chokes up when playing back 480p versions of last night's Glee -- it's a full-fledged ATI Radeon HD 5770. Thankfully for you, that's not where the fun ends. There's also an integrated Lucid Hydra chip fused onto the PCB, which means that you're free to slap another pair of PCIe-based GPUs in and get a three-way CrossFireX setup going. Discussion here.
Also, a phone that plays WoW. Intel has managed to make Moorestown-based phones do an awful lot of things on stage. Multitask, scale photos sans lag, and automatically correct your grammar before it comes out of your mouth. But believe it or not, one thing we haven't seen the Aava Mobile-built reference design do is play the full PC version of World of Warcraft and / or Quake III (from within Moblin) for over an hour on a full charge. Well, until this week's Computex event.
The Mars 500 crew who are testing isolation in anticipation of an actual Mars mission in the future have entered their 520-day lockdown. Like in a real Mars mission, the crew will have to survive on limited food rations like those used by real astronauts and their only communication with the outside world will be by email, with a delay of up to 40 minutes. The hatch will only re-open when the experiment is over or if one of the all-male participants is forced to pull out. Controversially, no women have been selected for the experiment, called Mars 500.
Australia's landfills are busting at the seams with electronic waste, report the ABC. In Australia, more than 17 million televisions, computers and other electronic products are thrown away every year. The desire to keep up with the latest technologies means current models are ending up on the scrapheap in ever increasing numbers, and what is going into landfill contains dangerous toxins. It's a shame they're not putting it to better use! :)
A damaged space probe will be landing at Woomera. When it is about 10km above Woomera a parachute will open and the basketball-sized container will float to a landing, to be urgently located by an automatic beacon and collected. The 18kg container has been granted an import permit, because it is from overseas. The contents will be taken to Japan for analysis.
Meanwhile widespread reports of a UFO over Eastern Australia are thought to have been the Falcon 9 rocket, which successfully launched on Friday. He said the successful launching "bodes very well" for President Obama's proposed shift in national space priorities, turning launches to low-Earth orbit over to the private sector while NASA focuses on deep space exploration.
From Jaren: Take one combo video card / magical gigabit nic card here, combine with one external pci-express to express card adapter here, end up with ultra awesome portable gaming laptop here. Despite various mobile graphics solutions making laptops a little better at slinging pixels while maintaining great battery life (Ion, Optimus, etc.), sometimes you have ready access to an AC outlet and just want to get your game on.
World War II code-breaking centre Bletchley Park will be putting their archive online. He said since the archive is so big nobody knows exactly what each individual document stored there contains. However, the information they expect to dig out will definitely include communication transcripts, communiques, memoranda, photographs, maps and other material relating to key events that took place during the war.
National Cyber Security Awareness Week
(link) Sunday, 6-June-2010 04:30:10 (GMT +10) - by Agg
From today until 11th June 2010 is National Cyber Security Awareness Week. National Cyber Security Awareness Week is an annual initiative of the Australian Government held in partnership with industry, community and consumer groups and state and territory governments. It is designed to raise awareness among Australians of cyber security risks and simple steps they can take to protect their personal and financial information online. More info here and here.
Australians are being advised to take six simple steps to improve their online security at home and at work:
Install security software and update it regularly.
Turn on automatic updates so that all your software receives the latest Fixes.
Get a stronger password and change it at least twice a year.
Stop and think before you click on links or attachments.
Stop and think before you share any personal or Financial information - about yourself, your friends or family.
Know what your children are doing online. Make sure they know how to stay safe and encourage them to report anything suspicious.
Remember to keep an eye on our Sponsor Specials Forum if you're shopping around. In there our various sponsors have specials and info on media players, fitness supplements, office chairs, hard drives, cooling gear, internet access, phone accessories, LCD monitors and stands, speakers and a range of other goodies!
Exetel are cutting some leeches loose. The ISP will also advise "500 or so" customers that it is "unable to continue to provide internet services to them and we are asking them to move to another provider". This is due to Exetel attracting "too many customers who download very, very large amounts of data using the '12 hour period'". This has allegedly resulted in the ISP losing money on a number of accounts, including "one single user costing Exetel a loss of over $600.00 in a single month and more that 300 users costing us between $30 and well over $200.00 each in the Month of April and then repeating that sort of usage in May".
Optus meanwhile are in some hot water over their unlimited call plans. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted legal proceedings against Optus for wrongly advertising "unlimited" calls. The commission has labelled some of Optus' advertising "misleading or deceptive", as the telco failed to inform consumers of the numerous limitations and restrictions attached to its recently advertised $70 prepaid "Turbo Max" plan.
Plans are underway to get Concorde back into the air. Mr Lord said: "After today, we will know exactly what needs to be done with those four engines in order to take this to the next stage of engine test runs with an objective to hopefully perform a ground taxi." It is hoped the jet will be able to fly as part of the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.
Speaking of interesting aircraft, check out the flying telescope. Very cool news: the flying infrared observatory, SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) — which has been in the works for many years — has seen first light. What’s remarkable about this observatory is that it’s mounted in a hole in the side of a 747! I can't really get my head around how they could stabilise something like that.
TomsHardware compared five 890FX AM3 motherboards. Adding SATA 6 Gb/s and two more USB 2.0 ports, AMD’s flagship northbridge has evolved into the 890FX. Just as important are the evolutionary steps several manufacturers have taken in motherboard design. Today we examine five examples.
XbitLabs meanwhile have an interview about Intel's 48-core CPU. Intel’s 48-core single chip cloud computer (SCC) unveiled just about half a year ago has quickly gained a lot of attention to itself as not only the world’s first x86 processor with 48 processing engines, but also as a potential successor of the infamous Larrabee. Today we are speaking with one of the co-designers of the SCC in order to find out more about the ambitious project that is not supposed to come alive. In addition, we have an independent expert Jon Peddie to tell us about the future of CPUs and GPUs.
Possibly related to Google's recent move away from Windows is the impending arrival of their own Google Chrome OS. While Microsoft has previously dismissed Google’s open-source OS ambitions, Pinchai reckons their reasoning – that developers would need to create new versions of apps, and may be reluctant to do so – is unfounded since Chrome OS has at its core a standards-compliant browser. ”You don’t need to redesign Gmail for it to work on Chrome. Facebook does not need to write a new app for Chrome” he suggested.
From Grug: Just letting you know there has (finally) been an update about the SpaceX Falcon 9 initial test launch. It is now set for Friday 4 June, at 15:00 UTC with a launch window of 4 hours. There is a second launch window at the same time on the following day (Saturday). More info here. Live webcast (starting 20 minutes before the opening of the launch window) here.
According to the BBC, HP has decided to slash 9000 jobs over the next three years. Hewlett-Packard (HP) says it plans to spend $1bn (£686m) and shed 9,000 jobs over three years as it creates fully-automated commercial data centres. HP, the world's largest technology company by sales, says the job cuts will be the result of productivity gains and automation.
It seems that the CSIRO have started another legal battle in regards to their extremely lucrative Wi-Fi patent. Australia's peak science body stands to reap more than $1 billion from its lucrative Wi-Fi patent after already netting about $250 million from the world's biggest technology companies, an intellectual property lawyer says.
The BBC has an article on a Politician wanting to ban Pornography from the S.A. internet. I don't know if he's been on the blower to Conroy, but his comments are as follows; "Cars are already provided with brakes and seatbelts... There is no reason why the internet should be provided without the necessary restrictive mechanisms built into it," said Mr Gigaba. Agg edit: To stop people panicking, that SA is South Africa. :)
This is a fairly weird one, The Pirate Bay is apparently going to open a dating site. In a bizarre move, The Pirate Bay, the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker, is partnering with social dating site Meezoog to launch an online dating site PirateDate.com, to take on Match.com, Zoosk and others. This gives a whole new meaning to walking the plank.
In a surprising move, Telstra has apparently decided to offer a Naked DSL service. The service, which was launched without fanfare at 2pm yesterday, was first noticed by users of the Whirlpool forum and reported on ZDnet. offers 25GB of downloads on a Naked ADSL2+ service for $59.95 per month on a 24-month contract. Subscribers that exceed the 25GB in a given month will have their service throttled.
Hurt Locker's makers seem to be making good on their threats to sue P2P sharers. A few weeks ago the makers of the Oscar-winning movie Hurt Locker indicated that they would sue tens of thousands of U.S. BitTorrent users. In a classic ‘pay up or else’ scheme, the first 5,000 victims have now been officially reported to court. If ISPs cooperate these downloaders can expect a settlement request in their mailboxes soon.
There's some news on China's growth in the supercomputing department. China ramps up efforts to become a supercomputing superpower, as one of its machines is ranked second fastest in the world. There is also a cool graphic of the current super computing that Agg reported last night, so check if out if you haven't already.
Pakistan seems to have now removed the ban on Facebook. On Monday, a Pakistani court ordered authorities to restore access to social networking site Facebook after company officials reportedly apologized for a page deemed offensive to Muslims and removed its contents. The Lahore High Court imposed the nationwide ban almost two weeks ago amid outrage over the page, which encouraged users to post drawings of Muhammad, as many Muslims consider depictions of Islam’s Prophet to be blasphemous.
It seems that the recent suicides at Foxconn have caused the workers to receive a 20% pay rise. Faced with an escalating management crisis following a spate of worker suicides, iPhone maker Foxconn Technology Group will increase employees' wages at its China operations by 20%, according to media reports Friday. I'm not really sure that congratulations are appropriate in this instance, though, with 13 deaths required for the change.
Ofcom, the UK regulator, has unveiled the anti-piracy policy that will force ISPs to track users' download habits. Lists of Britons who infringe copyright are to be drawn up by the UK's biggest ISPs, under proposals from the regulator Ofcom. The plan is contained in a draft code of practice it hopes will curb copyright infringement.
South Korea is quite famous for its Starcraft-playing superstars, but how much do you really know about the quality of life as a South Korean super gamer? What has not yet received attention, however, is the dark side of anxiety and adverse working conditions facing many players amid this rapid growth in e-Sports. During a policy talk Thursday entitled “The Current Situation and Problems in the Gaming Industry and Game Sports,” organized by the Center for Culture & Society and the minor opposition New Progressive Party, StarCraft columnist Kim Jeong-geon made reference to a professional gamer development system he called “the chicken coop.”
Apparently Google has dumped Microsoft Windows. The directive to move to other operating systems began in earnest in January, after Google’s Chinese operations were hacked, and could effectively end the use of Windows at Google, which employs more than 10,000 workers internationally. “We’re not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort,” said one Google employee.
Computex Taiwan is on at the moment, so expect lots of interesting goodies to appear. Like these hybrid SSD/optical drives from Hitachi-LG. When this gets stuffed within a laptop, you're immediately able to access an optical drive, an SSD (for your operating system and critical launch applications) and a spacious HDD for storing music, media, etc.
A few people sent in this woman suing Google because she got hit by a car while following Google Maps directions. After Googling walking directions for a trip in Park City, Utah, Lauren Rosenberg claims she was led onto a busy highway, where she was struck by a vehicle. She’s now suing Google for damages.
The BBC have an interesting graphic on supercomputer density around the world. We don't get a mention but New Zealand does, largely because of Weta Digital in Wellington. The graphic allows you to visualise the list by the speed of each machine; the operating systems used; what it is used for; the country where it is based; the maker of the silicon chips used to build the machine and the manufacturer of the super computer.
ZDNet report on blurry pictures on Optus. The "web accelerator" technology also compresses images and serves them in a lower quality, in turn making it faster for users to download images, and there is no way to turn this compression off. The carrier said it was looking at a "workaround" for the "issue".
EFA have a new video, about it being Time to Tell Mum about Internet Censorship. The campaign, titled “It’s time to tell Mum”, has comedian Akmal Saleh explaining that it should be mums – not the government – who look after the wellbeing of their children. It’s a different approach for EFA, and one that will hopefully raise awareness of this issue to a greater percentage of the population, not just the geeks and tech-savvy.
Speaking of which, iiNet have rejected claims of support by Stephen Conroy. Chief executive Michael Malone said: "We do not and have never supported such a system."The proposed filter is fundamentally flawed, will not achieve its stated purpose and simply will not work..."
InsideHW have a graphics card roundup. Still, the unequal speed of new chip development in the two competitor companies, followed by strong economic impacts last year and a no-holds-barred battle for market dominance, caused the existence of a higher-than-needed number of similarly priced models present on the market at the moment, so customers may be in doubt as to which card will give them the best performance in a given price range. That’s why we decided to make a test of all models from the current generation available at the market.
A mobile game trojan has been racking up phone bills for unsuspecting people by quietly ringing overseas. Described as a “mobile version of the classic Counter-Strike“, the pirated title contains hidden code which has been silently ringing numbers in the Antarctic block, the Dominican Republic, Somalia and other premium locations, simple calls which cost roughly 5 euro (more than US$6) per minute from a UK mobile phone.
Fileant sent word of a tiny 3G WiFi hotspot from Netcomm, but only available via Apple. More here and here. NetComm believes MyZone to be the "perfect companion" for the newly released iPad, and Apple obviously agrees. After the exclusivity period it is likely we'll see MyZone available on contract with one or more of the major telcos, but there is no official announcement at this time.Update: It seems Internode have an equivalent gadget.