Don't forget that OCAU has a motoring news page now, located at ocau.com/drive. With 3 dedicated newsmonkeys, it should keep you posted on all 4-wheeled news.
If two wheels is more your style, check out our very popular Motorcycle Club forum. Note that it's a separate login to the main OCAU forums.
Around the Web on Tuesday
(link) Tuesday, 28-February-2006 06:26:39 (GMT +10) - by Lowgoz
Well today was the start of another university year for myself, so to kick off the year of procrastination I present to you the latest news.
Microsoft recently took the wraps off their new Origami Project. It's basically a mobile communicator featuring wireless video, inbuilt phone, a digital camera, video recorder, and a MP3 player. I could have made one myself with copious amounts of electrical tape and my current collection of gadgets, but I think Microsoft's solution looks better.
Zenview have decided to launch something that lives in all our wildest dreams - a 6x24" LCD matrix. While we are on the subject of wildly expensive computer hardware, an American school spent $600,000 on an iris scanner to help keep track of the students.
Intel Pentium D 920 and 955 Extreme Edition
(link) Monday, 27-February-2006 10:18:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Chainbolt has written a lengthy analysis of Intel's latest dual-core offerings, the 65nm-based Pentium D 920 and 955 Extreme Edition, comparing them at stock speed and overclocked with AMD's FX-60 and X2 3800+. He also covers the complementary 975X chipset and even plays with CrossFire.
Pete from DriverHeaven has posted an editorial on ATI driver support on Linux platforms. They also have a new version of DriverCleaner which you may find useful, thanks Allan.
Designtechnica have reviewed the best Web 2.0 Sites of 2006. No matter the task, video, audio, or photos, we have a site that works great for what you want to do and uses all the great features of Web 2.0 technology.
Jason from Bigbruin has taken a peek at Google Desktop 3, and discusses the need for convenience without loss of privacy.
Part 2 of the System Building Guide has been posted at the OverClock Intelligence Agency. This one focuses on a Mainstream system, the previous Budget system guide can be found here. 2 Gb RAM is mainstream?
Want to play FEAR on a sub-$150 video card? Legion Hardware have compared a NVIDIA GeForce 7300GS with an ATi Radeon X1300 Pro. The latest games such as F.E.A.R are still playable when using one of these graphics cards, though the quality settings must be kept to a minimum. Older gaming titles such as UT2004 and even Far Cry run superbly on both these graphics cards.
Interesting concept for making WiFi available to all for free. FON is a Global Community of people who share WiFi. Share your WiFi broadband access at home/work and enjoy FREE WiFi Access all over the world! Thanks Wes.
As the summer hopefully starts to taper off, Madshrimps review 21 popular heatsinks. Heat pipes, Fan-less, Copper and Aluminum, close to 12kg of heatsink put through extensive testing and compared to the new AMD stock cooling.
Designtechnica takes a look at some of the new home video products that will be hitting the stores later this year. Highlights of their review include an LCD TV with integrated Media center PC and a plasma TV framed in wood.
Suitsat is passing over Queensland on the 27/28 of this month. Have a listen to 145.990mhz for its transmission, and make sure you report it ! It may be your last chance as the batteries onboard are nearly flat.
Microsoft has a patch out that updates windows for the Australian daylight savings changes in 2006. They also admitted that a flaw exists in their USB2.0 drivers that could cause a laptop to use much more power than it should when powering peripheral devices.
Uk Gamer reports back from the Logitech "wireless living" presentation held in London last week, while Pc Mechanic decided to write an article on common computer Myths and Misconceptions. I was expecting a much larger list of computer myths talking about static straps.
Finally, i think its been around a while, but there's a video available of a .22 caliber mobile phone gun that shoots 4 rounds in quick succession when the right keys are pressed. How quaint.
Friday Afternoon Web Roundup
(link) Friday, 24-February-2006 02:24:55 (GMT +10) - by Lowgoz
Seeing that most of us lurk in the shadows, Everett Bradford's home made nightvision rig may be a worthy investment. Boasting a bank of infra red LED's and mounted on a headlamp rig, its the ultimate geek accessory.
The Biosub project is coming along well. For those who are unfamiliar, Lloyd Godson plans to create a self supported underwater habitat that will be launched in August, and should support life unassisted while they live underwater at a disused quarry site down near Canberra. I would get quite bored down there, don't know about those guys.
Brendon from Hack-a-day managed to make a working mouse out of one of those old Nintendo power gloves. Apparently it works quite well.
Here's a good idea for the large amount of Mac users that are out there: set up a periodic that checks for a file on a webserver called youve_been_stolen. Your PowerBook’s periodic gets that URL and, if found, runs a script that runs rm -rf against all your personal data, removing it before the thief has access to it.
For those people out there that still play single player games: Download Poke. Poke allows you to cheat in almost every single player game that has been made. It basically works by allowing you to edit the values that the game stores in your memory, giving you complete control over the game. If that's not your cup of tea and you are more of a creative person, then why don't you try cloning yourself with the help of photoshop?
Finally, for those people who get Techtv (Im still livid at foxtel for replacing it with Crime television), make sure you keep an eye out for david thorpe (Something Awful writer) going head to head with Ebaum from Ebaums world. David has been on the show before, and it made quite good viewing to say the least.
From Daniel: Telstra has launched Bigpond Movies. Most movies are over 1gb, works out to about 10mb for 1 minute of content, free quota for Bigpond customers and they also recieve a 20% discount. Obviously streamable over ADSL2/2+ and cable. :) Another article about this here from Asher. Some good comments from Sony Pictures' MD towards the end RE: the time lag between when shows air in the US and when they air in Australia.
XbitLabs have a pretty big 3DMark06 performance article. Will the new 3DMark06 be able to repeat the success of the predecessors? This is the question we are going to answer in out today’s article devoted to detailed testing of 20 graphics cards and 19 CPUs in the new 3DMark06 suite.
TweakTown have a gadget guide. Each of the products seek to enhance your computing experience in some way, by either filling a large and unsatisfyingly empty niche, or by showing you something you never knew you could live without!
World of Warcraft takes another bizarre twist, with a guild holding a server for ransom. But instead of immediately opening the gates, a post appeared on the official WoW forums for the server that it was the guild's intention not to open the gates until it was paid a ransom of 5000 gold.
From eixt: IBM have discovered that current chip-making technology has the potential to make computer processors tinier and cheaper than first thought.
Also from Paul: Danish National Radio has kindly made 9 Mozart symphonies available for free download in celebration of the grand man's 250th birthday. Indeed, at 256kbps, the mp3's are clearly showing the music the respect they deserve. Performed by the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, these are a joy to listen to and a fitting way to celebrate his great work.
Also also from Paul: Songbird, a Web player built from Firefox's browser engine. Songbird is open source, will run on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and supports user contributed, cross-platform extensions.
HWZone cover Sennheiser's new headphone range. One of the milestones for the company would be the HE90 Orpheus created in 1991. Till date, it is still the world's most expensive headphone system and is perhaps the epitome of headphones with fantastic specifications and performance.
From Sil80: Hey - I don't know if anyone has seen this before but it's a pic totally done in MS Paint. There is a link to show you how he did it too. Its very well done! It's a 3mb download so it may take awhile. And you have to scroll down to see it all.
BigWilly spotted some spray-on solar cells. The plastic material uses nanotechnology and contains the first solar cells able to harness the sun's invisible, infrared rays.
From Banger: It looks like another P2P group is under the scrutiny of the law again. Razorback, one of the most well known and well used servers on the eMule network has just had their servers seized by police. There is also this PDF from the MPAA.
Issues with the database server over the last coupla days..
Cnet have an editorial about Australia's love for piracy when it comes to TV episodes etc. According to Envisional, a web monitoring company, Australians are responsible for 15.6 percent of all online TV piracy, bested only by Britain, which accounts for 38.4 percent. There's a thread about this article here in our TV, Music and Movies forum.
You can win a 7300GS PCIe video card over on 3DAvenue. All you have to do is complete a Nvidia based mini flash game.
Phoronix have some info on Intel's EIST SpeedStep technology. However, over six years later SpeedStep Technology remains in their mobile platform as well as some Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors.
From gords: Windows Defender (Beta 2) has recently been released. It replaces Windows AntiSpyware. More info here and direct download here.
Virtual-Hideout have part 2 of their Taking the SLI Plunge article posted. It's no secret that SLI is also for Gamers, video editors and other professionals looking for the absolute most graphics processing power they can get.
SilentPCReview tried using AMD's Turion 64 on the desktop. We examined the power efficiency, cost and implementation details of Turion 64 ML44, ML40, MT40 and MT34 models, along side Athlon 64-3200+ and Intel Pentium M 770 CPUs.
Australia's CSIRO Parkes Telescope has found some new stars. The stars are made of old, dormant, neutron stars that are able to send only short, intermittent bursts of radio waves, for periods of approximately 2 milliseconds.
From Sutto: I saw Dark Oberon on the front page and thought I might as well suggest 2 other alternatives - 1) Glest - a fairly good looking open-source rts (3d). 2) TA: Spring - Another RTS, 3d as well. According to the site the aim is to make it also run Total Annihilation content :D
From Daniel: If people have tried Konfabulator on their desktops before and had it expire due to trial version restrictions - good news: Yahoo have bought it out, and it is a free download here and here.
Fix Your Email!
(link) Monday, 20-February-2006 11:46:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg
If you suddenly find you can't post, most likely you need to fix your email setting in UserCP and respond to the confirmation mail the system will send you. You should then be able to post, and within an hour, see the trading forums again.
Even if your forum account is ok, please quickly check your email is up to date. We receive thousands of bounced emails every day now, due to people not keeping their settings updated.
Remember, you need to use a non-free email with your OCAU forum account.
Sabz sends word that mIRC has been updated to 6.17. Among the various other changes are a better check for timed out connections, support for passive dcc send/chat connections, resizable file dialogs, lots of SSL related improvements and various additions of "dangerous" commands to the Lock options dialog. Just the thing for hanging out in our IRC channel.
Betzie spotted this review of the new nano-ITX mobos from VIA. VIA cannot claim to have invented the small form factor, but have certainly popularised it with their Mini-ITX motherboards. In an increasingly crowded marketplace, can they do the same for the ultra small form factor with the EPIA N? Yay, something for our VIA Hardware forum to discuss!
Deepspring noticed this open-source RTS game called "Dark Oberon". It has got awesome graphics - textures created from shots of real models made out of plasticine!
HDDSaver have an article on using MD5 to verify your data integrity. With this done the data can be copied into place and the MD5 checksum can be reviewed so as to verify the data was copied without incident.
Techgage have some info on AMD's upcoming M2 socket. This information shows that AMD is confident in the fact that the AM2's memory controller will handle DDR2 better than Intel's current controller, or we may assume.
Tbreak compared NVIDIA's nForce4 SLI X16 chipset with the previous revision. We've looked at a couple of nVidia nForce4 SLI X16 chipset motherboards but today we compare it to the original nForce4 SLI chipset in high-end gaming and see what it offers.
Tech-Hounds have an article about frame rates. This time, we take another look at the GeForce 7 series, focusing on how the architecture handles texture dependent games like Quake 4 and shader heavy games like F.E.A.R. We examine just how pixel shader quads, core and memory clock influence performance in this two games.
Flanman62 sent word that a Philip K Dick inspired robot has gone missing. The irony of the situation - a missing replica of the very author who championed "replicant" freedom - is not lost on Phil's creators. But they still want him back.
Bit-Tech experimented with memory configurations to see what effect they have on frame rates. The four 512MB modules performed well too, retaining the same minimum frame rate as the 2x1GB modules at 400MHz. However, the average frame rate dropped by nearly 5 fps.
Hexus compared a couple of Radeon X1900 XT cards. PowerColor and SAPPHIRE have been a couple of the first partners to launch a full retail ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB cards, and we've had a chance to evaluate them.
There's some really nice high-resolution wallpapers with logos from AMD, Intel, etc here. Discussion thread here.
PopSci report on a flying cruise ship under development. The rigid and surprisingly aerodynamic body - driven by huge rearward propellers - generates enough additional lift to keep the behemoth and its 400-ton payload aloft while cruising.
Here's a cool lego PC project. Vents on side of case will allow air to flow past the hard-drive. Black ladders are used as a grill.
Metku made an Xbox 360 like PC case. Because of the comments I have received from my friends, I have to state that this case has nothing to do with Xbox360. I Designed my case before I ever saw the xbox.
Tech-Report compared Intel's Pentium M 760 and AMD's Turion 64 ML-44, both mobile CPUs. AMD has done well with Opteron in servers and the Athlon 64 in desktops, but surely AMD's K8-derived mobile competitor doesn't match up with the likes of the Pentium M. Does it?
FlingingSquids looked at Dell's quad SLI system. The whole setup only requires two x16 PCI Express graphics slots, even though it looks like four cards at first glance.
Bit-Tech interviewed Intel's Viiv man about their new digital home initiative. Viiv is all based around standards from the Digital Living Network Alliance. As long as Linux devices can comply with requirements, we can easily have a Linux-based CE device talking to a WinTel Viiv box.
NordicHW have a bit more detail about their 3DMark05 record attempt using an X1900 XTX video card and Intel Extreme Edition 955 CPU. With the help of compressor cooling and 30 liters of liquid nitrogen they managed to keep the fighters at bay and ran the system for a consecutive 6 hours, an impressive task alone considering the circumstances.
Alexlam pointed out a disturbing article claiming that whale meat is being turned into dog food in Japan. Commercial whaling is illegal, but catches for research are allowed. Especially research into how tasty whales are, it seems. There's a fairly lengthy thread on the whaling issue here.
From Mudgie: Microsoft: Upgraded Motherboard = New Windows Licence: "Microsoft recently made a change to the licence agreement saying that a new motherboard is equal to a new computer, hence you need to purchase a new Windows licence." I think this article should be called 'Microsoft encourages Linux usage' :) OEM copies only of course.. but still.
SMH have an interesting article about some inventors using the net for their research. You think of extreme sport as being a modern thing, but in 1933 they managed to get a wooden ice yacht with a canvas sail to a speed of 230 km/h," he says.
On a similar note, here's some more inventions including explosive inkjet ink, thanks jonkvh. The ink is stable in liquid form, making it safe to print onto conventional paper, but forms an explosive fuse once dry.
If you've got USD $1k burning a hole in your pocket, why not have an icecream sundae? The sundae is served in a baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet with an 18K gold spoon to partake in the indulgence served with a petite mother of pearl spoon and topped with a gilded sugar flower by Ron Ben-Israel.
An Australian "Spam Man" has become Australia's third gold-medal winner at the Winter Olympics in Turin. The International Olympic Committee's Web site said that Begg-Smith runs an Internet pop-up advertising company that he describes as the third largest of its kind. Uh, spam and pop-ups are different, guys.
HWSecrets have some info on the ATI Radeon X1900 family. It is based on Radeon X1800 core, but brings a few new features that are worth mentioning. In this article we will explore the main differences between Radeon X1900 and Radeon X1800 families. They also checked out the new HDMI video connector.
Pro-Clockers reviewed a handy gadget: a 5.25" in-bay device that lets you connect hard drives to your PC using PATA or SATA.
WideScreenGamer have an article about "screen burn" on a Dell LCD. It's actually not really 'screen burn' at all, and you'll be relieved once you read what we have to say about this phenomenon. Haven't noticed this effect on my 2405FPW.. although speaking of widescreen gaming, I did get BF2 working in widescreen last night.
From Neevo: Checked the New Scientist site, seems like leggier Cane Toads are meaning that they can spread quicker...you're all doomed, doooomed, doooooomed I tell you. :-D Glad I live in blighty now!
You might want to take your own mouse along next time you visit a net cafe, unless you like sharing other people's bacteria. The computer mouses, were found to have an average of 690 CFU - more than twice the concentration found on doorknobs and handles in public toilets.
From Michael: Just thought that OCAU members would love to have a look at this video clip of a real transformer!!!! its awesome !!!! Transformer as in robot, not voltages and stuff. :)
Trying to do a reviews post when every man and his dog wants to talk to you is a PITA.
Another Banned Game
(link) Wednesday, 15-February-2006 13:35:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Australia's Attorney-General Philip Rudduck confirmed that the Classification Review Board has Refused Classification for the graffiti-themed "Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure" game. More info in this 150KB PDF and this thread in our Games forum. If you're wondering who makes these kinds of decisions, you can see the latest appointments to the Classification Review Board in this 90KB PDF.
This follows on the heels of this PCWorld report that banned games are finding their way into Australia anyway. That article is discussed here in our Games forum.
The much-awaited v1.2 patch for Battlefield 2 has been officially released now. There's too many fixes to list (see here), but there's quite a few that I've been looking forward to, including:
* Dolphin Diving is no longer possible
* Players can no longer jump and shoot at the same time
* "Prone Spamming" is now fixed
* "Sprint exploit" is now fixed
* Hit points on all air vehicles has been reduced
* AA missile lock has been improved
* Tanks taking damage from the terrain has been reduced
* The Red/Blue nametag bug has been addressed
Grab the full patch (375MB) here on AusGamers, or the 1.12 to 1.2 update (85MB) here. Check your ISP's mirror to see if they have a quota-free copy for you. More info and some other mirrors here in the huge BF2 thread in our Games forum.
ABIT have extended their End-User Survey by another week, giving you until this Sunday (Feb 19) to enter to win. In a bid to get the PC community to speak their minds about the future of computer hardware, ABIT is handing out motherboards and CPUs (sponsored by Intel) with a total value of more than $10,000!
From 1 March 2006 tobacco products manufactured or imported into Australia will be required to be printed with the new health warnings images.
The new set of 14 health warnings, comprising graphic images and explanatory messages will cover 30% of the front and 90% of the back of cigarette packs. ... Fourteen stark images focus on the major smoking-related health topics including lung cancer, emphysema, peripheral vascular disease, heart disease, macular degeneration, environmental tobacco smoke, foetal exposure to the toxins in tobacco smoke, smoking as a leading cause of death, and the benefits of quitting.
Some of the pics are pretty gross. Do you think this will work? Do you think this is fair for smokers, or unreasonable? Comments in this thread in our Sport, Fitness and Health forum.
John spotted that SpeedFan has been updated. SpeedFan is a freeware program that monitors voltages, fan speeds and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips. SpeedFan can even access S.M.A.R.T. info for those hard disks that support this feature and show hard disk temperatures too, if supported.
HardCoreWare have an interview with someone from NZXT about case design etc.
TweakGuides have updated their America's Army Tweak Guide to include info about the Version 2.6 release from a few days ago. You can get the full 2.6 version here from AusGamers Files, or the 2.5 to 2.6 upgrade here. I've never actually played America's Army, is it any good? I'm quite fond of BF1942/BF2..
Intel gave the world a sneak-peek of four-core computing in the form of "Clovertown" recently. Most of us are still figuring out what to do with our dual-core chips.
From Rhimes: Not sure if this has made the news page before - it's a video of an awesome multi-input screen. I want one! Woah, that's pretty cool.
TekBunker have a 7800GTX voltmod article.. part 2 here. For 24/7 use my clocks are set to 535/1415MHz.
XbitLabs have part 7 (!) of their 17" LCD Monitor Features article. We will look at 12 monitors from BenQ, LG, Philips, Samsung, Sony and Viewsonic.
Bit-Tech checked out a few Radeon X1900 cards. We've got Radeon X1900XTX 512MB video cards from Club 3D, Connect3D and Sapphire, along with the Radeon X1900XT 512MB from PowerColor and ATI's All-In-Wonder X1900.
Sorry for any pop-up ads you may have received this morning on the newspage. No, we haven't changed our stance on them, but one of the ad networks we partnered with seems to have sneakily included some pop-ups in their code this morning. Suffice to say I have cancelled our account with them and are now removing all their ads from OCAU.
OCModShop have an FAQ posted on 64bit CPUs. Check it out here.
Asher sent in this article on how the Commonwealth games won't be shown in HD this year.
Bit-Tech have reviewed three new ATI cards, the X1900 XTX, X1900 XT and a X1900 All-in-Wonder.
Also from Bit-Tech: This week, a pint-sized edition of our monthly gadget roundup: lots of teeny tiny gizmos for you to lust after. Including, but not limited to, a Swiss Army knife MP3 player, a USB digital TV receiver and a funky USB drive with built-in Firefox. Full roundup here.
Important read for people that use Google Desktop: EFF urges consumers not to use this feature, because it will make their personal data more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and possibly private litigants, while providing a convenient one-stop-shop for hackers who've obtained a user's Google password. Thanks for sending that in sabretooth.
Madshrimps has news that AMD might introduce their 65nm CPUs in 2007. Full read here.
Legit Reviews has just posted an article called Do Memory Module Heat Spreaders Make A Difference?There’s been lots of discussion recently about what type of heat spreader is best for overclocking, or if no heat spreader is best of all. Corsair decided to run some tests to see what the results would be...
XYZ Computer has a new article up about Flash Memory and how far it has come within the last few years.
On a similar topic, The TechZone looks at the future of storage, in this article.
A timeline of major GPU technology announcements from ATI and Nvidia have been posted up on Accelenation, pretty interesting read.
NGOHQ has interesting information regarding the Direct Access feature that was implemented in Nvidia's Forceware drivers last year. ...It was designed to enable users to control their monitors directly from the ForceWare control panel instead of the actual controls on their monitor. While it is nice to see Nvidia incorporating new features into their software, it turned out that there is an “evil side” to this Direct Access feature.
From Techreport: You may recall that we had some problems with our Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 955 setup that caused us to delay our review a bit. The motherboard, CPU, and cooler combo we received from Intel for review didn't always cool the CPU sufficiently under load, leading to thermal throttling. We've now tested a production Intel CPU/motherboard/cooler combo, and we have some good news and some bad news... Grab the full article here.
Ahriman found this cool site that allows you to connect through AIM, ICQ, MSN, etc all through a browser.
Hardware Secrets has an exclusive interview with Phil Hester, AMD’s Corporate VP and CTO, discussing AMD’s plans, strategies, new CPUs and a little bit of his professional life and experience.
From Xbit Labs: In the beginning of week – on the best day for starting a scandal – Nvidia Corp. was accused in seeding shills into forums and communities to promote its products. The fans reportedly received free hardware and officially acted to “educate” users in the forums. We try to attempt to summarize all the information to find out whether advertising methods of hardware companies have reached the point of pretty unfaithful practices. Read the full article here.
Pentarsys has posted a short article on current video card availability.
A new article detailing the nature and protective measure one can take against malware, from viruses to spyware, is up at Techconnect Magazine.
Interesting read on Bit-Tech about Bill Gates and his visions of the future back in 1995. When Bill Gates wrote his vision of the future back in 1995, titled 'The Road ahead', he made a number of outrageous (at the time) predictions about what the digital world would be like in 2006. How have his predictions held up? We take a look back at the book and see what Gates got right and what he got wrong. Turns out that Bill predicted DRM, pro-gaming, Media Center - although he also got a lot of other stuff wrong.
A few people sent this in - the last Holden Monaro Legend is being auctioned off on eBay. If anyone wants to buy me a present... ;)
XSReviews has an interview posted with Abit's Marketing Rep - Peter Du Preeze about their merger with USI.
AOL and Yahoo's recently announced plans to charge for emails to pass spam filters has been snubbed by Australia's largest online media company and security experts. "Premium spam is still spam," said James Turner, security analyst at Frost & Sullivan, who believes that a better idea would be to turn the situation around and allow users to choose the spam they receive -- and keep the one cent charge as a reward. Man, I'd be making a fortune!
Intel and AMD have given us a sneak peek at their latest server chips. Presently, Intel and AMD dual-core chips sport segregated caches; dual-core chips from IBM come with a unified cache.
If you happen to buy the billionth song from iTunes, you could win a swag of stuff.. a 20-inch iMac, 10 60GB iPods, and a $10,000 iTunes Music Card to jumpstart your digital music collection.
IBM and Freescale reckon their Power Processor business will be better off now that Apple isn't buying loads of them anymore. Hmm, ok then. The two vendors ships tens of millions of the chips a year and say business will improve now that they don't have to devote resources to slow-selling Apple PCs.
Thetron spotted this hilarious trailer of Fight Club, one of my all-time favourite movies, remixed as a romantic comedy.
Phoronix consider Xinerama vs TwinView. Eh? When it comes to a multi-headed environment under Linux, there are two popular options for consumers -- Xinerama and TwinView. Ahh.
I spotted this free Photoshop competitor in my wanderings. Paint.NET is image and photo manipulation software designed to be used on computers that run Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or Server 2003. It supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
Hitachi have created the smallest IC to date, so small you could embed it in a sheet of paper. The enhanced compactness and thinness of this new chip has further broadened the range of possible applications, including securities like gift certificates and a large variety of certificates.
Wired have their Vapourware List for 2005 published. Lots of votes were cast for the nifty-looking Optimus keyboard -- a configurable keyboard with a little screen on each key to denote its function.
An interesting little snippet from Draffa: "I was pretty surprised to hear an executive from Microsoft describe his company's strategy as intentionally anti-competitive and intended solely to freeze out certain classes of operators rather than maximizing its profits through producing a better product and charging a fair price for it."
T-Break tackle HTPC building. After looking at a couple of HTPC chassis, today we take a look at some of the components that we feel would make a good HTPC.
From White Rhino: Yay for the RIAA. Their top dollar lawyers have sued yet another evil doer - one with no computer. I wish I could access the internet with no computer - that'd save me bundles on hardware - let alone sharing music. They've already sued a corpse, so what next? Inanimate objects? Maybe my old fridge :/
From jz: Forget Microsoft's monthly updates and Sony's DRM issues - check out the results of the worlds first Aussie Security Geek Band, RootKit, and their debut single "Patch Me Up". Patch Me Up music video here. Referenced by blogs here and here.
Trading on OCAU
(link) Tuesday, 7-February-2006 07:25:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg
If you've been a member of our forums for 3 months and can access the Trading Forums, please take a moment to read this thread in the For Sale forum. Basically it's just a reminder to organise some real-world contact details before trading on OCAU, instead of simply relying on forum PM's. Ta!
If you do intend to trade online, you might want to read this advice on the ACCC website. If you've had a problem, read this thread and there's more suggestions on the High Tech Crime Centre's website.
Superbowl Ads on Google
(link) Monday, 6-February-2006 15:22:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Google Video has this year's Superbowl Ads available for viewing. There's a few funny ones, but more interesting is that a few of them come up blank and simply say "This video is not playable in your country". What gives?
ABIT are running an End-User Survey until the 10th of this month. By offering your opinions you enter the draw to win prizes. “It’s the biggest survey ever conducted in the history of the industry, and we’re handing out prizes with a total value far exceeding $10,000! This is our way to thank the PC community for all the support we have received in 2005, and likewise it’s a great way for PC enthusiasts to tell us what they really want in a motherboard. You tell us – we build it!”
Did you know that some Australian states are changing the daylight savings transition dates for 2006, to accomodate the Commonwealth Games? Dracmarcz sent in this page on Microsoft's site, which has some updates to stop your PC's time being incorrect. The update will add new time zone rules into the registry.
Tech-Hounds have part two of their SLi Myths article posted. However, performance is not the only feature of SLI. In addition to multi rendering, SLI can be used in SLI antialiasing mode.
Worried about parrots eating your car? Hire some karate experts to help fend them off. The mind boggles.
Or, if you're stuck in the snow, perhaps a giant robot is more what you need.
Google are apparently grumpy at BMW and have removed their entries in the search index (still seems to work here? Ahh, seems to only affect their German site.). However they seem to like Volkswagen, teaming up with them and NVIDIA to make an in-car navigation system.
From Wizzard67: The Register reports AMD's new socket M2 being spotted on a pre-production MSI K9N Platinum motherboard by Dutch site Tweakers.net.
From Chooky05: Hi I just found a site that could be interesting to overclockers called Flash Earth. On the site it says "Flash Earth uses satellite and aerial imagery from Google Maps and MSN Virtual Earth without permission." You can choose what you want to use.
RnR notes that our 10th planet has been confirmed.. maybe. "Since UB313 is decidedly larger than Pluto, it is now increasingly hard to justify calling Pluto a planet if UB313 is not also given this status," says Bertoldi.
NVIDIA has announced an AGP version of their 7800 GS video card. "GeForce 7800 GPUs are widely considered the pinnacle of graphics performance for PC gaming enthusiasts, and today’s product introduction will allow a lot of extremely powerful AGP systems to benefit from upgrading to the GeForce 7 Series architecture," said Ujesh Desai, general manager of desktop GPUs at NVIDIA.
There's a nasty virus doing the rounds - unfortunately we only heard about it just now and today is the day it goes mental deleting things. -=N0N@ME420=- sent word that it's being covered on F-Secure's Blog and they have a free tool to help disinfect your machine.
The worm has a dangerous payload. If the date is equal to 3 (3rd of February, 3rd of March, etc) and the worm's UPDATE.EXE file is run, it destroys files with those extensions on all available drives:
The files' contents get replaced with a text string "DATA Error [47 0F 94 93 F4 K5]". The payload is activated 30 minutes after the worm's file UPDATE.EXE is loaded into memory (basically 30 minutes after logon). We can confirm that the payload works at least on Windows XP. When the payload is activated, the worm enumerates all logical drives and damages files on them in a loop.
A few people sent word of a snap QLD Rail strike today, but I'm guessing most people affected would already be aware of it. There has been a heavy demand for taxis this morning as Gold Coast residents realise there will be no trains today.
Oz.Org, who host our IRC channel, seem to be having some issues today also, in case you're wondering if you're the only one who can't connect.
There's a new IE7 Beta 2 available for testing from Microsoft. The latest version of IE incorporates tabs allowing users to flick between web pages within the same window, similar to those used on rival browsers such as Firefox and Opera. Get it here.
Meanwhile Mozilla have released SeaMonkey 1.0. This open source application, available as a free download from its mozilla.org-hosted website, features a state-of-the-art web browser and powerful email client, as well as a WYSIWYG web page composer and a feature-rich IRC chat client.
Microsoft have changed their stance on removing blogs that break local laws somewhere in the world, but rather access to them would be restricted from the territory in question. Primarily being China, of course.
Seems everyone's got a blog these days - even pigeons. Each bird will carry a GPS satellite tracking receiver, air pollution sensors and a basic mobile phone.
John spotted this embedded liquidcooling technology. A technique for fabricating liquid cooling channels onto the backs of high-performance integrated circuits could allow denser packaging of chips while providing better temperature control and improved reliability.
NordicHW have an article about setting a new 3DMark05 world record at DreamHack. Benching live at Dreamhack in front of lots of people and in an abnormally high room temperature. I was getting very hesitant. Overclocking as performance art.. interesting.
Minor parking accidents are embarrassing, especially in a work vehicle, and especially when your work vehicle is a Boeing 747. Two passenger planes have clipped wings on the runway at Melbourne Airport, sparking an air safety investigation and delaying passengers.
From James, the Optimus Mini. Not quite the drool inducing beauty that is the Optimus Keyboard but it is here and pre-orders are being taken!! More info here.
A couple more timewasters, Escape from Ashley: This has been the bane of productivity around the office, thus far no one has quite broken the 25 second mark. Also BallDroppings from JohnBarry - couldn't get the Java version working but the Windows one is quite fun. Of course, many of us are still playing the sand game.
VooDoo spotted this battleship game which is pretty basic but fun. This sand game (thread here) is surprisingly addictive.. while this demo sounds kinda boring, but maybe you'll like it, thanks Darkness. :)
OCModShop has good news for Halo fans. Halo 3 apparently is finished, and is at the mastering plant, awaiting the green light. Only thing left now is the artwork for the packaging and discs. Hexus also have information on the release.
ASE Labs has an interesting read about abstraction layers, and how they are one of the most important concepts in computing and programming today.
The Register has news on Goobuntu, a desktop linux project that Google has confirmed that they are working on. Thanks for the link Nick!
Digital Grabber has an article posted on Digital Technology and how it is changing the face of music. They also have a short article on camera mobile phones and how they compare to modern digital cameras.
Ars Technica's series on touching up digital images concludes. Part III covers everything you need to know about compositing, but didn't know where to ask. In this installment, we'll be getting into the hardest part of digital imaging: compositing. "Composite" is just a ten-dollar word for a combination of images and here we'll be covering how to combine one or more photos for convincing results.
Probably a good page to bookmark - Hardware Secrets has posted a series of quick reference tables containing the main specs of all Xeon processors released to date, including Pentium II Xeon, Pentium III Xeon, Xeon, Xeon MP and dual-core Xeon.
Hardware Secrets also have a good article posted about video compression - and how it all works.
Laptop Gamers an article on why our next PC should be a laptop, and how fantastic they are...
The TechZone looks at the impact on the economy of no booth babes at E3. Since the ESA dropped the anti-provocative booth babe bomb, message forums have been flooded by people from all camps. Some think the show should be cancelled completely.
Also on The TechZone - an editorial about tech workers and how they are disrespected.
A great article posted on bit-tech - they take a trip around Silicon Valley, India, Taiwan, London and more to find where all our favourite gear comes from and how it gets made.
NGOHQ have information on Nvidia and how the GeForce 7800 GS may be getting released early by some distribution centers. It seems that NVIDIA and their OEMs are shipping GeForce 7800 GS cards to distribution centers around the globe. Some of the distributors are waiting for the official launch, but others can’t contain themselves and have started distributing cards already.
Finally, I just found this article from a thread in our Current Events forum, about Bill Gates having so much money that he can't be taxed under the normal system.