The new Mortal Kombat game has been refused classification, essentially banning it in Australia, thanks Matt. The granting of another RC to a video game clearly designed and targeted at ADULTS again highlights the shortcomings of the current classification scheme. In particular, the absence of an adult classification. More here and discussion here.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will be extradited to Sweden unless a recent court decision is appealed successfully, thanks CAPS LOCK. Defense attorneys have claimed that Assange would not get a fair trial in Sweden, because rape trials in that country are sometimes held behind closed doors. They have also argued that Assange could somehow find himself extradited to the United States, where, they theorize, he could face execution for leaking secrets.
Nintendo launched the 3DS in Japan this weekend, and presumably sold out almost instantly. Some of those sales were to customers waiting in a few lines up to 2,000 persons long, but those lines were exceptions to the norm -- several publications note that very few stores actually had any lines to speak of, as most Japanese electronics retailers sold out when the 3DS went on pre-order over a month ago.
Researchers have created a one cubic millimetre computer to be implanted into the eye to help glaucoma patients monitor the progression of their illness. In a package that's just over 1 cubic millimeter, the system fits an ultra low-power microprocessor, a pressure sensor, memory, a thin-film battery, a solar cell and a wireless radio with an antenna that can transmit data to an external reader device that would be held near the eye.
PC World take a look back at Photoshop, on its 21st birthday. John, who was working at George Lucas' Industrial Sound & Magic, suggested to his brother that they turned Display into a more feature-rich fully-fledged image editing program. From here the two worked together, combining Thomas' engineering background with his brothers design experience.
ArsTechnica have some more info on the AFACT vs iiNet result. Malone said in a statement after the new ruling that movie companies' best defense against piracy was more legitimate outlets for content. "We urge the Australian film industry to address the growing demand for studio content to be delivered in a timely and cost effective manner to consumers and we remain eager to work with them to make this material available legitimately," he said.
They also have a closer look at Intel's Thunderbolt technology. In its initial out-of-the-lab incarnation, Thunderbolt can use either copper or fiber connections for 10Gbps bidirectional communication. That speed is 20 times faster than the theoretical limit of USB 2.0, 12 times faster than FireWire 800, and twice as fast as USB3. According to Intel, however, the 10Gbps isn't just a theoretical peak speed, but usable bandwidth. This allows a single port to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously for a combined throughput of 10Gbps.
IntelInside sent more info on Apple's new MacBook Pros with Thunderbolt technology. More here, here and here. Developed under the code name Light Peak, Thunderbolt is an example of I/O technology, which means that it offers a two-way transfer or data between your computer and other electronic devices.
A few people sent in this probably NSFW video of a new game from Ubisoft which seems to be promoting some kind of spanky Wii orgy. Let's hope that's the last time I use that particular phrase on the news page..
Space shuttle Discovery has reached orbit and is on its way to the International Space Station. "Good to be here," Discovery Commander Steve Lindsey radioed soon after the three main engines shut off and the external fuel tank was jettisoned. One crew member is going up in the cargo bay - it's the first humanoid robot in orbit. Open the pod bay doors, Robonaut.
Intel have released Thunderbolt Technology which was previously known by the code name Light Peak. It's a 10Gbps dual-channel cable connection. Thunderbolt technology enables using the thinnest and lightest laptops and connecting to the extra power and performance of other devices when needed, using a single cable. Adding new performance devices is simple and easy—just plug and play—making Thunderbolt technology powerful and flexible. Thunderbolt technology was specifically designed with professional audio and video applications in mind, where the inherently low latency and highly accurate time synchronization features play a crucial role. Apple are technical partner and have some info too, and there's some coverage on PC Perspective.
There's a new version of MSI Afterburner. The new version of Afterburner not only supports the latest NVIDIA GeForce 500 and AMD Radeon HD 6000 series of graphics cards, but also adds the Predator in-games video capture function. Gamers can now capture all of their most intense moments in their favorite games and share them with the world on sites like YouTube.
(link) Thursday, 24-February-2011 10:12:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Some more interesting things from the forums. Remember if you see anything cool in your travels, send the link to email@example.com and we'll check it out!
(link) Thursday, 24-February-2011 09:41:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Those spammers don't miss a trick, do they: Letter from President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. I resigned as the Egyptian President on the 11th of Feb 2011. I have some deposited amount of money In Bank In New York, which I will like you change the ownership to you and have the money moved immediately to you in your country in Cash (US$56Million) through a high Diplomatic Service. heh.
From IntelInside: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 has been released. If you have more than one computer to update, it can be downloaded from here, or as stated on that page "A smaller, more appropriate download is now available on Windows Update.".
AFACT have lost to iiNet again in their continuing copyright battle. The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft, or AFACT, which is representing the movie studios but is not a party to the case, was appealing against Justice Dennis Cowdroy's decision on Febuary 4, 2010, which found an ISP was not liable for the downloading habits of its customers.
Axe_2_Gr1nd reminds us that the Space Shuttle Discovery launches tomorrow morning our time, for its final mission, and the second-last Shuttle mission ever. Info here, here and here. You can watch it on NASA TV on the web.
Vietnam has apparently banned late-night online gaming. All ISPs in the country have been contacted by the Ministry of Information and Communication telling them to switch off access to online games between the hours of 10pm and 8am every day. Such limits have to be in place by March 3.
ITNews have another analysis of Stuxnet. The extent of the damage will probably never be known to those outside the enrichment program. The Iranian Government has admitted to its nuclear enrichment program being set back by the Stuxnet virus - but has not gone into a great amount of detail.
Microsoft continue to embrace Kinect modders. The company is to release a software development kit in the spring, which will give developers access to the secrets behind the technology. For now it will only be for personal use, but Microsoft says it will release a commercial version in due course.
Here's a fairly impressive gaming chair made out of a Mini. After two years of hard work he has designed a multi-function console that too out of the front end of a Mini. Extending the flexibility to croon to your favorite tunes, watch film and play Xbox and PS3, this sure will make you experience that adrenaline rush.
A few people pointed out that MacTalk, which we've long considered a "sister" site to OCAU, is for sale. Some news coverage here and here. Seems to be genuine, and the owner explains his reasons here. Now, a few people have asked if I'm interested in buying it, and although I only found out about the sale today, I have spent a little time thinking about it. It would be a logical way to expand OCAU, or rather to develop another online franchise next to OCAU, and cross-promote the communities etc. But realistically, I have enough trouble keeping all of OCAU's plates spinning, I'm not involved enough in the Apple side of the industry, and I don't have the money anyway. So all the best to Anthony, and to whoever the new owners end up being. :)
(link) Wednesday, 23-February-2011 10:14:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg
The opening round of the 2011 Formula One championship has been scrapped, due to the civil unrest in Bahrain. The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) announced on Monday that the Kingdom of Bahrain would withdraw from hosting the opening round of the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship so that the country can focus on its process of national dialogue. More here, and if you want to keep an eye on the 2011 motorsport calendar, we have one in the wiki here.
The Full Bench of the Federal Court will probably hand down their judgement in the iiNet vs AFACT case tomorrow. Yes, it's still going on, and it will probably keep going on. The Full Bench appeal was an important escalation in the high-profile case, but the verdict is unlikely to resolve the battle. It is widely expected that the party on the wrong end of tomorrow's verdict would lodge a further appeal with the High Court in Canberra.
AMD's marketing people are doing their best to capitalise on the Sandy Bridge recall, as is understandable, thanks dasuperham. This week we finally see the full on blitz that AMD has been able to prepare. The “Ready. Willing. And Stable” ad campaign is actually one of the first that AMD has done aimed directly at consumers.
Samson sent in this video which is quite impressive. The "behind the scenes" video is interesting too. He says he was reminded of it by the Dead Island trailer, except there's no zombies in this one. :)
Metku have a bit of an oddball modding project. I was contacted by a commercial TV channel here in Finland, the MTV3 to build a prize for a competition. There were three components that I was asked to marry together; a Mobira mobile phone (Talkman), an Apple iPhone and a refrigerator. This acticle covers the process on building this thing that later came to be called - the iTalkman.
Wonkette have a story about a Wikipedia sighting. We checked out the state capitol building, and noticed that next to the statue of their first governor, there is a pedestal with his biography pasted on it for reading pleasure. The biography is literally just two pages printed directly from Wikipedia, with the URL and everything at the bottom.
Symon sent in this photo of the Moon, the most detailed picture yet. Now you can, thanks to NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has just delivered the highest-res photo ever taken of our closest companion. Well, at least one side of it. But it's still spectacular - a 24,000 x 24,000 pixel compilation cobbled together from more than 1300 images.
An Egyptian man has named his daughter Facebook in honour of social media's role in the revolution. A young man in his twenties wanted to express his gratitude about the victories the youth of 25th of January have achieved and chose to express it in the form of naming his firstborn girl “Facebook” Jamal Ibrahim (his name.) The girl’s family, friends, and neighbors in the Ibrahimya region gathered around the new born to express their continuing support for the revolution that started on Facebook.
Google is backing a contest to make a Moon rover. The final line-up of teams competing for the $30 million (£18.5m) robotic Moon-explorer prize has been confirmed. The prize will go to the builders of the first robot to send back video as it travels over 500 metres of the Moon's surface.
HWSecrets have a thermal paste comparo. The thermal compound, also known as thermal grease, is a key component to get the best cooling performance for your CPU. But are certain products better than others? In order to check this out, we tested thermal compounds from five different brands: Zalman, Prolimatech, Cooler Master, Evercool, and Spire. Let's see what we've learned from this round-up.
A Net Neutrality bill has been rejected in the USA. House Republicans have managed to pull off a high profile rejection of a key tech-related component of the Obama administration's initiatives. In control of the House for the first time in four years, Republicans have voted to overturn so-called "net neutrality" rules proposed earlier this year by the Obama administration.
CRN have an interview with Stephen Conroy. CRN: What's been the most important development in IT/communications in the past decade? SC: The iPod, iPhone, iPad and iTunes store have proved you can monetise online commerce.
Mpot spotted this neat SSD tablet conversion. But simply dropping in an SSD isn’t going to make things faster. That’s because the stock drive uses a PATA interface. After a bit of snooping [Marek] discovered that the motherboard has a SATA interface that has a bridge connecting to the PATA plug. By removing the bridge and soldering a SATA cable to the board he was able to improve performance while increasing storage capacity at the same time.
Today's timewaster is Blocks, but I can't see how to turn the music off.
Voting is now open in our Armageddon Expo Superhero Contest! Remember, the Armageddon Expo is on NEXT WEEKEND in Sydney, and next month in Adelaide. Armageddon Expo has to be seen to be believed, and is a must for anyone interested in imagination just beyond our reach. Gaming, comics, wrestling, TV and movie stars, anime and sci-fi lovers and celebrities alike converge on the one venue to celebrate all that is freakishly fabulous about the cult of weird and wonderful entertainment. Tickets at the door or through Ticketek.
OCZ have announced their transition to 25nm NAND SSDs. This news has been met with a mixed response, with people complaining of poor performance. StorageReview have compared two versions of the Vertex 2. There's a response (although oddly pre-dating the earlier announcement) from OCZ here, where it seems people can trade back to the earlier, higher-performance 34nm units. Meanwhile Anandtech and others checked out the upcoming Vertex 3 Pro.
The ACMA have concluded their 3D TV broadcast review. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has concluded a review of consumer, reception, interference and technical issues surrounding the broadcast of 3D TV in Australia. The Australian regulatory body has released a new set of guidelines for further trials of 3D TV broadcasting in Australia, which it will continue to consider and authorise on a case-by-case basis.
The Guardian wonder if another dotcom bubble is on the way. The leaps in valuation are dizzying. At its current on-paper price, Facebook's value is somewhere between that of Ford ($55bn) and Visa ($63bn). But that's still less than a third of Google's value, Facebook's arch-rival in the battle for domination on the internet.
People with book vouchers for the troubled book retailers Angus & Robertson and Borders, are miffed at a change in the voucher rules. Customers attempting to use gift vouchers are being told they have to spend double the value of each certificate. No legal action can be taken against the company because it is in voluntary administration.
The NSW Ambulance Service recently suffered a virus outbreak, shutting down the dispatch system for 24h. The virus crept into the Ambulance Service of NSW's dispatch system at 1pm (AEDT) on Saturday, prompting staff to coordinate paramedics by telephone and handwritten notes. Despite the shutdown, senior managers said no lives were put in danger and all triple-zero calls were answered.
The Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled for its final launch on Thursday. Steve Bowen replaced Tim Kopra as Mission Specialist 2 following a bicycle injury on Jan. 15 that prohibited Kopra from supporting the launch window. Bowen last flew on Atlantis in May 2010 as part of the STS-132 crew. Flying on the STS-133 mission will make Bowen the first astronaut ever to fly on consecutive missions.
OCZ RevoDrive and Vertex 2 120GB SSDs
(link) Sunday, 20-February-2011 08:41:14 (GMT +10) - by Agg
DiGiTaL MoNkEY has taken a look at two 120GB Solid State Drives from OCZ. They're two very different approaches to the SSD concept, with the Vertex 2 being a conventional 2.5" SATA drive, and the RevoDrive being a PCI-E card with onboard RAID. Read on to see how they compare to a conventional mechanical drive and an older SSD:
Remember to keep an eye on our Sponsor Specials forum if you're shopping around. In there our various sponsors have threads with deals on air conditioning, storage, digital radios, fitness supplements, office chairs, VoIP phones, photo studios, keyboards, media players, PC components and a range of other goodies. Worth a look!
Dorz's Ottoman Racing Cockpit
(link) Friday, 18-February-2011 00:33:23 (GMT +10) - by Agg
In case you missed it, OCAU now has official twitter and facebook pages. We also set up Tapatalk (discussion here) recently too, which makes it a bit easier to view the forums on a mobile phone.
A few people sent in the Dead Island trailer which is pretty incredible. Don't watch it if you can't handle zombies, obviously. In Dead Island you can enjoy a tropical vacation complete with zombies. Watch the official trailer for the new survival horror video game.
Jensen Button will tackle Bathurst in an F1 car in March. It's confirmed - Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes will bring Formula One to Mount Panorama on March 22, when Jenson Button will have a lash at a lap time around the fearsome circuit. As well, Triple Eight will bring Craig Lowndes and his Team Vodafone Commodore down for a play. The teams did a very similar thing last year at Albert Park, where Button swapped cars with Jamie Whincup. Discussion here.
HotHardware looked at some enterprise features of Sandy Bridge. Also, though perhaps a bit more low-key than some of the consumer-targeted bells and whistles, Intel also baked in a few key enhancements in the area of enterprise management and security. Intel's vPro badge has adorned notebooks and desktops in previous generation Core processor platforms and with Intel's latest incarnation, Sandy Bridge takes vPro capabilities to the next level.
It turns out that a supercomputer can win Jeopardy, and IBM explain what it all means. Watson’s advances in deep analytics and its ability to process unstructured data and interpret natural language will now be applied to humanity’s most vexing problems. If we can teach a computer to compete on Jeopardy! what could it mean for science, finance, healthcare and the future of society? There's also an interview with one of the human players here and Stephen Wolfram of Wolfram|Alpha fame has some thoughts too.
Booksellers Borders and Angus & Robertson have entered voluntary administration in Australia. Book retailing as been identified as one of the most exposed sectors to the rise of online shopping given the typically standard versions of books compared with clothing and footwear, for instance. One industry analyst said REDgroup's demise suggests Australia may have more so-called "bricks and mortar" book shops than the market can sustain. Discussion here.
Apparently there was a giant solar flare recently. Astronomers have been predicting a solar cycle known as Solar maximum, predicted to hit with full force in 2012, could be one of the most damaging on record. Similar storms back in 1859 and 1921 caused worldwide chaos, wiping out telegraph wires on a massive scale, but the potential for damage in the digital era could be much greater.
Apple have released a report on conditions in factories they use and there were some worrying findings, but it seems Apple is forcing them to sort out some of the problems. A tenth factory, also in China, had employed 42 children under 16. "We determined management had chosen to overlook the issue and was not committed to addressing the problem," Apple said in the report. ... Apple had the supplier company send the young workers back to school, and then stopped doing business with it. More here.
DigitalTrends visited Toy Fair 2011 and reported on some cool things there. This week is the annual Toy Fair at the Javits Center in New York, where toy companies from around the world show off the coolest high-tech toys you’ve never seen. Here’s some of the somewhat frivolous – but far more fun – technology we found on, and above, the show floor.
Issue 13 of The Overclocker online mag is out now.
Now, this first story came from a few people, but I couldn't make it work for me. I'll have another play later and see how I go. But anyway, apparently Amazon.co.uk have free shipping to Aus, under certain circumstances. Namely, the item has to be eligible for "super saver shipping" and the order total has to be over GBP 25. It's .co.uk only, not .com. So I'm sure Gerry Harvey won't be too happy about this, but people wanting cheap books and things might be. More details here.
IBM's "Watson" supercomputer has appeared on Jeopardy. Here is Monday's episode of Jeopardy! as we start our IBM challenge with a supercomputer codenamed, "Watson". We have returning champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter competing against "Watson" for a $1,000,000 prize. Here is part one of day 1 of the IBM challenge.
NBNCo have bought some spectrum from Austar, to help with their wireless rollout. Austar said today it would receive $120 million from NBN Co for its 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz spectrum holdings, enabling NBN Co to roll out a high-speed fixed-wireless service to rural and regional areas. The first NBN Co fixed-wireless commercial services are scheduled for delivery in mid-2012, a statement by Austar and NBN Co said.
TomsHardware consider the effect on your power bill of having a high-end video card. Many reviews analyze the minimum and maximum power consumption of a given graphics card. But just how much power does a high-end graphics card really need during the course of standard operation? This long-term test sheds some light on that question.
NVIDIA have announced a quad-core tablet CPU called Kal-El. Am I going senile, or was that the real name of Superman? Tonight NVIDIA whetted our appetite for what's to come with a demo that can most fittingly be described as an exhibition of unadulterated computational muscle. A 2560 x 1440 stream was being decoded on a developmental device, scaled down to that slate's native 1366 x 768 resolution, and additionally displayed on a connected 30-inch, 2560 x 1600 monitor. That entire voluminous workload was being handled in real time by Kal-El and we saw no signs of it struggling.
Bullus sent in this EVGA contest to win an i7 Extreme Edition CPU. When we say you can win big we really mean it; a next generation Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition Processor is up for grabs. This processor isn’t even out yet! It is set to launch soon and you can score one as soon as it hits the streets. Interested yet? We thought so! So all you need to do to win one of these processors is fill out the below survey, one lucky EVGA member will win. Also this contest is completely global so anyone, anywhere is eligible. Entries close in a few days.
Steve spotted a use for your old Zip drive. Sadly, I have a parallel port one and a few disks sitting on a shelf in my "must eBay one day" pile. Who am I kidding? The good old Zip Drive introduced by Iomega in late 1994 served it's purpose as a medium-capacity removable disk storage system until obsolescence kicked in as it was replaced by flash drives as well as rewritable CDs and DVDs. Here are a few things you can do to give new life to that outdated drive. Never had an Orb drive though, which means I avoided the Click Of Death. Until the Deathstars came in, of course. And I wore an onion on my belt, as was the fashion at the time. Get off my lawn!
(link) Wednesday, 16-February-2011 09:58:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Some more interesting things from the forums. Remember if you see anything cool in your travels, send the link to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll check it out!
(link) Wednesday, 16-February-2011 06:15:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg
The Armageddon Expo is on later this month in Sydney, and next month in Adelaide. Armageddon Expo has to be seen to be believed, and is a must for anyone interested in imagination just beyond our reach. Gaming, comics, wrestling, TV and movie stars, anime and sci-fi lovers and celebrities alike converge on the one venue to celebrate all that is freakishly fabulous about the cult of weird and wonderful entertainment. Tickets at the door or through Ticketek.
We've got two double passes to the Sydney event to give away, one for each day - the winner can choose which day they want, with the runner-up getting the other day. I'll also send an OCAU Mug to the second runner-up. So what's the contest? Well, this time I'm thinking superheroes. So, in this thread, put up a self-portrait, or a video, or even just a funny text description, of yourself as a superhero. What will you be called? What will your super abilities be? I'll pick the ones I like the most and then we'll put it to a community vote to decide the winners. Entries close at midnight Sydney time on Sunday night, the 20th of Feb. Then we'll have 24 hours of voting.
Also, I noticed that Warcom have a caption contest over in the Sponsor Specials forum, where you can win a Kaiser Baas Keyboard. That one ends this Friday.
Valve are getting in on the Valentines Day hype with their own Portal 2 Valentines Gift Guide. A Valentine's Day gift buyer's guide, with a surprising conclusion. I'm sure they're feeling the love, given PC Gamer report they control up to 70% of the gaming market via Steam.
You might remember Dan's stained glass window made from motherboards etc, but here's another artistic use for old PC bits: minature cities, thanks Samo. Italian artist Franco Recchia delves into the world of technology and the man made form in his mixed-media sculptures that focus on the urban landscape and related themes.
From Bill: Mod Men is a new webisode series that follows my PC modding business. Imagine an "American Chopper for Geeks" but without the reality bull. Show Trailer here, 1st season will air March 1st on my YT channel. Viewers will watch us build a water cooled PC from scratch over 5 episodes. The design is insanely cool! I'll also share guides and tips to inspire your own projects. They will also include some of my thorough and opinionated product reviews.
Fairfax media have shared how things are going with the Australian Financial Review after they hid the website content behind a "paywall". The company has revealed that afr.com.au has 6711 subscribers. The company charges $1140 per year for an annual digital subscription. Based on its stated policy that it does not discount subscriptions to the site, this would indicate, at best, revenues of about $640,000 per month, or$7.6m per year.
Petapixel checked out a $30,000 Leica camera. When it was announced back in September of last year, we predicted that most of them wouldn’t see the light of day and would be placed immediately into collectors’ vaults. Luckily for us, someone decided to actually unbox (gasp!) one of these babies (camera #164), allowing us to see what it’s like to receive such an absurdly expensive camera.
For a slightly different flavour of server, dasuperham sent in this Mac Mini rackmount kit allowing two to be mounted in 1RU. The RackMac mini by Sonnet Tech allows system admins to install two Mac minis in a standard rackmount enclosure while allowing full access to the CD drive, power LEDs and even the IR port on the unibody mini.
Also from dasuperham, a new "superphone" and tablet from Samsung, info here, here and here. Contrary to the leaks, the tablet is called the Galaxy Tab 10.1 -- grabbing its moniker from the screen size, obviously -- and like the rest of the upcoming Android 3.0 tablets it's powered by a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, will be available with 16GB or 32GB of storage, and has a front-facing 2 megapixel camera as well as a 8 megapixel imager around back. TBreak have a hands-on preview as well. Discussion here.
Stuart sent word of Telstra's 4G plans. Australians will again be at the leading edge of mobile telecommunications with Telstra today unveiling plans to upgrade its Next G™ network with 4G technology later this year. More info here.
The big story of the last couple of days is Nokia and Microsoft teaming up to try and recover some mobile phone market share from Apple and Google's Android. More info here. In short, Nokia will be moving from their own platform to using Microsoft's Windows Phone, which will presumably strengthen that platform as well. Nokia’s history of innovation in the hardware space, global hardware scale, strong history of intellectual property creation and navigation assets are second to none. Microsoft is a leader in software and services; the company’s incredible expertise in platform creation forms the opportunity for its billions of customers and millions of partners to get more out of their devices. Discussion here.
Actually scratch that, a bigger story is the Duke Nukem Forever Balls of Steel Edition. You’ve waited 14 years for the game to come out; why not splurge a little? 2K Games punctuates the May release of Duke Nukem Forever with a special edition that’s as over-the-top and obnoxious as the game’s star himself. There's a hands-on preview of DNF on ArsTechnica and GamingNexus. GamePron have confirmed it has not been edited for Australian release.
Tech Report decided they hate glossy laptops, and did something about it. With a scouring pad. Sure, glossy plastic looks great when it's fresh from the factory or right after it's been buffed with one of the cleaning cloths that always seem to come with it. However, even gentle handling tends to leave behind a mess of fingerprints and smudges that's impossible to ignore.
The BBC are shutting down many of their websites for budgetary reasons, but a BitTorrent user has archived them for $4, with more info here. Once the individual discovered that the BBC would be deleting the 172 websites, he began spidering them and ripping their content to a VPS server, purchased for the bargain price of $3.99. This seedbox is hosting the content which is all neatly wrapped up in a torrent for anyone to download and share.
ITNews report from Kiama Downs, where NBN fibre is being laid down. A way to dig the lead-in trenches from the pit to the side of a house is by water blasting, which NBN Co is trialling in Kiama Downs. Between 150 and 200 homes were trenched with water blasting.
ComputingOnDemand cover installing Linux from a USB drive. So when my friend asked me help him install Ubuntu on his Aspire One, I obliged. Remember, netbooks do not come equipped with CDROM/DVD drives and unless you have an external drive or converter, your only option is to use USB.
OCModShop have a guide to upgrading a Synology diskstation, which is of interest to me as I recently converted the AggCave media server from a full PC to a diskstation. The only real complaint I have is that it pretty much vanishes from the network during power-save mode, so PCs and PS3s have to jump through annoying hoops to see it again after it starts up, maybe 50% of the time. Anyone else had this issue?
I'm not sure if we've seen this before, but Symon sent in this cool scale of the universe slider thingy. Meanwhile, today's completely indecipherable timewaster is KOI2 from Tzortst. Seriously, I have no idea what's going on there. :)
Much to everyone's amazement, Duke Nukem Forever has made it through classification and is OK to sell in Australia. A quick perusal of the Classification Board earlier today revealed a classification for the mysterious title 000A, submitted by Take 2. Nice try, guys, but we see straight through your cunning plan. This game contains “Strong violence, sexual references, crude humour and drug references”, which sounds pretty much exactly like we’d expect from the Duke.
Rage and Sciby both sent in this cool Phantom of the Floppera video, where floppy drives play Bach's Toccata & Fugue. Features two 3 1/2" drives and two 5 1/4" drives connected to a PIC18f14k50 microcontroller. It interfaces to any MIDI source via MIDI over USB. Straight MIDI would also be possible with an additional small circuit and some minor firmware changes. This initial version can respond to all 128 MIDI notes, and pitch bends +/- 2 semitones.
Tweaktown have built and tested their Flood Appeal Dream System. At the end of January TweakTown's Aussie Flood Appeal Dream System was born and for a small donation of just $10 USD you could get a chance to win a beast of a PC that comes in just shy of $5,000 USD.
XbitLabs have a 3TB HDD roundup. For all these pitfalls, the transition to the new storage capacity could not be delayed much longer and the HDD manufacturers got to work on it. Their websites now offer special sections detailing the subtleties of the move to 3 terabytes, and we’ve got three HDDs of the record-breaking capacity, two of which can already be found in retail shops.
Customs are apparently cracking down on online purchases entering the country. A document from the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service from late January details a three month campaign to crack-down on expensive parcels entering Australia marked as gifts or with a declared value under $1000, exempting them from liability for GST or duty payments. The document notes that the campaign aims to ensure that GST and duty exemptions for low-value goods entering Australia are not being "abused or exploited" by importers.
From MellowFellow: HP has just announced a trio of new devices running the WebOS operating system they inherited when they bought Palm last year. There's the world's smallest smart phone called the Veer with touch screen and slide-out keyboard, a new version of the original WebOS phone the Pre3 sporting a larger keyboard and 1.4GHz processor; and finally their own iPad clone the TouchPad which is spec-for-spec an iPad and will have a Kindle app on launch day. Palm has had a bad couple of years and most people thought the buy-out by HP would be the death of them but these devices are better than anything they're announced in a long time. As a long-time Palm user and fanoi of the best phone OS in the world: WebOS, i'm desperately hoping these will be enough to make Palm a household name again.
Wired have a more detailed article on the security firm that targeted Anonymous and got more than they bargained for. Thanks to the leaked e-mails, we now have the full story of how Barr infiltrated Anonymous, used social media to compile his lists, and even resorted to attacks on the codebase of the Low Orbit Ion Cannon used in attacks - and how others at his own company warned him about the pitfalls of his own research.
BBC report on plans for a private internet for robots. By contrast, RoboEarth hopes to start showing how the information that robots discover about the world can be defined so any other robot can find it and use it. RoboEarth will be a communication system and a database, he said. In the database will be maps of places that robots work, descriptions of objects they encounter and instructions for how to complete distinct actions.
Meanwhile a brain-controlled robotic arm is the first submission to be submitted to a new streamlined FDA approval process. The FDA today announced "Innovation Pathway", a new program to speed through regulatory approvals for groundbreaking medical technology. The first test case in the process will be an unnamed DARPA prosthetic arm that is controlled via a brain-computer interface implanted on the surface of the patient's brain.
Tech Report checked out memory speed and Sandy Bridge performance. K-Series Sandy Bridge CPUs have unlocked memory multipliers that make it easy to take advantage of faster memory modules. We explore performance with a range of memory configurations to see whether Intel's latest CPU architecture makes good use of exotic DIMMs.
TechWareLabs wonder how fast things can get with two Momentus XTs in RAID0. This little guy is a standard 2.5" 7200 RPM laptop drive with 32MB cache and a beautiful 4GB SSD attached. This SSD brings the performance up considerably. So, what are we going to do with it? Well Seagate gave us two, so we are going to RAID them in a RAID 0 and short stroke them to see what kind of performance we can get. Just like Artiom did with the VelociRaptor. We are directly comparing this to the SSD in Artiom's last editorial using the VelociRaptors.
From Manaz: Countries all over the world right now are trying to acquire an internet kill switch, which would cut off internet access to an entire country. Egypt did this last week, Austria already has the switch, and the U.S. has legislation that would give President Obama and his successors this power too. We need to stand up to our world leaders and demand they they keep the internet open for all and resist any efforts to develop an internet kill switch at home or abroad. I've already signed Access' petition to the UN asking member countries to stop the switch, will you join us?Here's the link.
Thursday Night Reviews
(link) Thursday, 10-February-2011 11:20:52 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Misc Pics Near Misses
(link) Wednesday, 9-February-2011 04:08:39 (GMT +10) - by Agg
I got a (good-natured) email a couple of days ago, from someone wondering why none of his misc pics over the last few weeks had been used on the news page. Well, I try not to use those with an obvious source or copyright, but lots I think are just too obscure or not quite right for whatever reason. But maybe I get it wrong sometimes, so I've looked back through my emails and here's a few that I don't think I posted at the time, but perhaps deserve another look.. or not. :) So, thanks to the many people who sent these in!
And if you're after more, check out this Wiki page which lists ALL "misc pics" news posts from the archive.
Intel have resumed shipments of chipsets affected by the SATA issue. As a result of these discussions and specific requests from computer makers, Intel is resuming shipments of the Intel® 6 Series Chipset for use only in PC system configurations that are not impacted by the design issue. Only computer makers who have committed to shipping the Intel® 6 Series Chipset in PC system configurations that are not impacted by the design issue will be receiving these shipments. Mid-February for the fixed parts now, apparently.
XbitLabs compared seven coolers on six-core CPUs. Today we are going to talk about five new CPU coolers from Akasa, Deep Cool and ThermoLab and will offer you a performance comparison of seven products on six-core AMD and Intel processors.
APCMag explode a PSU and tell you what's what inside them, thanks Sniper. So we asked a man who lives and breathes power supplies, Christoph Katzer, to explain what you should look for in a PSU. German-born Katzer is the global director for the entire PSU business at Antec, one of the world's biggest components makers, but agreed to put brand loyalties aside to explain how PSUs work in the videos below. But first, the explosion!
IBM have some videos looking back at the last 100 years of their history. The computer industry is fairly young compared to many other industries, but one of founding pioneer companies of the information age is now officially a century old.
Apple haven't taken kindly to an iPad chopping board, ordering the maker to stop selling them. I came up with this iPad Cheese Cutting board idea and my fabricators after some hard work were able to make one. I like coming up with creative ideas like I did with the iPhone Sketchbook and Stencils. A few months back we received a call from Apple lawyers and we were told to stop selling them. The reason given was based on “likeness” issues. A Wood cutting board.
Hoopstar sent in these incredible pencil carvings. I have enough trouble just sharpening pencils properly.
Rob sent in this thread about a disabled gamer who doesn't let paralysis stop him from getting into Dead Space 2 - the main issue is restrictive key assignments! So there's now a petition for full customisation in games, and apparently somewhere in this thread there's mention that there might be a fix on the way.
TheSSDReview have an article on Enterprise SSD Migration. SSD technology has hit like a hurricane leaving enterprise in awe of its potential yet leery of high cost for a storage medium still in its infancy. Todays business is reluctant to implement SSD storage for reasons that run the gamut from reliability and durability to long-term performance gain concerns. The inherent cost of slc drives is self defeating for a small business and time has yet to put its stamp of approval on mlc design. Remember we have a Business & Enterprise Computing forum, too.
From Badooleoo: I saw this project of a handheld N64 hacked from Nintendo 64s, Gamecube controller, PSone screen and put together in a Game Boy Advance case. A very awesome job indeed. Work log here, video here.
Razer Naga Epic Mouse and Ironclad Mouse Mat
(link) Monday, 7-February-2011 09:39:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Lack of mouse buttons getting you down? Tired of having to remember zillions of key combinations? Razer's Naga Epic mouse might be of interest, with 17 buttons, including an array of 12 down one side that you can assign custom functions to. DiGiTaL MoNkEY checked it out, along with their Ironclad mouse mat.
Games.on.net have published their Game of the Year award winners. Well, we asked for your votes, and you gave them. Now that we've finally tallied up the winners, cried on each other's shoulders over the losers, and yawned uncaringly at the middling wannabes, it's time to share them with the world. They also have some official Crysis 2 requirements. 8800GT? I suspect "minimum" is an understatement.
The Mars500 simulated-mission-to-Mars crew have reached orbit around Mars, in terms of time duration. 245 days since "launch", so far. Though the flight to Mars is real in every way possible on Earth, the six-man crew is actually parked in a simulator at the Institute for Medical and Biological Problems in Moscow, Russia. At an orbit-dependent 36 million to more than 250 million miles (58-402 million km) from Earth, Mars is far enough distant that simulated missions are necessary to address concerns about stress, claustrophobia and fatigue.
Meanwhile one family has completely unplugged for 6 months. Susan Maushart lived out every parent's fantasy: She unplugged her teenagers. For six months, she took away the Internet, TV, iPods, cell phones and video games. The eerie glow of screens stopped lighting up the family room. Electronic devices no longer chirped through the night like "evil crickets." And she stopped carrying her iPhone into the bathroom.
TBreak have a Sandy Bridge heatsink roundup. Today I’ll take a look at four high-end CPU coolers from some of the most respectable names in the industry and pit them all against each other to see how they perform under pressure.
A recent PC speed-building competition set a new record of just over four minutes. Contestants had to pack identical components into computer cases and connect their machines to the organiser's network. Four minutes seems like a fairly long time fi you have all the bits laid out in front of you, hrm.
CNet have a video on the challenges of benchmarking. However, instead of off-the-shelf testing, we generally prefer to create our own benchmarks that incorporate mainstream applications representing real-world usage. In doing so, we hopefully give you a better idea of how well these systems perform with apps that are at least close to what the average consumer would use.
Some people involved with Anonymous may be tracked down, according to a security firm. Mr Barr said he penetrated Anonymous as part of a project to demonstrate the security risks to organisations from social media and networking.He is presenting his research later this month at a conference in San Francisco. Naturally this has annoyed Anonymous, who have responded by attacking the security firm. An hour ago, Anon seized control of the internet security firm's website, defaced its pages, acquired 60,000 company e-mails, deleted backup files, seized Barr's Twitter account, and took down the founder's website.
NASA and the European Space Agency have announced missions to search for life on Europa. Just as long as they don't attempt a landing there. Also, we now have the first full view of the Sun. STEREO has given us the first view of the entire sun on February 6, 2011 and when coupled with SDO, will give us complete views of the sun's entire surface and atmosphere for the next 8 years.
DigitalTrends compared four tablets. After dominating the tablet market since its inception, the iPad's one-year anniversary will bring major competition, including RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, Motorola's Xoom, and Dell's Streak 7. We lined them all up to see whether any of them will ultimately manage to topple the reigning champ. HotHardware have a hands-on preview of the Dell Streak 7 as well.
Callan spotted this story of a retired Gurkha taking on 40 robbers on a train while armed with only his khukari (although I thought it was Khukri?) knife, and fighting them all off. While in the train, Maurya Express from Ranchi to Gorakhpur, on September 2, 2010, 35 year-old Bishnu saved a girl about to be raped by the train robbers in front of her helpless parents.
ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Professional
(link) Monday, 7-February-2011 01:32:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg
DiGiTaL MoNkEY checked out this P67 motherboard from ASRock, designed in partnership with professional gamer "Fatal1ty". As you might imagine there's a few gaming and overclocking features, not to mention a fancy colour scheme:
Gigabyte have a SATA Check Application which you can use to see if your motherboard (Gigabyte or other brands) is affected by the Sandy Bridge recall, and if you are currently using the affected ports. The utility is a simple program that will work on any 6 series chipset based mobo, and has 3 possible scenarios that offer advice for users to configure their SATA devices. To operate, simply copy this utility to your P67/H67 system’s Windows desktop and unzip, then double click the “67sfck.exe” file.
I'm assuming this isn't real, but it's a Superbowl ad, so who knows. Anyway, Chevrolet are advertising a car that
reads Facebook for you. An early Super Bowl ad peek has revealed that the aforesaid automobile has the ability to read back statuses on command, giving you one less reason to keep your mind on the task at hand (read: driving) and one more reason to make The Zuck even richer.
Here's a useful site with dying hard drive sounds. These are some typical sounds we hear in our data recovery lab. If your hard drive makes noises like these and you are still able to access your files - backup immediately.
Delimiter have some photos of the NBN termination units. Regular Delimiter reader and all-round telco commentator Michael Wyres was at a NBN Co briefing this week and took these shots of the company’s internal and external network termination units, which will be installed in homes and businesses.
Tweaktown hooked up 24 SSDs to an LSI Megaraid adapter. Today we are taking a look at the LSI MegaRAID 9280-24i4e, the flagship model in the MegaRAID lineup. The 9280 Series uses the same MegaRAID Storage Manager Software that we feel is the best in the industry and also shares all of the cutting edge features, like SSD Guard. The 9280-24i4e does have a big advantage over our daily use MegaRAID controller and that is its ability to run 24 internal SATA / SAS ports and an additional 4 external ports at the same time. This is done without port multipliers and all SATA / SAS connections go back to the MegaRAID 9280-24i4e."
Senator Conroy is backing an R18+ games rating. “I’ve always supported the R-rating and did so long before the Government made its decision,” he said. “Just because it’s a video game doesn’t mean it should have a different classification system to movies and all other things.”
However, he says the Internet Filter is still on track for July 2011. Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, claims the voluntary Internet filter is on track for implementation by Optus, Telstra and iPrimus this year and has denied any suggestion it's on the backburner.
Facebook have a new feature that has people worried about privacy, so here's how to disable it. Provided you are logged into Facebook, certain websites like Pandora and Bing can ‘personalise’ their sites with data provided from your account. Any information which is set to ‘Everyone’, like your name or your birthday can be used to make the website appear more friendly and tuned in.
ArsTechnica ponder just how green green drives really are. In terms of cost, using a green hard drive compared to a normal one makes very little difference. Assuming your drive spends 4 hours reading and writing and 20 hours idle per day, switching from the WD Black to Green saves you only 45 kilowatt-hours per year. The national average cost of a kilowatt-hour is 11.93 cents, netting you a whopping $5.38 per year for your sacrifice of 1800 RPM. For comparison, changing one 60-watt lightbulb used 4 hours a day to a 7-watt fluorescent one saves you more, about $9.23 per year.
PCWorld have more info about the recent Logitech cash-back promotion that lasted a few hours at most. Peripherals manufacturer Logitech has reported what it calls "unprecedented demand" for a cash-back offer it announced for the month of February on selected mice, keyboards and accessories. $300,000 of cash-back funds allocated to the offer was exhausted halfway through the first day of February.
Canada's Government has indicated it will step in to remove broadband caps, overturning a decision by the regulator. It would not prevent the big Internet providers from continuing to use metered billing as they have for years. But the fact that smaller providers could offer unlimited accounts has likely acted as a competitive check on the market and helped keep prices from rising.
PC Perspective have some thoughts on NVIDIA, ARM, Tegra 3 and beyond. For years NVIDIA has been hiring engineers with CPU backgrounds, and with the Tegra series of products we finally see what they have been working on. NVIDIA has foregone trying to get a x86 license, and instead is jumping with both feet into the world of ARM processors. It's also worth considering that Intel would still be able to sell LGA1155 CPUs (despite their own chipset being recalled) if nVIDIA had been given a license to make chipsets for it. :)
LegionHW have a guide to overclocking the GeForce GTX 560 Ti, while MadShrimps cover Sandy Bridge overclocking. Slowly but steadily Clarkdale and Lynnfield will become End Of Life and will be phased out. At the Sandy Bridge Tech conference the representatives of Intel said that the current S1366 i7 lineup (Bloomfield and Gulftown) will remain their high end platform.
Google and Bing have been facing off over the last couple of days, after an article claimed Bing is copying Google search results. The Bing team have responded, and Google have followed up with more info. However you define copying, the bottom line is, these Bing results came directly from Google. I’d like to give you some background and details of our experiments that lead us to understand just how Bing is using Google web search results. Some more info here, thanks mpot. Discussion here.
OCAU member CaillinS13 has put up a streaming webcam from his apartment window in Townsville. I'm not sure how many viewers it can handle, but it's at 2500 and rising so far. Update: Archades has one in Mourilyan here.
A few people pointed out a 100% cash back offer on certain Logitech goodies this month. During February Logitech will be offering consumers a full cash refund on some of its keyboards, mice, webcams, headsets and laptop accessories. The company is offering a total $300,000 of cash-back incentives on the purchase of seven products ranging from a $20 wired mouse to a $60 laptop cooling pad.Update: The fund of cash ran out within hours of the promotion starting, apparently. Seems a little short-sighted by Logitech.
Sydney Ferry passengers can now enjoy free WiFi. NSW Transport Minister John Robertson said that from today all First Fleet ferries, including the Charlotte, Golden Grove, Scarborough, Friendship, Borrowdale and all Manly ferries will offer free Wi-Fi.
Internode CEO Simon Hackett has bowed out of the Top Geek contest. "It would be of no surprise to any of you to appreciate that I had easily qualified into the contestant list for the next rounds of the competition, in terms of the number of votes I'd obtained," wrote Hackett. "The issue here was starting to turn into one of 'It's fun, but what if he won?' — in the sense that (on reflection) I'm kinda a professional geek, and it's hardly fair for me to be usurping the chance for one more 'amateur geek' to get a great prize and a trip to the USA."
NetGear's CEO has praised the NBN and criticized Apple recently. thanks JD. The NBN, he said, would lead to a "gold rush of cloud computing services", in a similar way that the mainstream acceptance of the internet 10 years ago led to an explosion in ISPs.
Canada are feeling the sting of no-longer-unlimited internet. Starting on March 1, Ontario TekSavvy members who subscribed to the 5Mbps plan have a new usage cap of 25GB, "substantially down from the 200GB or unlimited deals TekSavvy was able to offer before the CRTC's decision to impose usage based billing," the message added.
Meanwhile Australia's regional IP address registry APNIC have been allocated the last "general use" stock of IPv4 addresses, thanks Cameron. APNIC used the allocation notification to further stress the need for migration to IPv6, which is expected to last the internet for decades. With 250 million IPv4 addresses consumed during 2010 and few providers publicly trialling or implementing IPv6 migration patterns, Huston said the transition to the new protocol will not happen as smoothly as originally intended.
CNET have more info on the Sandy Bridge recall. Bottom line: if you are a consumer who's run out and grabbed a high-end laptop or desktop gaming rig in the last few weeks with an Intel quad-core processor billed as Intel's Second Generation Intel Core Processor, then you potentially have a problem.
Google have an interesting new technology that lets people tweet via voicemail. The idea being that if you're in somewhere where the Government has turned off the Internet (hi Egypt) you can still update the world on what's going on. We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers.
On a related note, both ZDNet and Computerworld wonder how easily Australia could be cut off from the net. Although Australia has been a stable democracy for 110 years now, shutting off the country's internet would be surprisingly easy to do and take just minutes, according to telecommunications experts. Following reports on Egypt's internet shutdown, Budde.com analyst Paul Budde said the government had the power to force internet service providers (ISPs) to shut down the internet if it chose to.
Thanks to everyone who sent word of Intel's announcement of a flaw in the recently-released Sandy Bridge chipsets. In some cases, the Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives. The chipset is utilized in PCs with Intel's latest Second Generation Intel Core processors, code-named Sandy Bridge. Intel has stopped shipment of the affected support chip from its factories. Intel has corrected the design issue, and has begun manufacturing a new version of the support chip which will resolve the issue. ...
For computer makers and other Intel customers that have bought potentially affected chipsets or systems, Intel will work with its OEM partners to accept the return of the affected chipsets, and plans to support modifications or replacements needed on motherboards or systems. The systems with the affected support chips have only been shipping since January 9th and the company believes that relatively few consumers are impacted by this issue. The only systems sold to an end customer potentially impacted are Second Generation Core i5 and Core i7 quad core based systems. ...
For the first quarter of 2011, Intel expects this issue to reduce revenue by approximately $300 million as the company discontinues production of the current version of the chipset and begins manufacturing the new version. Full-year revenue is not expected to be materially affected by the issue. Total cost to repair and replace affected materials and systems in the market is estimated to be $700 million.
Coverage on Anandtech, Tech Report and PC Perspective. So if you were thinking of moving to Sandy Bridge, best to wait a little while until the fixed chipset motherboards appear on the market. Discussion here.
All original content copyright James Rolfe.
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