Google's doodle today marks the 50th anniversary of the Parkes Observatory. An icon of Australian science, the Parkes radio telescope has been in operation since 1961 and continues to be at the forefront of astronomical discovery thanks to regular upgrades. Astronomers from across Australia and around the world utilise the Parkes radio telescope to undertake world-class astronomical science. Of course, it was most famously used for the Apollo 11 moonwalk coverage.
Flooding continues to be an issue in Thailand, and I noticed this story about tugboats being used to accelerate the flow of flood water. Now.. I'm no expert, but surely that isn't going to work? Mr Ong-at raised the proposal yesterday after a test in the Noi River, a subsidiary of the Chao Phraya, found its flow rate increased by 20%, or 57 cubic metres a second, with the help of boat engines. The propellers of eight powerboats anchored by ropes to bridge posts had helped push out the water in a one-day test, he said. Hrm.
Exetel CEO John Linton has apparently made his feelings clear about being approached by copyright enforcement agencies. According to Linton, his company will “almost certainly” invest a serious amount of money in order to render their systems unfriendly to trolls. “So by the end of this week copyright theft by some percentage of our customers will cost Exetel something over $200,000 to ensure blackmailing scum can’t target our law-breaking customers,” added the Exetel chief.
Here's a photo tour of Facebook's new headquarters. From exposing structural steel girders, and offering them up for employee graffiti, to choosing bare plywood as the ceiling material over employee walkways, Facebook's ongoing transformation of the button-down former Sun Microsystems campus is meant to telegraph that the company itself remains a work in progress.
LSI are purchasing Sandforce - there's interviews on HotHardware and TheSSDReview. Yesterday’s announcement that LSI had entered into an agreement to acquire SandForce was interesting to say the least. The two companies have obvious synergy and should be able to leverage each other's resources to produce some powerful and innovative storage products. However, due to LSI’s strong position in the enterprise space and SandForce’s more consumer oriented position, along with the announcement’s minimal discussion of mainstream or desktop-targeted products, some questions lingered as to how LSI planned to market SandForce products moving forward.
RatcHeT-x sent word of a new free multiplayer PC game developed by students in Brisbane. It's called Manastorm: Lust for Guts and there's a thread with more info here.
Three Australian troops have been killed in Afghanistan overnight. The three soldiers were shot during a parade yesterday morning. Seven other Australians were wounded and an Afghan interpreter was killed. The lone gunman - an Afghan national soldier - was shot and killed as the Australians returned fire.
Qantas have grounded all flights in the latest move in their industrial dispute. QANTAS has grounded its entire domestic and international fleet of aircraft and will lock out all staff involved in its industrial dispute from Monday night. Discussion continues here.
XbitLabs say that the HDD industry only has two months of stock in reserve, which is significant given the flooding damage in Thailand. Due to the flooding, Western Digital shut down two local plants, which will result in a 60% capacity decrease and Seagate suffers from tight supply of components. For exmaple, Nidec, which controls nearly 80% of the global HDD motor market, has temporarily shut down seven factories; it is not yet known when operations will resume. More info on PC Perspective.
Samsung has permission to appeal Apple's ban on their Galaxy Tab. The Federal Court has granted leave to Samsung to appeal a temporary ban on the sale of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia. The appeal will take place before the full bench of the Federal Court. A date is expected to be set for late next month, despite arguments by Apple seeking to delay it until next year.
A new startup is working on immersive datacentre cooling. High-density cooling specialist Green Revolution Cooling has published photos and video of several installations of its product, which submerges servers in a liquid similar to mineral oil. The Austin, Texas startup said its cooling enclosures can eliminate the need for CRAC units and chillers, allowing users to cool high-density servers at a fraction of the cost of traditional racks.
BF3 was released recently - HWHeaven have a review, while TechSpot look at CPU & GPU performance, as do Guru3D. After waiting way too long before the game to be unlocked we wanted bring you guys one of our traditional graphics and processor performance articles. As such we'll take a card or ten today and have a look at DX11 performance with the newest graphics cards. We'll also show you the performance differential with a couple of different processors.
Phoronix looked at Bulldozer multi-core scaling, while thread scheduling gets examined on Tech Report. Is an awareness of the shared nature of AMD's Bulldozer architecture the key to unlocking its performance? We investigate.
A few people sent in this new patent from Apple, which seems to cover the slide to unlock feature. A device with a touch-sensitive display may be unlocked via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display. The device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device.
The Perth Mint has unveiled the world's biggest gold coin. Weighing in at just over one tonne, the 99.99 per cent pure gold coin has been valued at more than $50 million. A team of a dozen people have worked since late last year to create the coin which measures 80 centimetres wide and 12 centimetres deep, featuring a kangaroo on one side and the Queen's motif on the other.
Google+ is now available for Google Apps users. You use Google Apps in lots of different ways, and we expect the same for Google+. Apps users from artists to doctors to parents to students to teachers have told us that they are ready to join the 40 million people already sharing on Google+. More here.
Aussie IT staff are working later and longer hours, a new survey says. The survey results, drawn from 1599 responses from members of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers (APESMA), found that the number of IT staff working more than 40 hours a week has risen to 74.9 percent, up from 65 percent in 2009.
HP has a new CEO, and this one has decided the PC is not dead and they will NOT be selling off their PC division. Apotheker was removed from his post by the board on Sept. 22. Whitman was promptly tapped to replace him and the company quickly began backing off Apotheker's plans. This is Whitman's first big strategic decision for HP. In keeping the PC division, she is holding on to a division that generated $40.7 billion in revenues in 2010.
Also with a new chief is CERT Australia. Patteson will oversee CERT Australia’s team of information security specialists, which has more than doubled from 12 to 26 since it was established in January 2010. CERT Australia is a government point of contact for information security incidents that impact government or private networks of significance to national security.
XbitLabs compared netbook platforms. The market is flooded with all types of netbooks based on Intel Atom as well as AMD C- and E-series processors. They may be built on different platforms, such as AMD Brazos, Intel Pine Trail or Nvidia ION. We tried to study this versatility and with the help of Asus Eee PC we were able to compare four popular hardware configurations.
ARM has signalled its intention to enter the 64-bit battle with their new ARMv8 standard. Hardware designers will have to wait a little longer. ARM plans to release the first chip designs that support ARMv8 next year, and expects prototype systems using these designs to emerge in 2014. One early customer of the designs is likely to be Hewlett-Packard: Bloomberg is reporting claims that the company is planning to ship ARM servers. More here.
YouTube wants to get into your livingroom, with over 100 new channels. It was reported on Friday that YouTube will launch more than 100 channels of exclusive content from media companies and celebrities as Google pushes to expand its online video presence and bolster the company's floundering TV platform, reports the Wall Street Journal. News of YouTube's original content initiative came mere hours after Google issued a major update to its Google TV software.
People with an admirable excess of spare time have made a Street View version of GTA4. Plunge into the boroughs of Liberty City from the safety of your own chair.
MSI and OCAU's HWBOT Team are running another contest, where you can win a video card. It will be based on 3DMark06, with the winners hitting top score. The competition is configured to allow as many people to participate as possible and to do this we will split entrants in to 2 groups. Competition submissions open midday Saturday 29th October and close midnight Saturday 5th November.
David sends word that the earth's population will pass 7 billion in a couple of days or so, according to that site anyway. World Population: * has reached 6 billion in 1999 * is predicted to reach 7 billion on October 31, 2011.
Mpot pointed out this amazing focus-later camera from Lytro. What if you could take a snapshot of anything, and then focus or blur it after the fact, without any Photoshop? It's now possible. Lytro, Inc. has just revealed a new consumer light field camera, which introduces a new way to take and experience pictures. Unlike conventional cameras, the Lytro light field camera captures all the rays of light in a scene, providing new capabilities never before possible, such as the ability to focus a picture after it's taken. More here and discussion here.
The ASX was halted by a technical glitch yesterday. The Australian share market has resumed trading after a major technical fault forced the exchange to close for most of the day. About 6,700 deals took place before the market was shut a few minutes after opening this morning when the fault was discovered. The market was placed in enquire mode, in which no trades can be made.
The Ten Network managed to make 90.5% less profit this year than last year. TEN Network Holdings full year profit plunged 90.5 per cent as the broadcaster continues an operational and strategic review. Net profit fell to $14.2 million for the 12 months to August 31, from $150 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based broadcaster said today. Revenue increased one per cent to $1 billion. Ten said it spent $85.4 million on restructuring in the fiscal year.
One of Australia's main internet links to the USA is about to get a lot faster. The bandwidth of one of Australia's principle Internet pipes to the US, the Southern Cross Cable, will receive a significant boost next year when its 10Gbps per wavelength technology is upgraded to 40Gbps.
A British man has become the first in the world to have a smartphone dock built into his prosthetic arm. "I can now take calls and make texts just by using my one hand, while the phone sits inside my arm. "The phone slots smoothly and securely within my limb and is easily removable, when required. I think this would help a lot of people with prosthethic arms - especially those who were not born with the disability.
IBM will soon have their first female CEO. Virginia "Ginni" Rometty, a veteran at the technology giant famous for its conservative corporate culture, will take over as CEO from Sam Palmisano, IBM announced. Palmisano has been CEO for nearly a decade and turned 60 this year. He will stay on as chairman. Rometty, 54, takes over on Jan. 1. She is currently in charge of sales and marketing at the company based in Armonk, New York.
A NSW teen has been living the highlife on bogus eBay sales, apparently. The teen's mother is suing Australia's big four banks for their alleged role in the scam. The woman, from the NSW south coast, has launched an action in the Supreme Court seeking damages and wants an apology from the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and NAB for ''unconscionable conduct'' after they allegedly handed her son dozens of bank accounts and debit cards ''without reasonable scrutiny'', smh.com.au reports.
Microsoft have started collecting license fees on Android devices. Moreover, 53 percent of Android smartphones by unit share in the United States are subject to patent license agreements between Microsoft and original equipment manufacturers, such as Samsung and HTC. In any case, it’s a lot. Some have concluded that Microsoft makes more money from Android than from its own Windows Phones, and HTC reportedly pays Microsoft $5 for each Android phone it sells. Google, meanwhile, distributes Android (at least the smartphone version) as open source software.
Flecktone sent in Gabe Newell's surprising views on piracy. Discussing markets where piracy is most rampant, like Russia, Gabe Newell claimed that consumers there just want to play the product and, in most cases, simply don’t want to wait for it. “Russia now outside of Germany is our largest continental European market, the people who are telling you that Russians pirate everything are the people who wait six months to localise their product into Russian,” claimed Gabe, speaking at the North to Innovation conference in Seattle.
If you're a fan of The IT Crowd, Zac has some bad news - Season 5 has been cancelled. "I felt that the last series was a nice strong point to go out on, and anything further might just be running on the spot. You don't do your best work when you're running on the spot." Linehan, who also co-wrote Father Ted, added that it felt "like a natural time to wind things down". I was surprised we even got Season 4, given Father Ted and Black Books both only ran for 3 seasons.
Gonna spotted this amazing video about modifying videos by adding objects or light sources. We propose a method to realistically insert synthetic objects into existing photographs without requiring access to the scene or any additional scene measurements. With a single image and a small amount of annotation, our method creates a physical model of the scene that is suitable for realistically rendering synthetic objects with diffuse, specular, and even glowing materials while accounting for lighting interactions between the objects and the scene.
IntelInside noticed that the iPod turned 10 recently. In fact, the iPod and related products prompted Apple to change its name from "Apple Computer, Inc." to just "Apple Inc.” Without fawning over Apple's every endeavor, we'd like to pay homage to the company's game-changing gadget on its 10th birthday. Join us as we take a brief stroll down memory lane.
I know it's getting a little morbid on the news page lately, and I'm trying to not fill it up with death notices. But a few people mentioned that John McCarthy, considered the father of Artificial Intelligence and creator of the LISP language, has passed away. In organizing the Dartmouth Summer Research Conference on Artificial Intelligence in 1956, McCarthy not only added a term to the popular lexicon, he founded an entirely new area of research alongside fellow pioneers Marvin Minsky, Nathaniel Rochester, and Claude Shannon. In the years to come, he would go on invent LISP — one of the world’s most influential programming languages — and he played a major role in the development of time-sharing systems.
Tuesday Night Reviews
(link) Tuesday, 25-October-2011 12:40:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg
If you have a Sony 40" Bravia TV, Dan warns there's a fire risk advisory about them. We have recently become aware of a potential issue affecting a very limited number of BRAVIA LCD TV models, which were available for purchase in Australia from mid 2007 through to late 2008. This issue has come to our attention via a report from Sony Corporation in Japan that a limited number of these products might contain a component affected by a quality issue, which in a rare number of cases may over-heat and ignite inside the television and may possibly result in the melting of the upper rear casing of the television.
CN notes that the Attorney-General's department has removed a section from its latest copyright discussion paper that mentioned a "streamlined" way for copyright holders to get information from ISPs. The original paper (PDF), released on Friday, sparked outrage over proposals to "streamline" the process for copyright holders to gain access to personal information of alleged infringers from an internet service provider (ISP). The Department of the Attorney-General told ZDNet Australia in a statement that the paper originally released on Friday was a draft that was mistakenly posted online.
Reece sent in this mind-bending quantum levitation video. Tel-Aviv University demos quantum superconductors locked in a magnetic field. For an explanation of the physics behind this demonstration, visit here. Very cool, no pun intended.
HotHardware have a Z68 Motherboard Roundup, with boards from ASUS, EVGA, ASRock, Gigabyte, MSI and ZOTAC. Until Intel's next-gen, high-end Sandy Bridge-E and its companion X79 chipset launches sometime this quarter, Sandy Bridge-based family of second generation Core processors and the Z68 Express chipset remain Intel’s premiere desktop platform. It is with that in mind that we've just taken a look at several different motherboard offerings from manufacturers that cover a range of form factors, feature sets, and price points.
Sony have confirmed pricing and availability of the PlayStation Vita in Australia and NZ, thanks Null Object. February 23, 2012. lso somewhat unexpected: The price – AUD $349.95 in Australia, and NZD $449.95 for the wi-fi only model. If you want 3G as well, that’ll be an extra hundred bucks – AUD$449.95 and NZD$549.95. This puts Antipodean gamers just one day after North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, who get theirs on February 22. Europeans will fork over €249.99 for the Wi-fi only, and €299.99 for 3G. More info on the gadget here.
Tech Report have a Radeon HD 6950 shootout. We've gathered three souped-up Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards from Gigabyte, MSI, and XFX. Which one delivers the most bang for your buck?
Meanwhile TechSpot have a mini-ITX faceoff. Today we're looking at a new breed of Mini-ITX motherboards from Asrock called the Z68M-ITX/HT and A75M-ITX. The former is an Intel Z68 board that supports Intel's second-generation Core processors (Sandy Bridge), while the latter utilizes AMD A75's chipset to support Socket FM1 processors, namely the new Fusion A-series desktop APUs. In addition to comparing Asrock's boards, we'll spice things up by selecting Intel and AMD's $140 CPU offerings. In other words, this review will also serve as a comparison for the Core i3-2120 and AMD A8-3850.
Philip sent in this 50-core tablet. Kinda. Inside the JAGUAR3 you will find the ZMS-20 system-on-a-chip (SoC), which features two 1.5 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 cores along with an additional 48 StemCell processing cores, effectively making it a 50-core processor. We don’t have a lot of technical details on these 48 StemCell cores, but ZiiLabs compares them to GPU cores and says they easily make ZMS-20 ”the most powerful SoC available for tablets today.”
If you saw the MotoGP today, you may have seen a crash involving Marco Simoncelli - he has passed away as a result of his injuries. It's been a shocking couple of weeks in the world of motorsport, with Dan Wheldon killed in IndyCar last weekend. My heart goes out to all involved. MotoGP discussion continues here.
Severe flooding in Thailand may impact hard drive prices around the world, with facilities like Western Digital's factory being flooded (photos here.) WD Australia say that supply is ok for the short term, however. Seagate are also affected. Both Seagate and Western Digital late this week that continued flooding in Thailand was worsening shortages. There would be a 'significant impact," Seagate said, and it expected this to last over multiple quarters. CRN in the USA said that around 25 percent of hard drives are made in Thailand and there could see significant shortages among traditional PCs.
EVGA are showing off a dual-socket Sandy Bridge-E board. Imagine dropping a pair of Sandy Bridge-EP Xeon chips into your system and surrounding the chips with four-way SLI and gobs of RAM by filling up 12 DIMM slots (eight are wired to Socket 0 and four are wired to Socket 1). If you have the capital, EVGA has the foundation for building a system that will not only run Crysis and fold proteins like a banshee, but will do almost anything else you ask of it.
ArsTechnica meanwhile ponder Bulldozer's disappointing debut. The launch of the Phenom in 2007 was similarly underwhelming - it arrived late, broken, and slow - but AMD managed to turn things around with Phenom II to produce a viable competitor to many of Intel's processors.
TheSSDReview have a 6Gbps SSD Showdown using LSI's 9265-8i MegaRAID and Adaptec's 6805 RAID cards. Total value of testing equipment exceeds $45,000 US. Top speeds come in at 2.7GB/s performance performance and over 461000 IOPS and we have absolutely pushed two RAID cards and 13 SSDs as far as we think they can be pushed. Grab a seat and buckle up because this is going to be our best ride yet, one you definitely won't be seeing attempted elsewhere anytime soon!
And if you're after more, check out this Wiki page which lists ALL "misc pics" news posts from the archive.
(link) Thursday, 20-October-2011 12:18:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg
If you're near Brisbane and you're a plane nut, I have good news for you tomorrow. There will be a mass formation flypast of up to 20 F/A-18F Super Hornets over the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Brisbane and Ipswich, this Friday (21 Oct) as part of the welcoming ceremony for four new Super Hornets. The arrival of the four new aircraft completes the Australian Super Hornet fleet to 24 aircraft. Discussion here.
Nick Ross has posted a rant about piracy in the ABC Tech website. We've been deluged with the arguments against piracy for years. But what's the other side of the story? Could it possibly be that copyright infringers and pirates aren't always the bad guys? Are copyright owners their own worst enemy? Judge for yourself and tell us what you think.
ExtremeTech meanwhile have a rant about CPU brand loyalty. Having received and tested an early model of AMD’s new top-of-the-line, Bulldozer-based FX-8150 CPU, I wasn’t too taken aback by its mostly lukewarm reception in the tech press. But what did shock me were the reactions from commenters on many of those reviews — and what they revealed about a mindset within the builder and enthusiast community that I consider frankly impenetrable.
XbitLabs want to tell you all about Flight Simulator Joysticks. In this review I will attempt to compile a more or less exhaustive and, hopefully, comprehensive list of features you should take into account when choosing and buying your joystick. To back up my review with practical data I will glance over some specific brands and their products. I want to note that this review refers to joysticks for playing true flight simulators like IL-2 Sturmovik or better (IL-2 used to be a revolutionary title in this field but has lost its leading position by now). Arcades like H.A.W.X., Blazing Angels and others can be played well enough with just a keyboard and mouse.
But if Battlefield 3 is more your style, try this ultimate simulator video. Centred on the world's first, portable omni-directional treadmill (designed by Swedish company MSE Weibull) the simulator lets you control the movements of a Battlefield 3 character with your own body. Other key technology employed includes: 12 paintball markers that allow the player, in real time, to feel the enemy gunfire experienced in the game; a wireless gun system; ambient LED lighting; and an Xbox Kinect camera hack.
A few people sent in this PocketTouch video. Interesting idea I guess, but surely popping out phone out and apologetically cancelling the incoming call is less awkward than jiggling around in your pants pocket for 30 seconds.
Tech Report consider SSD scaling. Fresh from rounding up a collection of the latest 120-128GB solid-state drives, we've turned our attention to a pack of 240-300GB models to see how SSD performance scales as one climbs the capacity ladder.
One thing I really like about Noctua is their policy of providing free mounting upgrades for cooler owners when new sockets come out. Paul noticed they're now offering this for socket LGA2011 CPUs. The new mounting is backwards compatible with all Noctua retail coolers since 2005 and will be supplied to Noctua users free of charge after uploading a proof of purchase on the company's website. Do any other manufacturers do this?
In a true back to the future moment, you can now buy an Electric DeLorean. There's a new DeLorean DMC-12 coming out — or rather, there's a new version of the same stainless steel wedge of a sportscar that became an icon (and perhaps the lone representative) of '80s cool. But it won't run on gas — it'll be electric.
Casey Stoner - 2011 World Champion
(link) Tuesday, 18-October-2011 02:37:55 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Congrats to Casey Stoner, who managed to wrap up the MotoGP World Championship at his home race of Phillip Island last weekend - on his birthday, no less.
It's always great to see Australians doing well on the world stage. Casey has made his mark on the record books with a hugely dominant year, culminating in his second world championship, for his second manufacturer. Bring on 2012!
Discussion of the season (with 2 rounds left) continues here.
Interesting Forum Threads
(link) Monday, 17-October-2011 09:16:18 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Remember, OCAU now has official twitter and facebook pages. The twitter feed is much like an RSS feed and is updated every time we post news. The Facebook page is updated when we have something other than the usual news and reviews posts. Anyway, here's a few interesting threads from the forums:
NVIDIA unveiled 3D Vision 2 recently. We just announced NVIDIA 3DVision 2 at GeForce LAN 6, but the new displays and wireless glasses aren’t quite yet available for public consumption. To hold you over, here’s a quick preview of what you can expect from the next generation of hardware optimized for NVIDIA’s 3DVision technology. Coverage on Anandtech, TomsHardware, LegitReviews, HotHardware and PC Perspective.
Simon pointed out that Google are experimenting with using WebGL for Google Maps. Using WebGL technology, Google MapsGL is an experimental project which enables a richer maps experience with immersive 3D buildings, smoother transitions between imagery, fluid transitions into Streetview and more, directly in your browser and all without a plugin. You'll need Chrome or the latest Firefox beta, I think.
TechAU compared the RevoDrive x2 v Agility 3 240GB SSDs. Competing alongside each other today we have the heavy hitting RevoDrive x2; OCZ’s high-end PCI-e SSD, and the Agility 3; a competitively priced and equally high performing traditional SSD.
IKT sent word that Ubuntu 11.10 has been released. For PC users, Ubuntu 11.10 supports laptops, desktops and netbooks with a unified look and feel based on an updated version of the desktop shell called "Unity", which introduces specialized "Lenses". Finding and installing software using the Ubuntu Software Centre is now easier thanks to improvements in speed, search functionality enhancements, and usability improvements. Video overview here, new feature info here and Internode's mirror here. Discussion here.
IntelInside spotted an iPhone 4S teardown. Apparently Siri is not too happy with our request, but when has a machine stood in the way of iFixit's exceptional team of tinkerers? Join us as we delve deep into the recesses of the new iPhone 4S.
Meanwhile Samsung are trying to block sales of the new iPhone in Australia. Samsung has filed for immediate injunctions on the sale of the iPhone 4S in Australia and Japan, expanding its global counter-attack against Apple. The Korean electronics giant previously requested injunctions be placed on sales of Apple's fifth-generation smartphone in France and Italy, with claims filed a day after the product was announced.
(link) Sunday, 16-October-2011 05:16:18 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Here's some reviews and projects from people in the forums:
The New York Times have a detailed obituary for Dennis Ritchie, while his friend and collaborator Rob Pike has posted his thoughts also. “The tools that Dennis built — and their direct descendants — run pretty much everything today,” said Brian Kernighan, a computer scientist at Princeton University who worked with Mr. Ritchie at Bell Labs.
Apple have won their battle to block Samsung's tablets in Australia, at least temporarily. An Australian court has temporarily banned the sale of Samsung Electronics' tablet computer in Australia, a victory for Apple in its global patent dispute with the South Korean company. Apple has accused Samsung of copying its touch-screen technology for its Galaxy Tab 10.1. The two companies are embroiled in legal battles in nine countries. It doesn't help when Samsung's own lawyers (in the USA) can't tell the difference between Samsung and Apple products.
Google are dropping some services including Google Labs, Code Search and (unsurprisingly) Buzz. We aspire to build great products that really change people’s lives, products they use two or three times a day. To succeed you need real focus and thought—thought about what you work on and, just as important, what you don’t work on. It’s why we recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products.
Tweaktown compared AMD FX-8150 vs. Intel i7-2600k CrossFireX HD 6970 x3. Today we test the video card side of things a bit more and see what goes on when we start to make use of CrossFireX on the 990FX platform. The 990FX chipset shows some good potential and it's going to be interesting to see what happens when we start to make use of all those PCIe lanes that are on offer.
Meanwhile VR-Zone look at the future of Intel CPU overclocking. Ivy Bridge CPUs decouple the main clock finally, following what the coming Sandy Bridge - E Socket 2011 is also implementing. Now, you can overclock the cores and memory without worrying about affecting the I/O and PCIe clocks. But then comes the more interesting piece news. A year later, in early 2013, the pinnacle of Intel's 22 nm process show off, the initial Haswell processor, is expected to go another step further, where CPU core, GPU, memory, PCI and DMI ratios are all set independently here, on top of fine grain BCLK base clock available within the Lynx Point chipset.
It turns out the moon is full of delicious titanium, not cheese. Prized on Earth for its strength, ability to resist corrosion and light weight, titanium on the moon, which is mostly found in mineral called ilmenite, could be mined and processed for future use. The compound, which contains titanium, iron and oxygen, could be heated to free the oxygen so it could be used for breathing or making rocket fuel. It also is studded with particles from the solar wind, including hydrogen and a rare form of helium, called helium 3, a fuel for a proposed fusion reactor.
One of the founders of The Pirate Bay has been sentenced to prison and has lost his appeal. Today the Court announced that due to Svartholm’s failure to appear, the District Court’s ruling of 2009 against him will be made permanent. This means that the Pirate Bay co-founder is sentenced to a year in jail and his share of 30 million kronor ($4.48m) in damages. This verdict stands and can no longer be appealed.
German authorities are in hot water for allegedly using spyware against their citizens. But a lawyer representing a suspect in an illegal pharmaceutical trafficking case told journalists that his client's laptop computer had been deliberately infected with the Trojan horse by Customs agents in 2009 when he was traveling through Munich airport, according to Deutsche Wells.
MSDN have posted a detailed look at the Windows 8 Task Manager. We are really excited to share some of the improvements we are making to the Task Manager in Windows 8. Task Manager is one of the most widely used apps, and it has a long history. It showed up in early versions of Windows as a simple utility to close and switch between programs, and has had functionality added to it through several releases to make it what it is today.
I know there's been a lot of iPhone 4S stuff lately, but this video and the part 2 one demo the Siri personal assistant feature in the real world. It seems quite neat, but apparently it doesn't work all that well in Australia? Anyone using it and want to let us know?
Lastly, the MotoGP is at Phillip Island this weekend, and will be broadcast in just a little while on Ten and ONE HD. Will Australia's Casey Stoner wrap up the championship this afternoon? It seems increasingly likely. Discussion here.
Iron Chef and Geek Food
(link) Thursday, 13-October-2011 10:33:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Amfibius sends word that voting is now on for the OCAU Iron Chef contest for October: This month's Iron Chef features two tiers - Tier 1 for previous winners of OCAU Iron Chef, and Tier 2 for people who have never won. The voting thread for Tier 1 is here. The voting thread for Tier 2 is here.
While I'm at it, here's some yummy threads from our Geek Recipes forum. These aren't Iron Chef entries, but they look pretty good anyway:
Dennis Ritchie, co-creator of Unix, co-designer of the C programming language and hugely influential computer scientist, has died. He spent much of his career at Bell Labs. He was awarded the Turing Award in 1983, and the National Medal of Technology in 1999. "Ritchie's influence rivals Jobs's; it's just less visible," James Grimmelman observed on Twitter. "His pointer has been cast to void *; his process has terminated with exit code 0."
Samsung have ambushed the iPhone launch in Sydney with a "pop-up shop" offering $2 smartphones. Some waiting in line had been there since Monday, with the store only letting the first 10 in line each day receive the $2 phone. Those waiting since Monday were those wanting the next day's batch of phones. Not sure how the army of Justin Bieber clones is involved. Discussion here.
Apple's iOS5 is available in Australia now. Apple today is due to release its new iOS5 operating system which will allow iPhone, iPad and iTouch users to update their devices wirelessly, without a need to connect them to a PC and laptop. So I can uninstall iTunes and Quicktime from my PC? Allriiiiiight! Some people are having issues with the upgrade, though. Discussion here.
Sony have advised of another security issue, affecting 93,000 accounts. More here and here, thanks HyRax1. Sony admitted in an official PlayStation blog post last night that it had "detected attempts on Sony Entertainment Network, PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment...services to test a massive set of sign-in IDs and passwords against our network database." The IDs and passwords probably came from a "one or more compromised lists from other companies, sites or other sources."
If you use Wine, you might need to be aware of WineHQ's security issue too, thanks mpot. More here. WineHQ, which manages software that’s used to run Windows applications on Linux, BSD, Solaris and Mac OS X, confirmed the breach and warned that the intruders were able to hijack usernames and passwords.
Also hacked, the Myki ticket system in Melbourne. More than 1.1 million myki cards will be phased out after hackers found a way to clone the tickets. Myki manufacturer NXP has recommended users upgrade to the newer, 2008 swipecard, the MIFARE DESFire EV1. The Transport Ticketing Authority has said it would replace myki with the more secure card, but has not said when, the Melbourne Weekly reports.
CN noticed that NASA's lunar explorers had to fill out Customs forms on their return. Upon their return in 1969, the weary moon travellers had to declare the moon rocks they brought back with them, as well as disclose any potential illnesses.
AMD have unveiled their much-anticipated Zambezi, the desktop arm of their Bulldozer product family, in the form of the AMD FX 8150 CPU. This has 8 physical cores, an unlocked multiplier, base clock of 3600MHz and can Turbo itself to 4GHz and beyond. This is a whole new design from AMD, aimed squarely at Intel's latest and greatest. Does it hit the mark? Here's a truckload of reviews:
Here's a neat video showing an upcoming Photoshop "unblur" feature. The new feature was demoed at the company’s MAX 2011 event, drawing gasps of amazement from a crowd that witnessed a blurred photo, retouched and perfected in seconds. Advanced algorithms calculate the movements of the camera at the time the image was taken, enabling the user to ‘fix’ the image by unblurring it – saving what would ordinarily be a disappointing, dud image. Discussion here.
Over at SilentPCReview they have a fanless PSU PC build guide. Given the availability of these high tech, super-efficient, fanless power supply marvels, we've put together an article to address the question of how to get the best use out of them. We have been working with fanless PSUs for years, and we have some useful tricks and observations to share with you. We consider typical case layouts, the airflow that is normal in such cases, and discuss how a fanless PSU affects the cooling and airflow.
F1 and sim racing nutters will like the new Thrustmaster F1 wheel previewed on TBreak. The new F1 wheel is a full replica of an actual F1 wheel, sans the LED display, but with all the buttons and functinoality. This is as close an experience as you can get to a real F1; the wheel mating perfectly with the new F1 2011 game.
Futurelooks compared EA's Origin vs Valve's Steam game distribution platforms. While its true there is nothing stopping you from using both, the obvious similarities and contrasts between Origin and Steam beg to be compared. Being big game fans, we explore how well Origin stacks up to Valve’s Steam.
CN spotted this crime prediction system which people are comparing to the film Minority Report. Using cameras and sensors the "pre-crime" system measures and tracks changes in a person's body movements, the pitch of their voice and the rhythm of their speech. It also monitors breathing patterns, eye movements, blink rate and alterations in body heat, which are used to assess an individual's likelihood to commit a crime.
He also sent word of the US Government's court order to force Google and an ISP to turn over info on a Wikileaks volunteer. The court clashes in the WikiLeaks case provide a rare public window into the growing debate over a federal law that lets the government secretly obtain information from people's email and cellphones without a search warrant.
Tweakhound have an article on the Windows 7 pagefile, and running without one. The topic of running without a pagefile is a popular one. Unfortunately most of the discussion is usually based around anecdotal evidence. This article aims to provide you with the information you need to find out if you need a pagefile and provides benchmarks on my results of running with and without a pagefile.
Tuesday Night Reviews
(link) Tuesday, 11-October-2011 12:27:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Intel have confirmed they will be bundling liquid coolers with Sandy Bridge E CPUs. The bundled liquid-based thermal solution – to be offered with boxed microprocessors and sold separately - will be the first time for Intel to officially support enthusiast-class coolers and will also create an additional selling point of Intel’s next-generation Sandy Bridge E-series (SNB-E) microprocessors in LGA2011 form-factor. Besides, bundling liquid cooler with a CPU will indisputably increase popularity of such solutions among overclocking community.
There's a big graphics patch for RAGE on Steam now, but this won't fix all the issues people are having with the game, apparently. John Carmack and Tim Willits have responded to criticism about the PC version, explaining that consoles were the main target for the game. We do not see the PC as the leading platform for games. That statement will enrage some people, but it is hard to characterize it otherwise; both console versions will have larger audiences than the PC version. A high end PC is nearly 10 times as powerful as a console, and we could unquestionably provide a better experience if we chose that as our design point and we were able to expend the same amount of resources on it. Tech Report have their review posted, and Rage discussion continues in this thread.
Say what you like about Apple's disappointing iPhone 4S announcement, but they have apparently pre-sold a million units in the first 24 hours. More info here. Despite the record-breaking pace of iPhone 4S pre-orders, it's hard to determine whether consumer demand is stronger for the new device than it was for previous versions. Although first-day orders for the iPhone 4 were 600,000 when it launched last year, Australia and Canada weren't among the launch countries then -- they got the phone a month later. Discussion here.
Games.on.net have posted their thoughts on BF3. When it comes to a game as phenomenally, site-crashingly popular as Battlefield 3, we can't stop at just one person's opinion. Hardcore FPS maniac James Pinnell, former pro-gamer turned eSports writer Alex Walker and hollering idiot Tim Colwill sat down for an exhausting round table on all things Battlefield 3, Origin and Battlelog. Discussion here.
HP apparently have a new non-volatile memory technology to replace NAND flash and SSDs, or will in a few years. HP last year announced a deal with S. Korean chip maker Hynix to produce a next-generation non-volatile memory product. Memristor, short for memory resistor, is basically a resistor with memory. Earlier this year, HP announced that Memristors could also perform logic. Therefore the chip can work as both a processor and as storage. It could one day take the place of both mass storage devices and central processing units.
The US's Reaper and Predator drone fleet has been infected with a keylogger, Wired report. The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say.
PC Gamer have a video interview with John Carmack. At the moment, he’s on the press junket for Rage over in LA – but that hasn’t blunted the man’s razor sharp knowledge of technology and its application to games. Tim managed to pin him down for a twenty minute interview about Rage, why the PC is “orders of magnitude” above the consoles in power, and pixel fidelity. An absolute must-view for people with even a vague interest in the future of hardware.
Pagey spotted a PC remote access Chrome extension. "Chrome Remote Desktop BETA is the first installment on a capability allowing users to remotely access another computer through the Chrome browser or a Chromebook," the release notes said. "Chrome Remote Desktop BETA is fully cross-platform, so you can connect any two computers that have a Chrome browser, including Windows, Linux, Mac, and Chromebooks."
SH sent in this story about some WiFi patent lawsuits. The patent trolling situation is getting beyond ridiculous. The bloody troll bullies from Innovatio are suing owners of franchise hotels and coffee shops. In fact, their plan is to sue everyone using Wi-Fi, although you're not on their list. Yet.
AFACT and iiNet are preparing for their High Court battle in December. The stage has been set for a December 1 and 2 High Court hearing. The High Court is the final court of appeal and the outcome of this case is likely to result in legislative changes. Five judges will be overseeing the two-day hearing. With so little time, the High Court will be running a tight ship and arguments from both sides will have to be succinct.
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 SSDs, monitors, video cards, fitness supplements, soldering stations, headphones, data recovery, network storage, home automation, media players and more!
iD Software have released Rage, their first game since Doom 3 in 2004, and anticipated since 2007. HWHeaven have a review, while PCPerspective have a performance and image quality evaluation. With reports of stability issues, graphical glitches and other issues this wasn't an average launch and it wasn't helped by AMD's accidental publishing of a driver which made matters worse. Now, with the latest AMD driver designed specifically to improve the Rage experience we delve into id's latest release to find out what all the fuss is about NGOHQ have compared the PC and console versions.
A new law in Italy has resulted in their Wikipedia site being taken offline. This legislative reform proposal, which the Italian Parliament is debating these days, provides, among other things, also to require all websites to publish, within 48 hours of the request without comment, a correction of any content that the applicant deems detrimental to its image. Unfortunately, the evaluation of "cause injury" of such content must not be released to a third Judge and impartially, but only the opinion of the person allegedly injured.
Tech Report have a Llano Mini-ITX faceoff. The tight integration of AMD's Llano platform is perfectly suited to Mini-ITX motherboards. We test two of 'em from Asus and Zotac to see what's what.
HWHeaven compared three all-in-one CPU watercoolers. Never a company to rest on their laurels Corsair were not happy with just being a degree or two cooler, they wanted more and so a new product hit the market a month or so ago. The H100 is the new high end model in Corsairs Hydro range of liquid coolers and today we put it head to head with the H80 and Antec 920 to see how each compare.
CN sent news of the FBI's encryption backdoors and making wiretaps easier. Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.
People are upset that the original Siri app, the "personal assistant" now included in the iPhone 4S, has been disabled for earlier devices by being removed from the App Store. So, why take it down? Two reasons come to mind. For one, it’s pretty tough to up-sell current iPhone 4 owners to the iPhone 4S if one of the biggest features is already available (albeit to a limited extent) as a third-party app. Less nefariously, having a third-party app (especially one that hadn’t been updated in around a year) available with the same name as a feature would be beyond confusing. If it were solely about avoiding confusion, though, why pull down the server for those who already have the app?
The Government has a new website about violent extremeism in communities. Since 2001, Australian law enforcement and security agencies have foiled four major terrorist plots on Australian soil. Law enforcement and security agencies in Australia have been successful in detecting and disrupting terrorist attacks before they could occur.
Tomb Raider has turned 15, and is celebrating with some new artwork.
Apple have announced that Steve Jobs has passed away. Wired have a look back at his legacy at Apple and elsewhere. A visionary inventor and entrepreneur, it would be impossible to overstate Steve Jobs’ impact on technology and how we use it. Apple’s mercurial, mysterious leader did more than reshape his entire industry: he completely changed how we interact with technology. He made gadgets easy to use, gorgeous to behold and essential to own. He made things we absolutely wanted, long before we even knew we wanted them. Discussion here.
OhSmeg points out that Australia and the USA, among others have signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement on the weekend. “ACTA builds on World Trade Organization standards to promote international trade in legitimate intellectual property, by elevating standards of enforcement,” Dr Emerson said. “This treaty will help stem the burgeoning global trade in counterfeit and pirate materials, worth many billions annually.” Dr Emerson said the treaty would support market-oriented innovation in Australia and other signatory countries by giving creators and exporters the confidence to promote their products overseas without fear of counterfeiting and piracy.
Meanwhile Samsung are giving sneak peeks of their next Android phone, the Nexus Prime due to launch next week. It seems to have a curvy front screen? And of course, the legal shenanigans continue, with Samsung hoping to block the 4S from being sold in Italy and France. Presumably Apple are preparing their next legal salvo for when the Nexus Prime arrives.
HWSecrets have updated their Thermal Compound Roundup. We added five new thermal compounds to our previous roundup, for a total of 45 different thermal compounds from major brands. We also tried another "alternative" compound: mayonnaise.
TechSpot have a BF3 Beta Performance Test. DICE recommends a quad-core CPU be used along with 4GB of system memory. As for the graphics card a GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6950 is suggested, meaning that gamers will want to spend around $200 on a modern graphics card to appreciate Battlefield 3. Today we'll take a peak at what's required to play Battlefield 3 as we check out how the beta performs.
PC Perspective meanwhile have a BF3 System Build Guide. There are going to be lots of options for the person that is willing to spend a LOT of money but my favorite solution currently sits with a pair of GTX 580 cards. With this combination you'll be able to run three displays or run a single 30-in panel at just about any quality settings you want, including Ultra in BF3.
Kon spotted this coffee-powered car, and notes: Pity they didn't call the device the "Cappuccino Capacitor" and stick it in a Delorean. They could at least have called it Mr Caffeine!
Macbeta sent word of mass piracy lawsuits coming to Australia. Walker confirmed the company had contacted all major ISPs in Australia seeking information on users who had allegedly infringed copyright online, with Kill the Irishman being just one of the films which the company was tracking and Lightning being just one of the clients which the company is representing locally. The company’s requests appear to be targeting a large number of Australians, with some 9,000 locals alleged to have downloaded Kill the Irishman alone. EFA and PPA are not impressed.
Telstra have officially denounced some iPhone 5 ads on Whirlpool as fakes. Whoever put them together went to a lot of trouble to make them seem authentic, with the images including dated filenames, accurate use of Telstra’s new colours and even printing guides.
Internode have release revised NBN plan pricing, giving a glipse of speeds and data allowances to expect. Since July 2011, when Internode became Australia's first broadband provider to announce its NBN prices, NBNCo has made significant revisions to its Concentrating Virtual Circuit (CVC) pricing model that address major cost overheads previously present during the ramp-up period of the NBN commercial rollout.
The Federal Government has welcomed a discussion paper from the Australian Law Reform Commission, for the National Classification Scheme Review. The Government is committed to modernising Australia's classification system to address the challenges created by rapidly changing media technology. The ALRC last reviewed classification standards 20 years ago. That review helped to develop the cooperative scheme between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories that we have today.
TaXy DriVar noticed a PCI GeForce GT 520, possibly of interest for building multi-GPU Folding@Home machines. Yes, believe it or not, PCI graphics cards are still a thing. Zotac has just announced one: a PCI version of the GeForce GT 520. The card is also available with a PCIe x1 interface, for folks who happen to be out of PCIe x16 slots yet still need an additional GPU. I'm thinking a GeForce 520 won't really make it worthwhile performance wise for Folding, though.
Google have launched a beer. I fizz with delight to inform you that the Googlies have entered into a partnership with the Dogfish Head brewery that has produced a beer called URKontinent.
I hope your long weekend, if you're having one, is long and weekendy..
Australian Linux users have filed a complaint with the ACCC over perceived multi-OS boot restrictions in Windows 8. However, Microsoft’s move immediately got sections of the open source community up in arms, as it has the potential to lock out rival operating systems from being installed on PCs from the likes of manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Lenovo — unless those manufacturers explicitly work with the Linux community to support a number of different versions of Linux.
Meanwhile Facebook is drawing fire over user tracking. It's been a rough week for the company. Yesterday, a collection of advocacy groups asked the Federal Trade Commission to ban Facebook's "frictionless sharing" and new Timeline features announced at F8 last week. On Wednesday, two U.S. congressmen asked the FTC to investigate Facebook over the post logout cookies. And a Chicago company has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Facebook over the Timeline feature.
Those Blackblaze guys have always been interesting with their storage pods and wotnot, but there's a new video showing a server lift that they have recently acquired. Guido is a $10k server lift and he works like a charm. He can lift the servers onto the very top rack and even has a special extender for the very bottom rack. Sean can now deploy Storage Pods without any help. Simple enough I suppose, but holy cow do I wish I had had one of these back when OCAU was on the 4RU quad opteron monster server BBQ.
It turns out that flexible Samsung phone from a few days ago isn't real and probably won't be anytime soon. Boo. In a brief statement to UK magazine T3, however, Samsung said the Skin is not in. "It is a project that has been carried out by design students and is just a concept product. Samsung was not involved in the project," a Samsung rep told T3. "The students used the name Galaxy Skin and the Samsung logo in their concept to make it look more like a commercial product."
Timbot spotted this article about the rise and fall of Groupon. When Google offers you $6 billion for your too-good-to-be-true company, you take it. You don’t tell them “up yours” and then try and put your company on the stock market for couple of bucks more. But that’s exactly what Groupon CEO Andrew Mason did. Does he feel stupid now? Probably that feeling is not as strong as the relief Google must be feeling for not buying the overpriced poisoned chalice.
An odd one from Leo: So it turns out that hotmail/windows live has a 'case sensitive' password system, but it isn't actually case sensitive. The password change webpage is case sensitive but the actual login page for windows live is not. Actually, you can use any combination of upper and lower case you like when logging in. I did some digging around and the first report of this issue was back in feb 2011. And it still is not working now. Microsoft don't seem like they are going to do anything about it. Atleast people know. Looks like it goes back to Nov 2010, and the "escalation" link doesn't work anymore.
China has launched their first space laboratory into orbit. "Rendezvous and docking is a sophisticated technology," said Yang Hong, Tiangong-1's chief designer. "It's also essential to building China's own space station," he told the state broadcaster China Central Television. China has promised to build this station at the end of the decade.
Also on the space front, there's apparently water vapour in the Martian atmosphere. New analysis of data sent back by the SPICAM spectrometer on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft has revealed for the first time that the planet's atmosphere is supersaturated with water vapour. This surprising discovery has major implications for understanding the Martian water cycle and the historical evolution of the atmosphere.