So, this week is National Cyber Security Awareness Week. Didn't we just have one of these recently? This year's National Cyber Security Awareness Week will be held from 30 May to 3 June. Events and activities held during the week across Australia will help Australians understand cybersecurity risks and how to protect their personal and financial information online.
Meanwhile Jeff reminds us that CeBIT is on this week in Sydney. They've cunningly timed it to coincide with Computex Taipei, which will surely have all the marketing people busy over there. The tenth anniversary of CeBIT Australia promises to be the biggest and most extensive BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY EVENT OF 2011.
Gigabyte have a motherboard on the way with an integrated SSD. The new board, dubbed the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD, uses Intel’s new Z68 chipset and will feature a tiny m-SATA SSD module that effectively functions as a small Intel Solid State Drive 311.
Speaking of which, NGOHQ and HWSecrets both took a look at Intel's Smart Response Technology. Intel's SRT lets you use a low capacity SSD to boost the performance of a mechanical drive by using the SSD as a cache.
PeteOdeath pointed out this cool timelapse video of the Very Large Telescope at work. What makes this time lapse particularly amazing--because we’ve all seen plenty of time lapse videos of the night sky--is the four telescopes in the foreground. Watching these instruments work against a black background would be endlessly fascinating on its own. Unfortunately you won’t be able to pay them too much attention. Because damn, what a sky. It is pretty amazing, but also slightly motion-sickness inducing, even though I don't normally suffer from that!
Techgage have an Intel P67 roundup. We've been a little short on motherboard content lately, so to kick things back into action we're taking a look at four P67-based motherboards at once - all benchmarked using our newly revised test suite. The boards we're looking at are the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe, GIGABYTE P67A-UD4, Intel DP67BG and MSI P67A-GD65.
Linus Torvalds has confirmed his earlier comments and is moving the Linux Kernel to version 3.0 after years of 2.6. The whole renumbering was discussed at last years Kernel Summit, and there was a plan to take it up this year too. But let's face it - what's the point of being in charge if you can't pick the bike shed color without holding a referendum on it? So I'm just going all alpha-male, and just renumbering it. You'll like it.
Clinton sent in some concerns about Skype installing some malware, but it seems it was just an error. This latest update from EasyBits included elements of their desktop games organizer in error, but it neither installs nor un-installs correctly. This update has been disabled while we work with them to correct the problems and user experience.
GamePron demonstrated how easy it is to play censored games in Australia. I expected some kind of note saying they’d picked up my game and burnt it, but no. I guess the Customs guys are about a diligent as you’d expect when being asked to enforce a law so ridiculous that it makes other countries laugh at us. A printed out sticker on the parcel read, “Cleared — Customs”.
Today's timewasters are circle the cat from Marty, which I'm sure we've seen before but is quite fun, and My Balls (ahem) from Matt.
ASUS GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP
(link) Sunday, 29-May-2011 06:55:16 (GMT +10) - by Agg
DiGiTaL MoNkEY has taken a look at the ASUS GTX 560 DirectCU II TOP video card. This has a slick black PCB, custom cooler, and some impressive stock speeds. It's not too shabby at overclocking, either:
Contest: The Witcher 2 - Assassins of Kings
(link) Wednesday, 25-May-2011 16:36:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg
There's been no shortage of contests on OCAU this month, and here's another, courtesy of The Witcher 2 - Assassins of Kings. You can win yourself a copy of the game AND an MSI video card, AND a cool mouse+pad, with 5 more copies of the game and mouse+pad bundles going to runners-up.
The Minister for Home Affairs and Justice has released some draft guidelines for an R18+ classification for computer games. The draft guidelines can be read here. If you wish to provide feedback, please complete the online survey. The survey closes on Wednesday 22 June 2011. Feedback will be collated to provide advice to classification Ministers in considering the proposed draft Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games.
The domain space is set to become more complicated with custom top level domain extensions possibly on offer soon. The global body governing internet domain names will soon allow organisations and companies to replace the ''com'' in website addresses with their own name - at a cost of more than $US200,000.
Sony's woes continue, with their Canadian and Greek websites being hacked. Following the infamous PSN breach last month and an attack on the company's Greek online music service earlier this week, Sony Ericsson has now seen another intrusion that extracted personal data of more than 2,000 Canadian Eshop customers. Fortunately, the company claims that passwords taken were encrypted and no credit card details were lost, but this is still worrisome nevertheless.
Telstra will be bandwidth throttling phones soon, instead of surprising people with enormous bills. In a statement released late last night, Telstra finance chief John Stanhope said customers deserved to be able to enjoy the full capabilities of their Telstra mobiles on plans without fear of a large, unexpected bill. “By slowing data speeds once a customer has exceeded their data allowance, and not charging for the extra data, customers stay connected without fear of a hit to the hip-pocket,” the executive said.
With the final Shuttle mission soon, and no replacement in sight, NASA have surprised us with a manned exploration craft. NASA on Tuesday announced a plan to build a spacecraft that will fly astronauts into deep space, taking them as far as near asteroids and even Mars. The new spacecraft, called the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, will be based on an earlier concept for the Orion vehicle, a spacecraft originally intended to ferry astronauts to the moon, the space agency announced during a press conference. The new spacecraft, which will be built by Lockheed Martin, will be designed to carry four astronauts on 21-day missions.
Cray have revealed their first GPU-powered supercomputer. Hardware-wise though, the XK6 is not that different from its CPU-based brethren. The blade is basically a variant of the XE6, replacing four of the eight AMD Opteron sockets with NVIDIA Tesla GPU modules. Each four-node blade consists of two Gemini interconnect chips, four Opteron CPUs, and four NVIDIA Tesla 20-series GPUs. The Tesla in this case is the X2090, a compact form factor of the M2090 module that was introduced last week. Like the M2090, the X2090 sports a 665 gigaflop (double precision) GPU, 6 GB of GDDR5, and 178 GB/second of memory bandwidth. A XK6 cabinet can house up to 24 blades (96 nodes), which will deliver something in the neighborhood of 70 teraflops. Cue "how does it Fold?" comments. :)
A recent fibre-optic speed record has been claimed by NBN Co as demonstrating that the largely fibre-based NBN is on the right track, thanks JD. However Alan Jones is more impressed by frickin' laser beams, thanks Scott. Jones said the announcement was proof that the NBN would be outdated by the time it was built, without realising the network was based on exactly the same technology.
Today is apparently Geek Pride Day, thanks Rmack. It has been celebrated on May 25 since 2006, celebrating the premiere of the first Star Wars film in 1977. It shares the same day as three other science-fiction fan 'holidays' - Towel Day, for fans of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy by Douglas Adams, Star Wars Day, and the Glorious 25 May, for fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld.
Duke Nukem Forever has gone gold! This means the game is essentially finished (after more than a decade) and there now exists a gold master disk which is what all the retail disks will be copies of. Release early next month, if there's no more delays.
A 22yo Australian student has found the universe's missing mass, thanks Mick. I'm imagining it was behind some giant interstellar couch all along. The School of Physics put out a call for students interested in a six-week paid astrophysics research internship during a recent vacation period, and chose Ms Fraser-McKelvie from a large number of applicants. Dr Pimbblet, lecturer in the School of Physics put the magnitude of the discovery in context by explaining that scientists had been hunting for the Universe’s missing mass for decades.
Meanwhile NASA are officially no longer trying to contact the Spirit rover, which seems to have succumbed to the Martian winter. Spirit landed on Mars on Jan. 3, 2004, for a mission designed to last three months. After accomplishing its prime-mission goals, Spirit worked to accomplish additional objectives. Its twin, Opportunity, continues active exploration of Mars.
There's some new Mac malware, thanks SteveO. The trojan horse is called Mac Defender. It's a web pop-up containing a spoof message that tells customers their machines are infected by a virus and they must install anti-virus software. If customers agree to install the software, the program sporadically loads porn websites on their computer.
From John: Although there’s been lots of leaked photos and specs of the new 990 series amd motherboards, I noticed that Gigabyte seem to be the first out of the blocks with an official listing of a huge 990FX m/board, with six PCI Express slots and six SATA 6gig connectors, four USB3s etc. Discussion here.
The Asus Eee Pad Transformer is already pretty desireable, but now it seems to be overclockable, to an extent. Xda-developers forum member netarchy has already uploaded a custom kernel for the Eee Pad Transformer that allows you to overclock the chip to make it run at up to 1.4GHz – which is a 40% improvement over the stock 1GHz clock speed that it came with. Of course, at that speed, performance is not stable at all, but for those who want to achieve a balance can give it a go at 1.2GHz that ought to keep everyone happy.
Carsales are having a contest where you can win a Ford Focus car. Ford and Carsales.com.au invite you to put the all-new Ford Focus through its paces in a series of tests. 12 lucky entrants will receive an all-new Ford Focus for 6 weeks, a flip camera, and a license to entertain! Document the tests, get the most votes…and you get to keep the car! Discussion here.
Sharp have been showing off their new giant TV with super high definition. Can you imagine owning a TV with 16 times the resolution of HDTV (or, in other words, about the same resolution as IMAX)? That’s 7,680×4,320 pixels, and today Sharp (in cooperation with Japanese national TV broadcaster NHK) showed a 85-inch LCD TV boasting that spec, also known as Ultra HDTV or Super Hi-Vision.
Texas Memory Systems meanwhile have a new monster SSD. 900GB in size and 2GB/s sustained? Yes please, but I suspect the pricetag will be terrifying. The new card, aimed at server manufacturers, boasts 330,000 sustained I/Os per second (IOPS) and 2GB/sec random sustained external throughput compared to the RamSan 10/20, which offered up to 20,000 sustained IOPS and 700 MB/sec random sustained external throughput.
Koopz sent in this cool desk mod. Peter from the Netherlands has managed to fit a pretty bombastic set of components -- 4.5GHz Core i7-980X, two ASUS GeForce GTX 580 graphics cards in SLI, over 12TB of storage with an SSD boot disk, and two PSUs providing 1,500W of power in total -- together with a water-cooling setup and the inevitable glowing lights inside one enclosure, which just so happens to also serve as his desk.
Shell are planning to build the biggest man-made floating object to harvest ocean gas. The floating liquified natural gas facility will dwarf the biggest warships, weighing in at 600,000 metric tons. By contrast, the U.S.’ next-generation Ford-class supercarrier will displace 101,000 metric tons of water. Shell says its ship will be able to withstand a category 5 typhoon. In some ways, it’s more of a mini-island than a ship, designed to be moored in the same spot off the northwest coast of Australia for 25 years.
A quantum computer has apparently reached production. D-Wave, a company that studies almost exclusively quantum computer technology, has managed to launch the first 128-qubit processor computer after several years of research. The company named the computer „D-Wave One”. The price tag is not available yet and people can find out how much the computer costs only after they have contacted the company’s sales department.
If you're wanting to play with Chrome OS but can't afford a Chromebook, TechSpot have a guide to running it from a USB stick or as a virtual machine. Although Hexxeh recommends USB images for the best experience, the easiest way to try out Chromium OS without even rebooting your computer is running it as a virtual machine. More importantly, since Chromium OS will not run on all hardware, this is the way to go if you've got an incompatible machine and just want to give it a quick look.
New Zealand's copyright woes continue, with public internet at risk, including libraries. "The legislation appears to assume that, first of all, the account holder is a single person and the only person using the machine, which of course in a library is not what happens. The whole thing is an absolute nightmare and we really don't see how it is going to work."
The White Pages will now not be delivered by default in Sydney and Melbourne. Also, the residential book no longer supports the way consumers are searching for information, they're increasingly going online or using mobile phones and personal address books to search for residential information. You can still order some if you like.
AusCERT was on at the Gold Coast this week. The 10th annual Australian Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT) conference started today. The exhibition floor seemed unusually roomy, and regular attendees agreed that the conference seemed much quieter than usual.
Meanwhile the PM has switched on the first mainland NBN test site in sunny Armidale, describing this as making history. NBN preparations for Arimidale took 10 months with 105km of fibre being laid. Around 3000 premises will be able connected to the network but only a small number will gain access to the NBN at launch. More customers will be able to connect to the fibre network in the coming months.
Google's chairman has said they will fight an anti-piracy bill, even if it passes, with more info here. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt on Wednesday said the search company would fight legislation aimed at shutting down access to file-sharing websites that offer pirated content. He argued that it would set a “disastrous precedent” for freedom of speech worldwide.
The Guardian have an article about science videos on YouTube, with a few interesting channels highlighted. I have been recognised four times now. Four times! I knew you would be impressed. And what has brought me such notoriety? Is it my fancy suits, my outrageous tabloid lifestyle, or is it my world famous impression of a teapot? No. I make videos about maths on YouTube.
von Stalhein sent in this Sysadmin Flogger, in case someone needs a little extra motivation in the office.
ZXR meanwhile noticed that the Centre for Disease Control have a page about surviving a Zombie Apocalypse. Wait, that scares me more than reassures me. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.
Here's a massive 111 Gigapixel explorable image of Seville in Spain. The result of several months of work is the biggest panoramic photograph of the world; a 613,376-pixel wide by 181,248-pixel high photograph, consisting of 9,750 images, taken at an altitude of 60 meters from the highest platform of Torre Schindler, in Isla de la Cartuja.
Today's timewasters are this NZ Army shooting game spotted by Boyd, and a very NSFW Duke Nukem promo game, which is definitely Not Safe For Work at all, and did I mention not safe for work? I think I did. Fun, though.
Here's an update on our Folding@Home efforts from leroyxx:
Just to let you know that we arrived in 5th place for the Chimp Challenge - full results here or here. We also have a fun half May Challenge running right now here with prizes: 1st = ~1 million points, 2nd = 4Gb (2x2) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600Mhz.
There's lots more happening, the June Challenge is up here with 1st prize showing off our new site sponsor - a MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti Twin Frozr II, kindly sponsored by Craig @ Data Retriever (another sponsor) & our Folding Fund); 2nd is 4Gb (2x2) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600Mhz (Sponsored by our Folding Fund). This will start in June, but the entries are open now.
There is also nominations for the Iron Folder for May here - Voting opens on the 24/25th of May and Voting for Iron Folder Of The Year, part 1 here which is open for 7 days, with the top 4 going into a second poll for outright winner of the IFOTY, again with 7 day voting period.
Next across DiGiTaL MoNkEY's test bench is the MSI GeForce GTX 580 Lightning. MSI seem to have gone all-out on this high-end video card, with custom PCB, power circuitry and their now-familiar Twin Frozr III cooler. Does the end result pay off?
An Australian technology journalist has been arrested for recieving some photos used to demonstrate a Facebook insecurity. Detective Superintendent Hay used an analogy to describe why Grubb was targeted. "Someone breaks into your house and they steal a TV and they give that TV to you and you know that TV is stolen," he said. Surely in that example the person is just giving me my TV back, but anyway, this whole thing seems very odd, especially given the actual "hacker" has not been arrested.
Also fairly lame is this apparent media stunt by Vodafone, pretending a shipment of Xperia Play smartphones has been stolen. The tweet said Vodafone has suffered a major security breach and the shipment of phones had been stolen. However Vodafone New Zealand spokesman Matthew East told The Australian this morning the company had made up the claim on Twitter for marketing purposes.
There are some free goodies in store for people returning to the PlayStation Network. Two PS3 games from the following list: LittleBigPlanet, Infamous*, Wipeout HD/Fury, Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty, Dead Nation*.
Bing and Facebook have teamed up for a "social search". According to Microsoft: “The best decisions are not just fueled by facts, they require the opinions and emotions of your friends. Search is now more than a fact finder — [In this update] we’re marrying fact-based search results with your friends’ street smarts to combine the best data on the Web with the opinions of the people you trust the most and the collective IQ of the Web.”
Meanwhile Lamborghini have announced their new supercar, the Aventador. Today’s world is extremely high-tech and many new players have entered the arena. Lamborghini has been promoting its carbon-fiber monocoque technology and the Aventador’s 2.9 second 0-62mph, but will that be enough? More here and discussion here.
MSI GTX 560 Twin Frozr II OC
(link) Tuesday, 17-May-2011 13:05:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg
DiGiTaL MoNkEY has taken a look at this new video card from MSI, their GTX 560 Twin Frozr II OC. This is a cut-down version of the GTX 560 Ti GPU, but MSI wrap it up with an impressive custom cooler:
AusPC and BitFenix Case Giveaway
(link) Tuesday, 17-May-2011 03:46:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg
AusPC and BitFenix are teaming up to give away some fancy cases. The contest is pretty simple - design an awesome PC using a BitFenix case at the AusPCMarket website, and the best two designs will win a free case when judged at the end of the month!
Space Shuttle Endeavour Launch
(link) Monday, 16-May-2011 10:44:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Well, whenever I link these on the news page they get aborted, but here goes nothing. In about two hours the Space Shuttle Endeavour will launch into its final mission, and the second-last Shuttle mission ever (Atlantis is doing the last one). As usual you can watch the launch on NASA TV.
The PlayStation Network will be back up soon, thanks tusker. It will be a phased restoration. The phased restoration will be on a country by country basis beginning in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.
One person who won't be affected by the PSN outage is serial killer Ivan Milat, who has been refused a playstation in his cell. As a protest against not being allowed to play games, he refused all meals starting Tuesday May 3rd. By Thursday, May 12th, his weight had dropped from 85kg to 60kg.
RamblingThoughts has info on the state of digital radio in Australia. Radio broadcasters continue to launch new digital-only services with up to 20 new DAB+ only stations on air in each market, plus an additional 13 short-term or pop-up stations. There are now more than 80 different digital radio models on sale in Australia, across 700 retail outlets plus online stores. The average sales price has fallen to AUD$105.
BenchmarkReviews looked at the Lucid Virtu graphics virtualisation technology in the new Z68 chipset. Lucid (formerly LucidLogix) appeared on the enthusiast horizon with their "Hydra" technology, which purported to enable vendor-agnostic multi-GPU systems. Users would be able to combine the performance of different video cards from different vendors, rather than being constrained to the cards required by ATI CrossFireX or NVIDIA SLI. Hydra didn't work as well as had been hoped, but the introduction of Intel's new Z68 chipset came with an announcement that Intel had licensed Lucid's "Virtu" GPU virtualization technology.
Jimmy sent in this TV news story on broadband. US network PBS compare the current state of broadband in the US, UK and Netherlands. Not heavy on the tech-side, but touches on points relevant to the NBN debate - effect on business and the like. A guy on a houseboat has better internet than you. :)
IntelInside sent in this amazing Photopic Sky Survey. The Photopic Sky Survey is a 5,000 megapixel photograph of the entire night sky stitched together from 37,440 exposures. Large in size and scope, it portrays a world far beyond the one beneath our feet and reveals our familiar Milky Way with unfamiliar clarity. Some blurb on SMH here. When he realized the work was too monumental, Risinger quit his day job as a marketing director of a countertop company to devote himself full-time to the project.
HardCoreWare compare memory for Sandy Bridge. Which DDR memory kit is best for Sandy Bridge? We seek to find out, as we take kits from five of the leading memory manufacturers and put them to the test. What follows is the toughest conclusion we've had to come to in quite some time.
LegitReviews unlocked a Radeon HD 6950 to 6970. Upgrading the AMD Radeon HD 6950 graphics to a Radeon HD 6970 proved to be an enlightening experience. Testing the same card with multiple levels of shaders, core speeds and memory frequencies showed exactly how each of these things can have an effect in different ways. The largest gains came from completely unlocking the potential of the Radeon HD 6950 by fully flashing the BIOS, effectively turning it into a Radeon HD 6970.
PCMark 7 has been released, including a free version allowing unlimited benchmarking runs. Windows 7 only, though. Techgage checked it out.
There's some info and speculation about Intel's upcoming Silvermont Atom architecture, on Anandtech and Engadget. Silvermont however changes everything. It is the first new redesign of the Atom architecture and it marks the beginning of Atom being on a tick-tock cadence. Say goodbye to 5 year updates, say hello to a new architecture every 2 years.
The Collins book of Official Scrabble Words has been updated to include 3,000 new words, including thang, grrl and Facebook. Urrrgghh. The additions of the terms “fiqh,” or Islamic jurisprudence, and “qin,” a Chinese musical instrument, offer new moves for players stuck with the letter Q, without having to suffer the interminable wait for a U to come along. (Until now, “qi,” the Chinese term for life force, was the accepted favourite.)
Facebook meanwhile have been caught in an alleged smear campaign against Google. The plot backfired when the blogger turned down Burson’s offer and posted the emails that Burson had sent him. It got worse when USA Today broke a story accusing Burson of spreading a “whisper campaign” about Google “on behalf of an unnamed client.”
BeHardware have an insight into component return rates - to one vendor at any rate. The first question is of course where the stats come from. They’re taken from a large French e-tailer, whose database we have had direct access to. We were, then, able to extract the stats we wanted directly. Of course they’re limited to the products sold by the retailer, but unfortunately there isn’t any other way of getting hold of reliable stats. Who would believe for example any returns rates given by the manufacturers themselves?
TomsHardware report on the world of OEM PSUs. Do you think that all power supplies are manufactured by the brand on the label? Think again. We show what makes a good PSU and reveal who builds them. You can actually find lots of quality (instead of just scrap metal) behind some of the budget labels.
Back to Intel, with some new SSD technology, covered on PCStats and LegitReviews. Intel's 311-series 20GB Larson Creek SSD is all about Smart Response technology, a hard drive caching algorithm which is part of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology v10.5! This is one of the main features of the Z68 Express Chipset and we take a closer look at this drive along with SRT on a Gigabyte Z68 motherboard.
Sunday Night Reviews
(link) Sunday, 15-May-2011 11:08:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Watch out for any black cats and things, it being Friday 13th! :)
Google have unveiled some Chromebook notebooks running their Chrome OS. More here. Because the laptop runs on a stripped-down system, first-time setup takes three minutes, and the computers boot up in 8 seconds, Sundar Pichai, an executive for the Chrome group, said during the presentation.
VIA meanwhile have a Quad-core Processor, that they have ingeniously named QuadCore. Today, Via is announcing a new product, the QuadCore processor, that combines a pair of Nano X2 chips on a single package to deliver a low-cost, low-power CPU whose position in the market is fairly distinctive. More here.
DarkAvernus posted this Australian LAN Survey in the forums. The Australian LAN Survey for 2011 will be conducted over a two week period from the 11th of May 2011 through to the 25th of May 2011 and will ask the general community what they think about current events, what they would like to see in the future as well as what is hampering E-Sports within Australia.
TomsHardware say you shouldn't be surprised if your cheapy PSU explodes. Beyond the solutions from well-known vendors, there is a very large number of cheap, no-name products out there, many of which are really easy to find on auction sites at really attractive prices. To get an idea of what lies behind these purported bargains, we bought three of them using Buy It Now. Obviously, we did not give away our real identities to the seller, ensuring we'd receive the same hardware as everyone else.
XbitLabs looked at GPU performance in WoW:Cataclysm. DirectX 11 API is already quite a mature piece of software that has been with us for a couple of years. Unfortunately for end-users its actual implementation in real life applications has been slow. But recently Blizzard has officially released its World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 4.1 Patch, which should attract just that bit more attention to this. Read on to find out why.
LegitReviews compared 15 web browsers. With Flash 10.2 and HTML5 taking off we figured that it would be a good time to look at the performance of 15 of the most used web browsers again. Read on to see which is fastest browser as we run seven tests to find out which is fastest and supports the most features.
TechSpot meanwhile compared 13 budget video cards. Along with wallet-friendly HD 6000 and GTX 500 products, many older mainstream cards have been demoted to the budget bracket. We'll compare the most relevant ones in this review, with a total of thirteen graphics card models tested.
From mrs_dan77: Just letting you know that the Iron Chef Easter voting is now underway. The voting thread can be found here, with the full entry thread found here, and rules and discussion found here. Voting closes on Wednesday, 18th May. Who's cuisine reigns supreme?
Warcom are running some giveaways in the Sponsor Specials forum, including an iPad 2. Simply purchase $50 or more at Warcom and you instantly go into the draw to win an Apple 32GB White iPad with Wi-Fi + 3g! There's other prizes for Liking their Facebook and subscribing to their newsletter, too.
If you missed TeslaDownunder on TV last night, you can view it here. What you didn't get to see was that I took 6 minutes to start the show after the judges OK. As I went to start, There was no power! I had to undo my gear and scamper off stage to turn on the power at the distribution box which had been left off for safety reasons. But when I got there it was dark and I didn't have a torch. I took a stab that these switches were up for on.
If you want to pretend to be a NAVY SEAL, you can now attack Osama bin Laden's hideout in CS:S. Osama bin Laden’s final hiding spot in Abbottabad, Pakistan, has been made into a playable map for Counter-Strike: Source. Honestly, we’re a little surprised that it took this long.
A new Google Music service is being launched soon. "We're launching a beta service called Music Beta by Google that lets users upload their personal music libraries to their own account on Google's servers," Levine told CNET. Users can "access those libraries anytime or anywhere from web connected devices". I'm pretty sure AC/DC won't be thrilled.
Apple is apparently the world's most valuable brand now, whatever that really means. Word must have spread to Beijing, where a small riot broke out at an Apple Store. Meanwhile a supercomputer expert has confirmed that an iPad is as fast as early supercomputers.
Finally, the big story today is that Microsoft are set to acquire Skype. "Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world." Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Ballmer. WSJ have some info too.
A few people sent in this image, which I guess sums up the community's concerns about the Microsoft/Skype move:
MSI Australia, OCAU Major Sponsor
(link) Monday, 9-May-2011 17:37:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg
I'm very pleased to announce that MSI Australia have come onboard as an OCAU Major Sponsor. They've been involved with the site on-and-off for years but this marks the beginning of a longer-term commitment, which is very welcome. MSI Australia are of course the Australian arm of MSI, a major player in the motherboard and graphics cards markets since 1986. Did you know for example that in 1987 they introduced the world's first overclockable 286 motherboard? :)
TeslaDownunder on TV!
(link) Monday, 9-May-2011 17:10:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Our very own TeslaDownunder will be featuring on Australia's Got Talent, tonight on Channel 7 at 7:30pm. Much other equipment was constructed for this show including a bank of 6 arc welders to be used as needed for voltage isolation or ballast, and two 3 phase distribution boxes. Also extended black backdrops and a vast foil earthing system / partial Faraday cage not to mention a new capacitor bank and power factor correction.
Mandatory internet filtering is a hot topic in Turkey now. A plan to require Internet users in Turkey to choose one of four content-filtering packages is unconstitutional and violates the right to freedom of expression, legal experts and civil-society groups have said.
Akeldema sent in this story about a computer going mad. "After being retrained with the elevated learning rate, DISCERN began putting itself at the centre of fantastical, delusional stories that incorporated elements from other stories it had been told to recall," the university said. "In one answer, for instance, DISCERN claimed responsibility for a terrorist bombing."
A game developer has created a USB stick PC for $25 USD. Braben has developed a tiny USB stick PC that has a HDMI port in one end and a USB port on the other. You plug it into a HDMI socket and then connect a keyboard via the USB port giving you a fully functioning machine running a version of Linux.
A US judge has ruled that an IP address is not a person. "The list of IP addresses attached to VPR's complaint suggests, in at least some instances, a similar disconnect between IP subscriber and copyright infringer… The infringer might be the subscriber, someone in the subscriber's household, a visitor with her laptop, a neighbor, or someone parked on the street at any given moment."
Also in the USA, video games are considered a legitimate art form. Of course, any developer who wants federal funding for his or her next game will be competing with filmmakers, TV producers, radio stars and now internet productions too. Still, it means that an aspiring game-maker with an idea for an artistic game - which would have to be available for free, mind you - might have a shot at making it without being beholden to a larger publisher.
Oddball link of the day: a remote kissing device from Japan. A plastic tube projects out of a device that is connected to a motor, which is then connected to the computer. The person in turn moves the tube with his tongue, which moves the straw on the other end, and vice versa. The researchers claim that this should accurately portray the feeling of a french kiss. Yeah, that sounds exactly like it.
Lots of people reviewing things in the forums lately, which is great. I probably miss half of them, so if you see anything cool in the forums which should be on the news page, email the URL to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Google are looking to expand Street View to include the insides of buildings. Google photographers are currently visiting businesses in select cities in the US, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Any business can apply for a photo shoot, and demand will help us decide where to send our photographers next. More here.
BitFenix have a tshirt design contest, where you can win a case. If you can't draw to save your life or failed art in third grade, don't worry! You can still win a Shinobi by rating your favorite t-shirt designs! Some signup and facebookery shenanigans required, but it's open to anyone worldwide.
The Australian Synchrotron is in financial peril. The Sunday Age understands the synchrotron's board has made contingency plans for its closure, with funds due to run out in June next year - just five years after it opened. Last week's state budget gave no extra funds to the facility, which supports the work of 2500 scientists, has 120 highly skilled staff and is producing scientific discoveries of world importance.
From Wombo, about StolenCameraFinder.com: One of my friends just tipped me off to this very cool website/webcrawler. Essentially you tell them the serial number from a camera that has been stolen from you, it will then go out searching for photos on the web since it was stolen. If you don't know the serial just drag a photo that was taken with the camera and it will automatically extract it. They also have a plugin for Chrome that will grab EXIF details for photos and send them to their website in the hope that it comes across a photo taken with your old camera or somebody elses.
This is a bit left field (and a couple of weeks old) but dadust2 sent word of concerns about OCZ's finances following an analysis of their reporting. "OCZ has misrepresented its SSD growth and has financial irregularities that are nearly impossible to reconcile," a short seller at Copperfield Research wrote, referring to solid-state drives. The report also alleged CEO Ryan Petersen has failed to disclose a criminal background involving charges of theft, drug violations, and forgery. A "short seller" has an interest in the stock dropping, but beyond that I don't really know what the deal is there.
Techgage report on Linux SSD TRIM support. Owning an SSD that supports TRIM is great, but while Windows users have the benefit of having TRIM enabled for them, Linux users need to take the manual route - at least, at this point in time. In this article, we tackle the simple process of doing so, and also show how to verify that TRIM is indeed working as it should be.
Check out this amazing kinetic sculpture of San Francisco, 35 years in the making. The elaborate sculpture is comprised of multiple "tours" that move pingpong balls through neighborhoods, historical locations, and iconic symbols of San Francisco, all recreated with a little glue, some toothpicks, and an incredible amount of ingenuity. He admits in the video that there are several toothpick sculptures even larger than his, but none has the unique kinetic components he’s constructed.
Also quite stunning is Jaguar's upcoming electric supercar. Four electric motors at the wheels produced a combined 778 bhp and a whopping 1,180 lb-ft of torque. That's good enough to propel the 1,350 kg body from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 200 mph.
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. Anyway, thanks to Shaun, Nathan and Cameron this week!
And if you're after more, check out this Wiki page which lists ALL "misc pics" news posts from the archive.
Intel have announced Tri-Gate or 3D transistors. The three-dimensional Tri-Gate transistors represent a fundamental departure from the two-dimensional planar transistor structure that has powered not only all computers, mobile phones and consumer electronics to-date, but also the electronic controls within cars, spacecraft, household appliances, medical devices and virtually thousands of other everyday devices for decades. More info on Anandtech, PC Authority, CNET and InformationWeek, thanks dasuperham.
Plane nuts will get a kick out of the world's largest model airport, on display in Germany. The incredible model is based on Hamburg Airport and features 40 planes and 90 vehicles that autonomously move around the airport. It took seven years to build and cost a staggering $4.8 million.
A few people sent word that NASA's Gravity Probe B has proven Einstein correct. The experiment, launched in 2004, used four ultra-precise gyroscopes to measure the hypothesized geodetic effect, the warping of space and time around a gravitational body, and frame-dragging, the amount a spinning object pulls space and time with it as it rotates. GP-B determined both effects with unprecedented precision by pointing at a single star, IM Pegasi, while in a polar orbit around Earth. More here and here.
ScienceDaily report on flexible computers. The smartphone prototype, called PaperPhone is best described as a flexible iPhone -- it does everything a smartphone does, like store books, play music or make phone calls. But its display consists of a 9.5 cm diagonal thin film flexible E Ink display.
If you're watching the V8 Supercars soon you might see The Stig racing. Or at least, ex-Stig Ben Collins. It has been revealed Collins will be one of 28 international drivers drafted in for the October event, formerly know as Indy.
WikiLeaks have revealed US pressure on NZ over copyright laws. According to the cables, the US actively lobbied several cabinet members while New Zealand was working through its copyright reform in 2008. The attention was similar to that shown to Canada, Sweden and Spain.
The last World War 1 combat veteran in the world has passed away in Perth. Beloved for his wry sense of humor and humble nature, the British-born Choules — nicknamed "Chuckles" by his comrades in the Australian Navy — never liked to fuss over his achievements, which included a 41-year military career and the publication of his first book at the age of 108.
Surely the pinnacle of man-in-a-shed engineering, the AppleCrate II is a parallel computer built with Apple IIs. This "hi-rise" construction makes the "stack" quite rigid and sturdy, while eliminating the need for a space-consuming exoskeleton. It also has the advantage of leaving the top board unobstructed so that I/O cards can be plugged in, allowing it to serve as the host machine for the AppleCrate. (In fact, I used 17 boards so that the top board can serve as master and leave 16 slave machines for parallel programs.)
Here's a YouTube video showing the new Android 3.0 tablet from ASUS. Android 3.0 is the host of this exciting product from ASUS that should really shake up the tablet market. I'm compare the Transformer and its unique features to the iPad 2. Watch the video for more!
I'm a fan of cats and strongly opposed to cat cruelty, but I have to say, this video is fantastic. This video was the result of a legitimate ongoing problem we have had with cats in our area. Washing cat urine off our doors and cars was becoming an increasingly time consuming and frustrating part of our weekly routine. Not to mention the many nights lost sleep with cat fights, we have even had property damage. I think the cats got off with just a scare anyway.
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 cookware, tiny PCs, powerboards and extension cords, ipad protectors, fitness supplements, web hosting, hard drives, office chairs, media servers, CPUs and a range of other goodies.
It also seems a few of our sponsors are doing one-day-only specials, so it's definitely worth checking in there regularly.
DiGiTaL MoNkEY has taken a look at the G1.Assassin motherboard from GIGABYTE. This is a feature-packed X58 board with a focus on enthusiasts and gamers. Plus it's got a cool military theme, if you like that kind of thing:
MSI have revealed the winners in their Master OC Arena AUNZ Qualifier contest. Congratulations to Uncle.Fester and Deanzo they are now invited to compete in the APAC finals in Jakarta. Hopefully they can achieve Top 4 result there and qualify for the Grand finals in Taipei so lets cheer them on and give them all the support we can.
Sony have revealed another data breach, with 25M people's info exposed. Hackers may have stolen the personal information of 24.6 million Sony Online Entertainment users, the company said on Monday. More than 20,000 credit card and bank account numbers were also put at risk. This is in addition to the recent leak of over 70 million accounts from Sony’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. They have shut down all Sony Online Entertainment games, thanks Callan.
TechSpot play around with triple-monitor gaming. By utilizing three monitors games can become roughly 3x more demanding as the graphics card is required to render an overwhelmingly higher number of pixels. Whereas we commonly test graphics cards at single monitor resolutions of 1680x1050 (22”), 1920x1200 (24”) and 2560x1600 (30”), today we are taking these and adding two more LCD monitors for effective resolutions of 5040x1050, 5760x1200 and 7680x1600.
Charg3r sent in a video about online filter bubbles. As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.
HWSecrets have a thermal paste roundup. Following up on our Thermal Compound Roundup - April 2011 review, we are adding five more thermal compounds to our roundup, for a total of 20 different models from Antec, Arctic Cooling, Arctic Silver, Biostar, Cooler Master, Coolink, Deepcool, Evercool, Gelid, Noctua, Prolimatech, Spire, Thermalright, Thermaltake, Tuniq, Xigmatek, and Zalman.
MissingRemote have a guide to building an HTPC, while eTeknix repaired a graphics card with an oven. This process is commonly used by Board Refurbishers the world over! But, how many of us have a pro re-bake oven? Very few.
There's a couple of cool OCAU photos in the news box - firstly Paul spotted this very cold OCAU Mug from James086. Also cool (but not for the person involved) is this story about some credit card fraud - Anthrox spotted OCAU on the screen in the photo. :)
This is Privacy Awareness Week. This year, public and private sector organisations across the Asia Pacific region will celebrate Privacy Awareness Week 2011 with a broad range of a programs and initiatives, all in the interest of promoting awareness of privacy issues.
South Korea has banned youngsters from gaming online after midnight. Yonhap news agency reported the new law - which bans anyone under 16 from playing online into the early hours - was passed by lawmakers worried about growing levels of addiction to gaming among youngsters.
NewScientist report on a new fibre optic speed record. Two separate research groups have just lapped the field, setting a world record by sending more than 100 terabits of information per second through a single optical fibre. That's enough to deliver three solid months of HD video- or the contents of 250 double-sided Blu-ray discs.
Facebook have been copping some flak over copyright takedowns on their site, thanks psyc0de. Facebook is so eager to protect copyright that the mere accusation of copyright infringement is enough to get an account locked. Ars found this out the hard way Thursday morning when our own Facebook page became inaccessible, with no warning, no explanation, and no clear appeal process. To make matters worse, Facebook is not responsive to inquiries about account lockout, and the company provides absolutely zero useful direction on how to rectify a complaint.
RamblingThoughts ponder the eBook and Book Publishing industry in Australia. Think back just over three years. Amazon in the USA had just announced a new ebook reader product called the Kindle, to much excitement – over there at least. Back in Australia at the time, ebook readers were not entirely unknown, but we were faced with limited options when it came to buying the ebooks themselves, along with eye-watering prices for relatively uninspiring readers. My wife just bought a Kindle, and she loves it - and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with it too. I'll do a review if I can get it out of her hands for long enough.
Guru3D have updated their VGA charts, to help you make some sense of product numbers etc. So our charts might not be perfect but the the VGA charts will show you the baseline performance of products we have tested in recent times brining you a comprehensive and fairly reliable indication of graphics performance, we'll add future results over time. The VGA charts are for your reference only. There will be no comments on product performance, it's just a quick way to find results in a selection of modern games.
OCClub checked out Mushkin's headquarters. So I wasn't sure what to expect and how much I was allowed to shoot photos for, but I must say they let me do what I want and wondered where I wanted. I can tell you it was so hard not to touch anything ... I was really struggling not to drool over anything. I now bring you the compound and all of the stuff they have on their shelves waiting to move.
Tech Report wish that GPUs had a volume knob. I've long been a vocal proponent of robust, user-configurable fan speed controls on motherboards. With that horse beaten to within an inch of its life, it's time to saddle up a new pony: graphics cards are long overdue for better fan speed controls.
In case you've been hiding in a cave in Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden has been killed, with an announcement from President Obama confirming it today. "Tonight, I can report to the people of the United States and the world, the United States had carried an operation that has killed Osama Bin Laden, a terrorist responsible for killing thousands of innocent people," Obama said in a statement. Discussion here.
This isn't a game, but it's a very nice timelapse video which will chill you out for a few minutes, thanks Steve.