Firefox 7 is an official release now. As noted on ArsTechnica: The update brings a much slimmer memory footprint courtesy of Mozilla's MemShrink project. The new release also includes some improvements to hardware-accelerated rendering on Windows, support for the W3C navigation timing specification, and an opt-in system for collecting performance data.
Amazon have unveiled their Kindle Fire tablet, much anticipated as a possible challenger to Apple's iPad. It seems closely integrated with their cloud computing products. More here and here. The $199 Kindle Fire is a full-color, TI OMAP 4 dual-core tablet running Android 3.1 Honeycomb that will have cloud access to movies, songs, and Android apps. The tablet has a 1024x600 resolution, is 11.4 millimeters thick, weighs 14.6 ounces, and uses Amazon's Whispersync service to access a "carousel" of media selections, and users can "pin" favorites from the cloud to their device. Discussion here.
Also making an appearance is the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, delivered to All Nippon Airways. The long delay of the 787 program was alluded to by most of those who spoke at the event. All Nippon Airways’ Ito expressed his happiness at taking delivery of the company’s first 787, even if it is three years behind schedule.
Futurelooks have a SATA3 SSD roundup. The real questions are how will SATA3 SSDs benefit users, what price premium will drooling consumers have to pay and what’s going to happen to SATA 3Gb/s SSDs? And, given that a few of the Sandforce based SSDs have had very rocky starts, where are they in terms of quality control? We’re going to answer those questions as we take a closer look at the latest SATA 6Gb/s SSDs from Kingston, Corsair, Patriot Memory and OCZ.
Google is buying land to build three new datacentres in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. More people are coming online every day in Asia than in any other part of the world, so locating data centers there is an important next stage of Google's investment in the region, the company said Local data centers will help the company provide faster and more reliable access to Google's services, it added.
Tech Report have an SSD roundup. Today, 120-128GB SSDs can be had for around $200, putting them right in the sweet spot typically occupied by our favorite CPUs and graphics cards. Since we don't yet have a real favorite among the current class of solid-state drives, we've spent weeks running nine SSDs through an expanded storage test suite on new Sandy Bridge hardware.
Samsung are showing off a new flexible mobile phone. The new Samsung Galaxy Skin will feature an AMOLED display that will allow the phone to bend around a cylinder with a 1-inch diameter. Brighter than the normal screen, the AMOLED display is also low-energy and almost unbreakable, according to the reports. Video with more info here.
TBreak have an AMD Q&A. We got a chance to catch up with AMD’s Raymond Dumbeck, senior marketing manager for mobile and commercial products, and Manish Punjabi, field marketing manager for MENA and Turkey. While discussing the recently released Llano APUs, we also talked a bit about the upcoming Bulldozer high-end processors. There’s also a little bit about AMD’s vision of their ATI graphics cards, now that they’re moving forward to a one chip future.
VR-Zone have a Battlefield 3 BETA performance preview with some screenshots and HD video. Any modern quad core processor of at least 3.2GHz will not bottleneck the framerates in the game. The workload is evenly distributed between threads and more surprisingly, we did not see any noticable scaling when we upped the frequency or core count. Neat. Meanwhile TechAU report on a new NVIDIA driver with a BF3 focus. There's even an is your PC ready browser tool.
Telstra have launched their 4G LTE mobile network. Telstra has deployed upgrades to base stations in all eight capital cities and 30 regional centres, and plans to expand this to approximately 80 regional locations by the end of 2011. Customers will be able to access the network within 5km of a capital city, and within 3km of a regional centre. Telstra has also deployed LTE upgrades in the airports of each capital city. More info here.
There was a fire at a Foxconn factory recently. A fire at a plant belonging to Apple Inc supplier Foxconn Group in Shandong, eastern China, has been extinguished without casualties and there will be no impact on operations, said a spokesman for group's listed entity Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd.
Hopefully that fire won't affect Apple's upcoming Let's Talk iPhone Event early next month. Apple is hosting its next iPhone event at its Cupertino headquarters on October 4. Press invites landed in media inboxes first thing this morning, with a very enticing tag line: “Let’s Talk iPhone.” More here and here.
OCAU Iron Chef October
(link) Tuesday, 27-September-2011 02:12:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg
From Amfibius: A short note to remind everyone that OCAU Iron Chef October is ON! It starts this weekend (Fri 30th Sept) and closes on Sun 9th Oct. For the first time, there will be a two tier system to make the competition more fair. Tier 1 is for actual chefs and previous winners of OCAU Iron Chef, and Tier 2 is for everybody else. The theme this month is "Beetroot". Whose cuisine will reign supreme?
Monday Night Reviews
(link) Monday, 26-September-2011 13:23:49 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Google+ is now open to everyone and has some new features. After nearly 90 days in field trial mode, Google is opening its social network up to everyone, and has made a total of 100 updates to enhance the experience. I've had an account on it for a while, but due to some Google Account awkwardness and general lack of time, I haven't really used it much. If you're a Google+ convert, tell me in the comments what's so great about it. :)
An online poker site with some Australian links has collapsed, leaving people without their winnings. In a June 2009 lawsuit, Full Tilt alleged Tzvetkoff had stolen more than $42 million while conducting transactions for the site. A month later, Tzvetkoff's Brisbane-based company BT Projects collapsed, owing about $180 million and he was arrested months later while visiting Las Vegas. The US Attorney's office alleges that by March 31 this year, Full Tilt owed about $390 million to players around the world but had only $60 million in its bank accounts.
Stygian spotted that VPNs are not a magic anonymity solution, unfortunately enough for one alleged LulzSec member. The blog post, titled “Lulzsec fiasco” also added the following: “Our VPN service and VPN services in general are not designed to be used to commit illegal activity. It is very naive to think that by paying a subscription fee to a VPN service you are free to break the law without any consequences. This includes certain hardcore privacy services which claim you will never be identified, these types of services that do not cooperate are more likely to have their entire VPN network monitored and tapped by law enforcement, thus affecting all legitimate customers.”
Rick Bergman has left AMD. Bergman joined AMD from ATI after the 2006 merger. Following a tenure as Senior VP of AMD's Graphics Product Group, Bergman became the head of the Products Group when AMD combined its graphics and microprocessor businesses in May 2009.
Meanwhile HP have named their new CEO, but people don't seem too impressed. "While we believe the decision to replace Leo Apotheker was a good one, we are disappointed with the naming of Meg Whitman as HP's permanent CEO, and believe that this sentiment is shared by most investors and large HP shareholders," Sanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said Friday. "We believe the company was remiss in not conducting a comprehensive CEO search."
Scientists at UC Berkeley are peering into the mind. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and computational models, UC Berkeley researchers have succeeded in decoding and reconstructing people’s dynamic visual experiences – in this case, watching Hollywood movie trailers. As yet, the technology can only reconstruct movie clips people have already viewed. However, the breakthrough paves the way for reproducing the movies inside our heads that no one else sees, such as dreams and memories, according to researchers.
Andrew is excited about a driver-based FPS limiter being included in a future nVIDIA driver. From a quick read through that thread it seems to be needed by people playing older games which freak out if your modern uber-card can render the game at crazy-high FPS. So if that's been bothering you, stay tuned.
Former astronauts Gene Cernan and Neil Armstrong are pushing to have the Space Shuttles brought back. Without an independent way to launch astronauts into low-Earth orbit, the United States risks ceding its global leadership in space to other nations such as Russia and China, the former Apollo astronauts said. So developing that access should be a top priority for NASA and the country, with other space exploration goals and capabilities following naturally afterward. The recently retired shuttles provide one ready-made answer, according to Cernan, who commanded NASA's Apollo 17 mission in 1972 and is the last man to leave footprints on the moon.
Sunday Night Reviews
(link) Sunday, 25-September-2011 13:19:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg
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 ADSL modems, microservers, fitness supplements, headphones, home automation, SSDs, data recovery, TV tuners, office chairs, laptops, various PC components and a range of other goodies. Check 'em out!
A few people pointed out these NASA sounds. Here's a collection of NASA sounds from historic spaceflights and current missions. You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong's "One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind" every time you get a phone call. Or, you can hear the memorable words "Houston, we've had a problem," every time you make an error on your computer. We have included both MP3 and M4R (iPhone) sound files to download.
Speaking of which, Rezin pointed out this awesome video from the International Space Station flying over the Earth. A time-lapse taken from the front of the International Space Station as it orbits our planet at night. This movie begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica.
The ANZUS treaty has been expanded to include information warfare. As their long-standing ANZUS treaty reaches its sixtieth birthday, Australia and America have decided to extend their co-operation into the virtual space. According to Reuters, the decision was made in discussions between the two countries this week. The extension of the treaty would mean that a cyber-attack on either country would be considered an attack on both.
MojoMan spotted a possible new trans-tasman high-speed internet link. Chinese telcos are reportedly planning to enter the transtasman cable market and build a submarine internet pipe between Auckland and Sydney. Australasian telecommunications news service, Communications Day, says Axin Ltd is teaming up with Huawei Marine to build the US$100 million internet cable.
From BlueRaven: This is the first I've heard of heatpipe technology filtering down into consumer-level audio gear. It may have been done before, but only on high-end Pro gear. Pics and info here, discussion here.
Anandtech report on another round of patent attacks, this time involving PCI-Express. One of our contacts recently made us aware of a new round of lawsuits, which could apparently apply to every major company in the world of personal computers. Also related, ArsTechnica report that patent trolls have cost half a trillion dollars.
HWSecrets explain why UEFI is important. This article delves into the new UEFI architecture and why it is much more important to the computer world than you think. Computer hardware has evolved a great deal in the past few decades. Graphics cards and sound cards are providing life-like graphics and theater quality sound, terabyte size spindle hard drives are being paired with blazing fast SSD drives for limitless storage for the common user, while huge quantities of RAM and CPUs are providing six- (soon eight-) cores for incredible multi-tasking capabilities.
JD spotted laser tractor beams. The Fudan University team won’t be capturing rebel tranports with their beam any time soon–it only works (theoretically) at the nano-level–but it does achieve an interesting turnabout of physical force. We know photons exert an outward momentum; this is what allows solar sails to harness sunlight to generate small amounts of thrust. But carefully tuned to meet two conditions, a system can be created to turn “push” into “pull.”
Further in physics news, some scientists are claiming to have accelerated a particle past the speed of light, which would pretty much turn our understanding of the universe on its head. The claim was met with skepticism, with one outside physicist calling it the equivalent of saying you have a flying carpet. In fact, the researchers themselves are not ready to proclaim a discovery and are asking other physicists to independently try to verify their findings.
ArsTechnica also report on an FPS where a camera replaces your gun. A work in progress at Brisbane-based studio Defiant Development, the game is a collaboration of sorts; Defiant is working with both a journalist and a filmmaker to create a game that puts you in the role of a journalist embedded in a warzone. Ars spoke with Defiant's Morgan Jaffit to learn more about this political game disguised as an FPS. Discussion here.
Meanwhile guns are a major feature of this new game, Gunpoint. The challenge is to treat guns with respect, and play up their lethal power. "The reason guns add so much drama to a scene in a book or a movie is the threat. We all know that if it goes off, someone is probably going to die," Francis explained. In Gunpoint a guard will shoot you dead in a moment unless you have it at gunpoint as well. Guns actually introduce tension into the game, which is a rare thing in modern action titles.
Folding@Home October Challenge
(link) Thursday, 22-September-2011 16:34:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Paul sent word of the OCAU October Folding Challenge. Believe it or not we are smashing out record days left right and center, and for the first time in a long time we have our sights set on an overtake! Custom PC & bit-tech have been put on notice! Not so long ago we lay dormant, but now we stand strong and grow each month.
DataRetriever and the OCAU Folding Fund have put up an MSI N560GTX video card and a Corsair H80 CPU cooler as prizes for this month. Soooo, get folding!
XbitLabs consider flash drives vs HDDs when connected via USB 3.0. The variety of available USB 3.0 drives keep growing day by day, but as we all know by now, not all of them are equally good. Today we are going to introduce to you another three USB 3.0 flash drives and check out their ability to compete against an external hard disk drive supporting the same exact interface.
They also have a roundup of Sandy Bridge-E and LGA 2011 info post-IDF. Our final report from IDF 2011 is solely devoted to Sandy Bridge-E processors and LGA2011 platform. We gathered together everything that we learned about the upcoming processors, cooling systems and mainboards, and also found out how the new platform will overclock and what we could expect from the six-core Sandy Bridge-E CPUs.
Another internet troll has gone to prison for his efforts. He then went on to focus on Lauren Drew, a 14-year-old who died from an epilepsy attack at her home in Gloucester in January. Duffy posted offensive and upsetting images relating to her death and for Mother's Day created a YouTube video with a picture of a coffin saying "Happy Mothers Day".
UK brewing giant SABMiller have bought Fosters Group for $10 billion. The London-based brewer of Peroni, Miller Lite and Grolsch launched its initial cash bid worth A$9.5 billion, or A$4.90 a share, on June 21 and then went hostile by taking the offer direct to shareholders at the same price on Aug 17, but Foster's rejected both approaches as being too low. SABMiller says the bid is part of its strategy of creating an attractive global spread of businesses to add to its operations largely in the emerging markets of Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe.
Syxx spotted this classic gaming inspired event in Brisbane. Emulator aims to celebrate the importance that classic gaming has brought to a generation of gamers. The event will also look to promote the gaming industry in South East Queensland as well as connecting these developers to the gaming public. This year we will be celebrating the arcade games of 1978 - 1986.
Lots of people sent in this cool story about gamers solving a medical puzzle. After scientists repeatedly failed to piece together the structure of a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus, they called in the Foldit players. The scientists challenged the gamers to produce an accurate model of the enzyme. They did it in only three weeks. More here, here and here, discussion here.
The hard drive turned 55 recently, thanks Sniper. Like much else in our pervasive IT world the disk drive's roots were laid down by IBM, and first appeared in a product called the 305 RAMAC, The Random Access Method of Accounting and Control, launched this week 55 years ago. Ah, those were the days.
People who missed out on Microserver deals will be miffed (or impressed) to see 32 of them clustered together. That gives a total of 64 cpus, 256Gb RAM, 8Tb storage, all for $9,000. They loaded it up with the latest vSphere and vCloud Director versions and it ran great.
Meanwhile BenchmarkReviews have some Touchpad Performance Hacking. In our previous guide: Root Hacking the HP Touchpad Tablet PC, Benchmark Reviews showed you how to enable Developer Mode on the HP Touchpad, and, with the new capabilities this mode enables, to download and install the Preware applications manager. In this installment, we'll show you how to dramatically improve the performance of your Touchpad by disabling excessive logging functions and overclocking its dual-core processor.
The war between Samsung and Apple continues, with Samsung trying to ban the iPhone in various regions, including Korea. It was Apple who launched the patent war, by suing to ban Samsung sales in the U.S., one of the world's most lucrative phone markets. But it was Samsung who escalated the patent dispute, suing Apple in Germany, Japan, and South Korea.
I should probably have posted this yesterday, but OhSmeg spotted piracy selling games. "We thought it’d be funny to leak a pirate version ourselves which is literally all about pirates and pirate hats," company co-founder Alex Nichiporchik told TorrentFreak earlier this month. "I mean, some people are going to torrent it either way, we might as well make something funny out of it."
If you're wondering about your salary, the recruitment firm Michael Page have a Salary and Employment Forecast for the Australian technology industry. We’ve just released our annual Salary and Employment Forecast for Australia based on the survey responses of 1,400 hiring managers across the country. You can also find commentary on skills in demand, salary levels and salary expectations.
Zee has compared five HDMI cables, using some high-end video calibration gear. Will this equipment show any difference between an expensive cable, a cheap one, or even one you get for free with your Blu-Ray player?
Intel sent an eagle-eyed crew to build the "Pipe Dreams" animation in real life. It took about 90 days of work and roughly $160,000 to design and develop something in real life that could mimic the original animated video. Hrm, they could have made the balls easier to see, and that'd be the first time I've ever said that, yarrr.
Apparently there's more holes than you can poke a bilge rat at, in the popular educational software Blackbeard. Err, that's Blackboard Learn, thanks Rhys. Multiple zero-day security vulnerabilities have been found in the world’s most popular educational software - holes that allow students to change grades and download unpublished exams, whilst allowing criminals to steal personal information. Discussion here.
Microsoft's IIS is sinking into the briny depths, falling back to 1997 levels of market shyaaar. It wasn’t always like this. For quite some time, IIS was gaining ground on Apache, but the tide changed in 2007. Since then Apache has recovered much of its previous dominance, reaching a 65% market share, while the market share for IIS has dwindled below 16%, less than half of what it used to be.
Anandtech cast a beady eye over Intel's Ivy Bridge. Typical landlubbers - my bridge is made of teak! and brass! and parrot droppings. At a high level Ivy Bridge looks a lot like Sandy Bridge. It's still a monolithic die that features an integrated GPU. The entire die is built at 22nm, continuing Intel's march towards truly addressing integrated graphics performance. Ivy Bridge won't get rid of the need for a discrete GPU but, like Sandy Bridge, it is a step in the right direction.
Piratey-named Corsair have some shiny dubloons, or at least, new gaming peripherals. Adding to this ever increasing list, Corsair today announced and unveiled their new lineup of Vengeance PC gaming peripherals, including three new gaming headset, two gaming keyboards and two laser mice. Mechanical keyboards, no less - which should keep these mangy dogs happy.
That dastardly Chris has found a stash of free copies of Portal, but only until tomorrowish! Portal is free until September 20th. Check out www.learnwithportals.com to learn more! Even pirates like genuinely free things - I got Portal last time it was free and really enjoyed it. You'd have to be sunstroked like a spotted cat to miss out! I don't even know what I'm saying anymore, yarrr.
Boil me barnacles, it wouldn't be Talk Like a Pirate Day without our OCAU Piratey Mascot:
The Government has invited people to participate in the development of Australia's first Cyber White Paper. he Government released a public discussion paper as part of the development of the Cyber White Paper, which invites submissions on a range of issues regarding the importance of cyberspace to Australia’s social well-being, economic prosperity and broader national interests. The White Paper will look at how Governments, businesses and individuals can realise the full benefits of cyberspace while at the same time ensuring current and emerging risks can be managed.
NASA have announced their new deep space launch system. The Space Launch System, or SLS, will be designed to carry the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, as well as important cargo, equipment and science experiments to Earth's orbit and destinations beyond. Additionally, the SLS will serve as a back up for commercial and international partner transportation services to the International Space Station. Hooray!
Westfield Bondi Junction have a high-tech solution to lost cars in their carpark. Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney recently added to its iPhone app the functionality for shoppers to find their parked car by entering its license plate number. But it's not all good news, thanks Creekin. Westfield's new mobile app has been caught leaking customers' car number plate data on to the public internet, allowing for "anyone with the knowhow" to monitor when cars entered and exited its Bondi Junction shopping centre car park.
OhSmeg spotted this crowd-sourced SETI using Australian telescopes. The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) has asked the public to donate spare computing power to science through a piece of open source Java technology. Like the 12-year-old SETI@Home project, TheSkyNet linked participating computers to form a powerful distributed network for deciphering data from radiotelescopes.
Angelbird have a new PCIe-based SSD card. Remember that 1GB/s PCIe SSD system from Angelbird we covered a year ago? Well, the company just let us know it's finally available. The performance claims are more modest than we saw in the beta phase, but we're not distraught: the new benchmark is 800MB/s reads and 750MB/s writes, achieved with a $3000 setup including four 240GB SSD modules mounted on a Wings PCI-e card with a 32GB SSD built-in.
Hrm, it's not April 1st today is it, nope.. ok. Anyway, MSI are working on voice activated motherboards. Today, we can reveal that the "JDLED3" is actually a connector for the voice-activating add-in board. From the software side, MSI will supply Voice Genie, software application that tracks your voice patterns so that you can perform basic control functions.
Today's timewaster is Jelly Cannon, from biatch. Annoyingly loud video ad before it, beware. The game's quite fun though.
Microsoft have released the Windows 8 Developer Preview, which is now available for everyone to download. The Windows Developer Preview is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 for developers. These downloads include prerelease software that may change without notice. The software is provided as is, and you bear the risk of using it. It may not be stable, operate correctly or work the way the final version of the software will More info on TheNextWeb and HotHardware. Discussion towards the end of this thread.
Intel's Developer Forum is on at the moment, and HotHardware have keynote and Day One coverage. As is traditionally the case, Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini opened up the Intel Developer’s Forum with a keynote address in the theater at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The focus of Otellini’s talk was the “future of computing” and how Intel plans to capitalize on current trends and growth in the mobile device market. More on Tech Report and PC Perspective.
Top Gear Australia has been axed. Channel Nine has reportedly finally put the show out of its misery today after two years of lacklustre ratings and a cool reception by the critics. After originally attracting 1.5 million viewers last season the new series has dropped to around the 400,000 mark in the past two weeks.
Meanwhile an iPhone app for the ABC's popular show Spicks and Specks has been censored by Apple. The word "spick" is often used as a derogatory term in the US for people of Latin American descent. The ABC show, hosted by Adam Hills, is named after a Bee Gees' song. The ABC has asked iTunes to reconsider its decision to amend it to S***ks and Specks, after it surged to No.1 on the local entertainment app chart. *facepalm*
Fractal Design have an Australian site now and are running a competition, thanks Jay.Tee. You need to register on the forums to enter; and modding ideas close on Sept. 16th so there's still a couple of days to put up your ideas for voting to be made into a real project! They've got a pretty awesome prize with $500 to spend at PC Case Gear, and your free define XL case to actually get the project done too.
XbitLabs compared Intel's Smart Response with HighPoint's RocketHybrid. What if you decided to build a hybrid storage drive for a system based on something other than Intel Z68 chipset? HighPoint released their RocketHybrid 1220 controller, which allows creating a hybrid drive using a fast SSD and an inexpensive HDD with large storage capacity. Will the HighPoint controller be able to challenge Intel Smart Response? Let’s find out!
They also spoke to Rahul Sood, co-founder of VoodooPC and now ex-employee of HP. But, apparently, HP not only "managed" to absorb Voodoo without leaving a trace, but is also looking forward spinning off its personal systems group (PSG) as a whole. So, today we decided to talk to Rahul Sood to find out, what went wrong with VoodooPC within HP, what problems do PC makers face today and what should a PC company of the new era be like.
A report on Online Retail in Australia 2007-2011 has been released. This submission was made to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the economic structure and performance of the Australian retail industry. It presents and analyses World Internet Project data from surveys undertaken in 2007, 2009 and 2011 to help the Commission understand the state of play in online retail in Australia.
ExtremeTech have an interesting editorial about the evolution of computers. The thing about Darwin’s theory of evolution is that it only applies to biology, to organic, living things — it only applies to genetic traits that are carried on from generation to generation. What if evolution also applies to ideas, to behaviors — to memes? What if memetic traits can also be passed down through generations — or across the broad tree of your species using communication?
NASA have a site showing the links between rockets and racecars. The "Rockets to Race Cars" site allows users to navigate through the NASA garage and learn about heat-resistant paint, fire-resistant materials, the development of better brakes and several other agency spinoffs that have helped the racing community.
TechAU compared three SSDs. When it comes to upgrading something in your PC for the most noticeable performance gains, the SSD is probably the best place to start. Traditional platter based hard drives have served the PC masses for years now, but with cheaper production costs and huge technology investments, flash storage is readily becoming the way of the data storage future. Today techAU puts three consumer Solid State Drives onto the testing bench to find out which offer the biggest gains, and which offers you the best bang for your buck.
Odje spotted another geeky marriage proposal video, in Portal 2. This was the secret project that I was working on. It may have delayed tutorials, but it was completely worth it.
Bulldozing a Record
(link) Tuesday, 13-September-2011 14:44:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg
AMD held an overclocking workshop recently to show off their Bulldozer CPUs. To quote TechWareLabs: In anticipation of the release of Bulldozer AMD flew a select few press down to Austin Texas to witness Bulldozer in action and watch them attempt to break the previous world record for highest frequency CPU. We watched as several trays of Bulldozer CPU's were brought out and tested by two of the best overclockers in the world. Coming in at a staggering 8.429GHz we have the video to prove AMD did it!
In fact, AMD have been awarded the Guinness World Record for "Highest Frequency of a Computer Processor". The AMD FX CPU, set to launch in the fourth quarter of 2011, achieved a top speed of 8.429 GHz, surpassing the previous record of 8.308 GHz. The record was set on Aug. 31, 2011, in Austin, Texas, by “Team AMD FX,” a group comprised of elite overclocking specialists working alongside top AMD technologists, who will also be named in the Guinness World Records.
A few people sent in this Mouse Without Borders tool from MS. In a nutshell, it allows you to reach across your PC's as if they were part of one single desktop. I have two PCs on my desk at work connected to 3 LCD screens and using Mouse Without Borders I can move my mouse between the 3 screens, even though one of them is attached to a different PC from the other two. Sounds like Synergy but only for Windows PCs.
PC Perspective has some info about the recent Bulldozer First Release. Bulldozer is the future of AMD, and they had better get it right in pretty short order. As we saw with the original Phenom, they can struggle through some teething issues and still come out intact (though battered and bruised). The rumors of lower than expected performance, issues with TDP and certain steppings, as well as GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ low yields have all cast a grim shadow over Bulldozer. Meanwhile Geek.com reckon the 8-core 3.6GHz will be only USD $266.
Here's a very geeky marriage proposal. I met the love of my life, Mara Tuchman at college. We were both Electrical Engineering students with many classes together. We were friends for many years before becoming more and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. But I’ll skip the sappy story of how we started dating for some other time. This is how I asked her to marry me.
Tech Report consider multi-GPU game benchmarking. What the data showed proved to be really quite enlightening—and perhaps a bit scary, since it threatens to upend some of our conclusions in past reviews. Still, I think the results are very much worth sharing. In fact, they may change the way you think about video game benchmarking.
Apple have won a permanent ban in Germany against sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab. Samsung must not sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany because it looks too much like Apple's iPad 2, the district court in Düsseldorf ruled on Friday. In addition, Samsung Germany may not sell the device in any other European Union country, although other Samsung divisions may sell into those countries, a spokesman at the court said.
XbitLabs have seven SSDs compared on an SF-2281 controller. We tested seven high-speed solid state drives built on second generation SandForce controller that support SATA 6 Gbps. Please welcome our heroes: Corsair Force 3, Corsair Force GT, Kingston HyperX, OCZ Agility 3, OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS, Patriot Pyro and Patriot Wildfire.
Samus has reviewed the OpenPandora Handheld. This is an interesting mix of PC and gaming console, in a small portable design. But the most interesting part is probably that it isn't designed by a large company, it was designed by the suggestions and requests of hundreds of people on the gp32x forums. Over several months those suggestions were fine tuned in to what you see today, a completely new open source handheld.
AMD have shipped their first Bulldozer CPUs, the world's first 16-core x86 CPUs. Compatible with existing AMD OpteronTM 6100 Series platforms and infrastructure, “Interlagos” is expected to launch and be available in partner systems in the fourth quarter of this year. Many of the initial shipments have been earmarked for large custom supercomputer installations that are now underway. More info here.
Sniper sent in some more photos of an NBN installation. We got a close-up look inside the guts of an NBN connection this week at a new home built at Doonside in Western Sydney. As a new estate, with a few months before the first homeowners are slated move in, it's more a look at what might be, if and when the NBN rolls down your street in the months and years to come.
Broox noticed that Nike are launching self-lacing shoes inspired by Marty McFly's, from Back to the Future. When Nike gives you a call at midnight, you know it’s something good. With just a few hours notice Nike flew me out to LA for “a big announcement.” When they won’t tell you what it is until you get there, you know it’s something bigger than a new colorway of Dunks. More here and here.
HotHardware have a 3TB HDD roundup. Today we take a look at four of the latest 3TB drives to hit the market, from Hitachi, Seagate, and Western Digital. Although each HDD offers the same amount of storage, there are some distinct differences between them. Read on to find out what separates these products from one another, and then examine the performance numbers we recorded from each drive after running them through our gauntlet of benchmarks.
Tweaktown meanwhile have some 7-SSD RAID fun happening. The 120GB Force GT from Corsair has already lit up our test system, but today I thought we'd take the 240GB version which are being used in my new testbeds for a spin. Of course, this isn't a hard drive review or anything like that, Instead, because a total of seven drives arrived for my new testbed line-up and a smart cookie on our facebook page commented we should throw them into RAID 0 for a bit of fun, we figured why the hell not!
The mobile phone patent battles continue, with Google seemingly giving HTC more ammo against Apple. Apple is now being sued by HTC with patents that were owned by Google until a few days ago, according to Bloomberg. HTC already had cases going against Apple (Apple, likewise, has gone after HTC on a few fronts), but the new patents stand to bolster its lawsuits, and may even include property acquired by Google when it bought Motorola Mobility.
ArsTechnica have an article about the complex options available to CoD:MW3 purchasers. The full details surrounding the for-pay Call of Duty: Elite were also announced, and it feels like the series has hit its turning point: Activision is beginning to ratchet up how much you'll need to pay to continue to be competitive. If you thought a yearly release was excessive, this may cause you to yearn for the days when you only had to pay $60 for the game each year.
GamignNexus have an interview with the makers of Gunshine. You can't throw a rock around the gaming world without hitting three or four free to play browser games. Unfortunately for core gamers most of those are aimed at bored soccer moms who are killing time between PTA meetings. When I first heard about Gunshine I was interested because they are doing something quite different by creating a game that core gamers are interested in. You have to sign up to play, but it's free and in-browser, so I guess Gunshine will count as today's timewaster. :)
Thursday Night Reviews
(link) Thursday, 8-September-2011 11:21:33 (GMT +10) - by Agg
It saddens me to report that Charli, the inspiration for our recent donations drive, has passed away. I don't have any more details, but people are offering their condolences in the thread. Our thoughts are with Charli's family.
Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler
(link) Wednesday, 7-September-2011 16:50:00 (GMT +10) - by Agg
DiGiTaL MoNkEY has taken a look at the Noctua NH-C14 CPU cooler. It's better at squeezing into tight spaces than some coolers, but how does it perform?
Speaking of which, PC World have an iPad 2 up for grabs for people who complete their survey. PC World is running its 2011 Media Usage survey, quizzing you on your Internet browsing habits and media consumption. We're interested in learning more about how you view and share technology-related content and information. Your feedback will help us to more closely align our services with your needs, so give us a hand by taking the survey!
HWSecrets continue their Thermal Compound Roundup. We added five new thermal compounds to our previous roundup, for a total of 40 different thermal compounds from major brands. We also tried another "alternative" compound: chocolate.
d00dz spotted this article about troubles with group buying sites. Ms Dinh is among a growing number of Victorians voicing their complaints about Australia's ever-growing number of group buying websites, such as Cudo, Spreets, Scoopon and LivingSocial. So far this year Consumer Affairs Victoria has received more than 160 complaints from consumers about group buying sites. This compares with just 22 similar complaints last year.
Intel have released 16 new CPUs. Leading the pack is a new quad-core chip that is sure to strike a price-performance sweetspot: the Core i5-2320. This chip displaces the Core i5-2300 from its price-point of US $177, and is faster. While the i5-2300 is nominally clocked at 2.80 GHz, the i5-2320 runs at 3.00 GHz. Another significant introduction here is the Core i3-2130, which displaces the i3-2120 from its price-point of $139. The new dual-core chip is clocked at 3.40 GHz, 100 MHz faster than the chip it's displacing.
Yahoo have fired their CEO. On a related note, ZDNet consider the 10 worst tech industry decisions of all time. While dozens of notable examples could have made our list, these were by far the top top 10 worst in the history of the technology industry, causing many billions of dollars of lost revenue or resulted in the downfall of entire companies.
Callan sent in what is probably the first 3d rendered film ever, from 1972. The best part of this film is not even the 3D rendering itself, but the outtakes and “making of” footage that has been interwoven throughout, including footage of a plaster replica of Ed’s hand onto which he is meticulously mapping the polygon vertices that make up the three dimensional model (around 1:30).
New Zealand's internet traffic has sharply dropped since their copyright law came into effect, unsurprisingly. Meanwhile the head of the NZ Telecommunications Users Association says the law serves only to prop up a failing business model, thanks OhSmeg.
NASA's Lunar Recinnaissance Orbiter has taken the sharpest image of the Moon landing sites ever. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has captured the sharpest images ever taken from space of the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 sites, revealing the twists and turns of the paths made when the astronauts explored these areas. You can even see the Moon Rover, kinda. :)
M0r4h3us noticed that it's the end of X-Fi, while Sniper spotted that Creative have a quad-core sound card on the way. This might sound like total overkill for a sound card, but it's not four identical cores, instead we're looking at very specific audio DSPs that have their own tasks to perform.
Germany has lifted a 17 year long ban on DOOM. The classic video game was put on an index of controlled titles in 1994 as it was deemed likely to harm youth. Like pornography, sales of the violent shoot 'em up were restricted to adult-only stores. The rules have been relaxed because officials believe that Doom is now only of artistic and scientific interest and will not appeal to youngsters.
Speaking of which, GamePron are giving away 10 double passes to see id Software's Tim Willits in Sydney. Tim Willits, RAGE Creative Director, is visiting Australia to speak for one night only about the history of id, RAGE, and his thoughts on the future of video games.
Steven sent word that the ALRC are seeking volunteers for focus groups as part of a review of the classification system in Australia. As part of this review, the ALRC will hold community focus groups to test the kind of content that may be permissible in higher level classification categories (MA15+ and above, including the Refused Classification category). This is a pilot project that will test a methodology for possible further assessment panels that might be held to determine community standards with regards to classification categories in the future. The ALRC will convene two volunteer focus groups in Sydney at which participants will be asked to view and discuss films, computer games, publications and online content.
Apple are apparently claiming Android is theirs, with more info here, thanks Joel. A recent reply brief in Apple's patent infringement case against HTC with the International Trade Commission implies that Google executive Andy Rubin got the inspiration for the Android framework during his time as a low-level engineer at Apple.
Team Bondi, the Australian developer of L.A. Noire, have gone into administration. Now, part of those predictions have come to pass – as documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission shows the company has been handed over to de Vries Tayeh, business administrators.
Australia's Attorney-General has written an opinion piece defending the newcybercrime laws. With the increasing amount of traffic on ISPs and telephone networks, service providers are being forced to delete information on a more frequent basis. They simply don't have the space to store it any more. For example, one phone carrier deletes text messages every 24 hours. This bill will allow law enforcement agencies to request a service provider not to destroy information about suspected criminal activity while a warrant is sought.
Metamorphosis spotted this (somewhat disturbing in parts) video about the camera-eye guy, with more info about the current state of cybernetics, and some promo stuff about Deus Ex. To celebrate the launch of critically acclaimed video game DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION, Square Enix has commissioned filmmaker Rob Spence aka Eyeborg (a self proclaimed cyborg who lost an eye replaced it with a wireless video camera) to investigate prosthetics, cybernetics and human augmentation.
There's a few gaming marathons for charity going on. Firstly NESIT's Mario Marathon, going right now and raising money for Child's Play. Secondly, Brian points out that BigBlockGames are making an RPG in 14 days (website seems down, but watch them live here, also to raise money for Child's Play. Finally, Dukeymeng has a Lame Game Marathon later this month, raising money for the UN's East Africa Appeal, with discussion here.
HP will apparently be making one more run of TouchPads, with more info here. According to a blog post on HP's website, the company will manufacture a "limited quantity" of TouchPads prior to October 31, when the company's fourth fiscal quarter ends. If you didn't miss out and managed to grab one, here's 10 things to do with it.
While we're getting all tablety, there's new ones on the way from Lenovo, Samsung and Amazon, and they'll be cheap. "Amazon has an ecosystem like Apple, with its own app store that offers music, movies and videos, and a bookstore," said Bob O'Donnell, an analyst at IDC. "Not only would you get a cheaper device [than the iPad], you would get the integrated Amazon experience. That's what makes Amazon's tablet the most interesting -- and it's where other [Android] tablets will be challenged."
The Lost iPhone 5 story keeps getting wierder, with more here. Is it a hoax, a marketing stunt, were the police involved? "Apple came to us saying that they were looking for a lost item, and some plainclothes officers responded out to the house with them," Dangerfield said. "My understanding is that they stood outside...They just assisted Apple to the address." For his part, Calderón claims that he was led to believe that all of the visitors were police officers, as none of them identified themselves as working for Apple. "When they came to my house, they said they were SFPD," he said. "I thought they were SFPD. That's why I let them in."
Melbourne is the most livable city in the world, whatever that means. Vancouver has topped the annual Global Liveability Survey since 2002, but this year fell to third behind Vienna. Overall, Australian and Canadian cities did well, capturing seven of the top 10 spots.
NASA want everyone to know that the Apollo 18 movie coming out this year is not real. I think anyone who's seen the trailer knows that. :) "Apollo 18 is not a documentary," said Bert Ulrich, NASA's liaison for multimedia, film and television collaborations. "The film is a work of fiction, and we always knew that. We were minimally involved with this picture. We never even saw a rough cut. The idea of portraying the Apollo 18 mission as authentic is simply a marketing ploy. Perhaps a bit of a 'Blair Witch Project' strategy to generate hype."
However they do have a new exploration tool called "Eyes on the Solar System" for web browsers. "Eyes on the Solar System" is a 3-D environment full of real NASA mission data. Explore the cosmos from your computer. Hop on an asteroid. Fly with NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft. See the entire solar system moving in real time. It's up to you. You control space and time.
TechSpot celebrated 30 years of the PC. Many years have passed and plenty of milestones were met along the way, from the first PC clones in 1982, to the Internet revolution in the 90s and the so-called post-PC devices hitting the market today. We didn't want to let the occasion go by without paying our respects to the legacy that the 5150 brought. Here are some of the most important developments in the industry over the last 30+ years.
New Zealand's copyright amendment act came into effect this month. Internet New Zealand chief executive Vikram Kumar says the law means the person who pays the bill for the account needs to be very aware of who's using the internet and what they're using it for. "The account holder needs to know what's going on even if they themselves don't do anything online, and second, everyday internet users really have to understand that peer-to-peer file sharing is now very risky and not worth doing."
Saturday Night Reviews
(link) Saturday, 3-September-2011 13:56:14 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Another cable released by Wikileaks seems to give an insight into the string-pulling behind the iiNet/AFACT case. An executive from the MPAA, the cable claimed, had briefed the US Ambassador on the matter, confirming it was the mover behind the case, with AFACT essentially functioning as a sub-contractor to the MPAA in the matter and the MPAA having no formal presence in Australia. However, the cable claimed that the MPAA would prefer its role not be made public. More here.
If you're in a McD's carpark and some people in a white van (or white Impala) offer to sell you a cheap iPad, it's probably made of wood. She handed them the money and then waited to open the FedEx box supposedly containing the iPad until she got home - where she proceeded to pull out not a shiny new Apple tablet, but a "piece of wood painted black with an Apple logo", the police report said.
Or, it might be an iPhone 5 prototype, given one was lost in a bar recently. Seriously? Original story here. Last year, an iPhone 4 prototype was bought by a gadget blog that paid $5,000 in cash. This year's lost phone seems to have taken a more mundane path: it was taken from a Mexican restaurant and bar and may have been sold on Craigslist for $200. Still unclear are details about the device, what version of the iOS operating system it was running, and what it looks like.
OCZ have released a hybrid drive. OCZ has separated itself from the only other competitor in the hybrid drive market, Seagate, by offering 25 times more NAND flash capacity and a vastly faster interface. The company also claims the drive can achieve up to a 910MB/sec. sequential read rate, or 120,000 I/O per second (IOPS) using 4K random writes for high transactional workloads. In comparison, Seagate's hybrid drive offers an average read rate of 83.7MB/sec.
Here's an interesting article about Intel's new random-number generator. That's why we have now developed a new and entirely digital system that allows a microprocessor to produce a copious stream of random values without those difficulties. Soon it will be coming to a processor near you.
TD sent in this MS blog post about Windows 8 Explorer updates. Windows Explorer is a foundation of the user experience of the Windows desktop and has undergone several design changes over the years, but has not seen a substantial change in quite some time. Windows 8 is about reimagining Windows, so we took on the challenge to improve the most widely used desktop tool (except maybe for Solitaire) in Windows.