I just noticed the Federal Government is accepting submissions about something that might interest people. The Government is reviewing the operation of two new copyright exceptions that permit ‘format shifting’. These exceptions are sections 47J and 110AA of the Copyright Act 1968 which permit photographs and cinematograph films to be reproduced in a different format for private use, subject to certain conditions.
More camera news, with a D60 from Nikon. It's a 10.2MP digital camera that will look and feel remarkably familiar to users of the D40X. It includes an anti-dust system that incorporates a self-cleaning sensor unit that shakes off dust, coupled with an airflow system designed to channel dust away from the sensor. Discussion thread here.
If you want to stay healthy, remember to drink your alcohol, or so a new study says. In fact they reckon it can take the place of exercise! Sitting on my bum and drinking beer is an odd way to get fit, but ok, if you insist..
Craig sent in this guide to making a roll-up keyboard on the cheap. Have you ever wanted one of those pricy roll up keyboard but didn't want to spend the money? Here is a quick and dirty way to make your own.
Microsoft have been sinking pirates and making quite a bounty from it, thanks Nick. Last summer, for example, Microsoft and the Chinese government announced the bust of a counterfeiting syndicate that the company called the largest it had ever seen -- responsible for distributing more than $2 billion in pirated programs.
From Sean: The 780G chipset has been released in a few boards in China, including this one from Foxconn. There has already been some massive overclocking done on another brand. And some discussion on Toms hardware. This chipset is perfect for a HTPC, as it includes a 2400Pro IGP with UVD for decoding HD video streams.
YouGamers interview Gautam, who they say is one of the Kings of the Overclockers. Meanwhile VIA's Glenn Henry spoke to HotHardware about their new Isaiah processor.
From Ambush, about a new browser test: Unlike the first acid test, which focused on the box model, and the second acid test, which covered a broad variety of basic HTML and CSS features, Acid3 covers 100 of the nooks and crannies of HTTP, HTML, CSS, ECMAScript, SVG and XML, all through the medium of DOM scripting, a critical requirement for any modern web application.
Remember to keep an eye on our Sponsor Specials Forum if you're shopping around for a good deal. In there our many sponsors have threads featuring sound cards, stereo amps, video cards, energy drinks, web hosting, mp3 players, CPUs, LCD monitors, notebooks, plasma TVs and loads of other goodies. Check 'em out!
AMD ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2
(link) Tuesday, 29-January-2008 04:07:17 (GMT +10) - by Agg
AMD have released their ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 high-end video card. Through an elegant yet aggressive design, the 55 nanometer process-based ATI Radeon 3870 X2 combines two ATI Radeon HD 3870s on a single graphics board, connected through integrated CrossFire™ technology. ATI Radeon 3870 X2 is also the first performance-leadership graphics product in the world to support Microsoft’s upcoming DirectX® 10.1 technology. More info on the product page here.
Here's an interesting little story about someone finding a lost digicam and working out who it belonged to from the pictures in it, so it could be returned. The only clues were the pictures on the camera: typical tourist snapshots, complete with a visit to the Statue of Liberty. How could they find a stranger among the huddled masses?
BLeR spotted this visual search engine. Interesting idea but it seems a bit slow and awkward to use, to me. With RedZee 2.0 you have a choice of up to 100 results which you can zip through lightning fast! The Web sites are the results instead of plain ordinary text, allowing you to sift through massive data quickly.
A spy satellite has stopped responding to commands and will drop out of orbit soon. Such incidents occur every few months, and it is often difficult to control the satellite’s trajectory or its re-entry into the atmosphere. The debris, if any survives the fiery descent, typically lands in remote areas and causes little or no harm. Presumably it'll mostly burn up in the atmosphere though.
From Justin: For those who don't know, the RPM challenge is a challenge where, during February artists record an album without the labels, without the RIAA, the IFPI etc and release them.
SSJX sent in this huge DIY guide to adding pretty much everything to an Eee PC. Wouldn't it be cool to have a Eee PC with a integrated GPS unit? Yes! I certainly thought so.
Justin also spotted this bizarre patent story. Reading the patent, you realize it describes the quite common smartphone. It's a patent for a mobile phone with removable storage, an internet connection, a camera and the ability to download audio or video files. The patent holding firm who has the rights to this patent wasted no time at all. At 12:01am Tuesday morning, it filed three separate lawsuits against just about everyone you can think of, including Apple, Nokia, RIM, Sprint, AT&T, HP, Motorola, Helio, HTC, Sony Ericsson, UTStarcomm, Samsung and a bunch of others.
Another video, this time from Mr T: Hey, don't believe I've seen this on your front page before, but this is pretty damn impressive stuff. I imagine it will be future of the Next Gen consoles. Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the WiiRemote.
VIA have unveiled their Isaiah x86 Processor Architecture. Designed from the ground up by the company's US-based processor design subsidiary, Centaur Technology Inc., the VIA Isaiah Architecture combines all the latest advances in x86 processor technology, including a 64-bit superscalar speculative out-of-order microarchitecture, high-performance multimedia computation, and a new virtual machine architecture.
We can dust off our VIA Hardware forum! There's a thread discussing this new CPU here.
(link) Saturday, 26-January-2008 10:12:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg
As if any more proof was needed, it turns out uploading private photos to social networks may lead to embarrassment in the event of a security breach. A 17-gigabyte file purporting to contain more than half a million images lifted from private MySpace profiles has shown up on BitTorrent, potentially making it the biggest privacy breach yet on the top social networking site.
XbitLabs have their 2007 Reader's Choice Awards posted. It is time we rounded up the results of our Best of 2007 Reader’s Choice poll. 13 categories, over 30,000 people participated. Let’s find out now who the winners are!
The Church of Scientology are suffering an attack on their website. The attack was launched Jan. 19 by Anonymous, which is seeking media attention to help "save people from Scientology by reversing the brainwashing," according to a Web page maintained by Anonymous.
Timbot spotted these pics of beautiful cable layouts. Let's hope that's the geekiest thing I say all day. We have posted pics of some truly messy data center cabling in the past, but this time we figured it was time to do the opposite: Show how some people have managed to organize cables into something close to art.
PCPerspective took a look at NVIDIA's Enthusiast System Architecture. The first time we looked at NVIDIA's Enthusiast System Architecture it was a high-level overview but now that we have spent some time with an ESA-capable system, we have come away from the experience impressed. Skeptical, but impressed.
BenchmarkReviews checked out GeForce 8800 Performance. Our tests will include benchmarks on the: ZOTAC 8800 GT vs. the FOXCONN 8800 GTS vs. the MSI 8800 GTX.
This is the first I've heard of it, but apparently there was a Doodle 4 Google My Australia competition recently, thanks Wayne. If you're not familiar with the initiative, we asked students across Australia to do their own version of the Google logo around the theme of 'My Australia'. There are four age groups across the eight states and territories.
After mentioning Canon's new DSLR in the previous post I'd be remiss to not take note of some interesting announcements from Pentax. Pentax has officially announced the new 14.6 megapixel K20D, which makes Pentax the very unlikely leader in sensor resolution in its class. This is a significant update to the current K10D, and the K20D rumors have been circulating for several weeks. Rumours have been around for a long time indeed, so there's a resurrected thread here with more recent info near the end.
Here's an interesting story about an artificial life breakthrough, although a bit more info would be good. In a report in Science magazine, the researchers from the Craig Venter Institute say they managed to reproduce the DNA of a common bacterium using laboratory chemicals.
Bit-Tech have more info on NVIDIA's Hybrid SLI. In this article, we speak to several Nvidia representatives in order to clarify display support, more details on the nForce 700a mGPU and how the mGPU manages its memory in the various Hybrid modes.
They also checked out the extensible firmware interface, which sounds like a whole new chapter for BIOS configuration. Given the necessary LAN and Internet connection, in addition to the usual Core Centre hardware tweaking, MSI is planning to enable many more features in its EFI BIOSs, including a live update option, along with instant messaging and streaming audio/video capabilities.
HWSecrets wondered how much power things use when in standby mode. Is it true that electronic equipments consume a lot of power when they are on their standby mode and presumably turned off? We took a digital power meter and measured the most common electronic equipments found at home to check this out.
TechSpot are looking at AMD Phenom performance. Today we will be comparing the Phenom 9500, 9600, 9700 and the 9900 (B2 Stepping) against the recently released Core 2 Duo E8400, as well as the very popular Core 2 Quad Q6600. An older Athlon64 X2 5200+ processor will be added to the mix as well.
HotHardware meanwhile checked out Crysis with 3-way SLI. At the time of NVIDIA's 3-Way SLI launch, we were unable to bring you proper Crysis benchmark numbers that we felt comfortable with. This was partly an NVIDIA driver issue and party because we were waiting on a patch from Crytek that would allow for more efficient SLI scaling. With the release of the Cyrsis v1.1 patch, however, we now have a stable, scalable platform with which to test on.
AMD's ATI Radeon HD 3400 and 3600
(link) Friday, 25-January-2008 11:36:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg
AMD unveiled their ATI Radeon HD 3400 and Radeon HD 3600 series GPUs today. These fill out the product range below the high-end 3800 products, covering the entry-level and mainstream markets respectively. As part of the first family of graphics cards built using 55nm process technology, the ATI Radeon HD 3000 series, both series make dramatic performance-per-watt improvements for a quieter and power-efficient experience at unbelievable price points. With support for Microsoft® DirectX 10.1 support, gamers can play the top HD games with life-like 3D graphics, stunning realism, and great shading effects.
A large pirate DVD setup in Melbourne has been smashed recently. The raids busted Australia's largest pirate DVD syndicate, with 170 DVD burners and more than 400,000 pirated discs allegedly seized, said operations director Neil Gane from the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT). Discussion thread here.
Mpot spotted this interesting artwork involving spam email. "Spamtrap" is an interactive installation piece that prints, shreds and blacklists spam email.
XbitLabs have been playing with the Phenom 9600 Black Edition CPU and DFI LANParty UT 790FX-M2R motherboard. Although quad-core Phenom processors cannot boast super high performance, AMD still has a bunch of fans sticking by. Our today’s article is written specifically for these guys. We are going to discuss one of today’s overclocker platforms and Phenom fine tuning techniques.
NeoSeeker checked out how the Core 2 Duo scales in recent games. What's a reasonable amount of processing power to feed that shiny new graphics card you decided upon? The aim of this article is to help you out with this question.
Canon have, as expected, announced their 450D (Rebel XSi) DSLR recently. More info here on dpreview. It won't be available until April, which makes me slightly less depressed about having recently bought a 400D. :) As expected there's a big thread about it here in our Photography forum.
Justin sent in this article about the past and future of the music industry. The record industry is careering towards meltdown. A good thing too, says Simon Napier-Bell, after 40 years of working with its most notorious moguls.
Today's timewaster is Cannon Challenge, supposedly some kind of "future weapon" but looks like a good old artillery game to me. Still fun tho. :)
Right, sorry for the lack of news yesterday, it was my birthday and I foolishly offered to cook a 4-course meal for 13 people! So I was busy running around screaming and burning my arm on pots and things. So, expect news catchup this evening. First up a few reviews.
NASA are looking to create an MMO game. The goal of such a NASA MMO would be a training tool similar to what the U.S. Army intended to accomplish with the America’s Army game.
Hitachi is apparently withdrawing from the Australian market. A sentiment backed by Sharp Australia's deputy managing director, Denis Kerr, who claims that Australia is under, "a siege mentality that has forced pricing to ridiculous levels that cannot be sustained."
TechReviewSource have a MacWorld 2008 roundup. There's still a huge thread here in our Apple forum.
Meanwhile HotHardware compare ATI FireGL V8650 vs. NVIDIA QuadroFX 5600 in the high-end workstation graphics arena. The V8650 is a monstrous version of ATI’s R600 graphics processor with 2GB of memory attached, whereas the FX 5600 is the 1.5GB heavy workstation cousin of the GeForce 8800 Ultra, both of which use NVIDIA’s G80 processor.
BFM spotted this article on TheInq about 10 things to beware of in 2008. While scrutinising the murky waters of the IT future can be difficult at best, we have seen from the past years that what goes around, comes around and, where there's smoke, there's fire.
Bit-Tech have a new mod worklog: The Weighted Companion PC – a very tiny (20cm cube) tribute to one of the best games of 2007. "The pink heart melts the frozen soul of the lonely modder," Wolvie said.
From Craig: We’re pleased to announce that from 2:00 a.m. PST Wednesday, January 23, 2008 through 11:59 p.m. PST, Sunday, January 27, 2008 you can download the full version of the recent Xbox LIVE Arcade game, Undertow free of charge.
Monday Night Reviews
(link) Monday, 21-January-2008 12:36:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Shredder has quite an extended rant on his blog about the frustrations of computer use nowadays. And yes, Logitech, I much enjoy the re-arranged edit block on my keyboard, because accidentally selecting and deleting random blocks of text from my documents on a regular basis is a complete barrel o’ laughs.
PCPerspective had a look at AMD's 4th quarter results. There is a lot of good information here about AMD's upcoming CPU and GPU products for the rest of 2008 as well as our opinions on how AMD's financial situation will affect their product line.
I still don't have my flying car, but at least I can have a hover chair, thanks Justin. Defying gravity with the use of repelling magnetic forces in both the bed and base this contemporary lounger is comfortable, practical and stylish.
AT sent in a few links about some recent "UFO sightings" in Texas. Info here, here, here and here (video). Dozens of eyewitnesses have reported seeing a mile-long UFO being pursued by fighter jets last week in the small town of Stephenville, Texas.
PCMech wonder if 2008 will be the year for desktop Linux. Something not mentioned too often in year-in-review articles is that a ton of people tried out Linux for the first time. While it’s true Linux didn’t stick around as their primary OS for most, the fact so many people tried it out is a huge step towards making Linux more mainstream.
tkArena have an article about widescreen gaming. To be honest, I have used 4:3 monitors for a very long time and I wasn’t really too sure what going to a widescreen would give. I kind of expected that it would just stretch out most of my images, which is what I had seen in widescreen gaming in the past. I was very wrong.
Also on PCPerspective, an article about ray-tracing and gaming. Daniel Pohl's latest work takes a look at how ray tracing engines have developed over the past year and discusses how ray tracing can be advantageous when compared to current rasterization techniques.
Interestingly, it seems playing video games can help surgeons do better in the OR. Dr. Kanav Kohel and Dr. Marshall Smith, of the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Centre in Phoenix, Ariz. found that surgeons who “warmed up” by playing games such as Marble Mania for an hour scored 48 percent higher on a virtual 3D training tool called ProMIS than those who were did not play the Wii beforehand.
NordicHW interviewed Antec Senior VP Scott Richards. Antec chassis and power supplies have been with us for some time now and over the last couple of years, Antec has managed to stand out even more through innovative products and fresh thinking.
From Ambush: Netstumbler is not at this time working on Windows Vista. Vistumbler is a netstumbler-like program for Vista, basically acting as a GUI for netsh.
Timbot sent a story close to my heart (or belly, anyway) .. a top 10 list of funny beer commercials. Some "not work safe" stuff on that site though. Some commercials are super funny and they make me laugh while I'm drinking my beer and it comes out of my nose and it stings but I don't care cause it makes my nostrils smell like beer.
TechARP have a Intel Core 2 Performance Comparison Guide. In this article, we will be comparing the performance of several Intel Core 2 processors in five benchmarks - three game-based benchmarks and two application benchmarks.
A few people sent in this story about bionic eyes. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights. Discussion here.
Sniper spotted this article about the secret military history of Silicon Valley. When you think about Silicon Valley you think about modern tech giants like Google, Yahoo and others, but did you know that this high-tech center of the Universe owes its existence to secret government cooperation dating back four decades?
XbitLabs looked at high-powered PSUs. Today we are going to introduce to you 10 units with the capacity of 1000W or well beyond that. We will discuss the solutions from Antec, Enermax, Floston Energetix, FSP Group, Silverstone, Tagan, Thermaltake and Ultra.
From the big to the small, XbitLabs also have 2.5" 250GB HDDs under the spotlight. Today we are going to talk about five 2.5-inch hard disk drives based on platters that use second-generation perpendicular recording technology. These will be solutions from Fujitsu, Hitachi, Samsung and Western Digital.
Bit-Tech cover NVIDIA's Hybrid SLI technology, while Tech-Report look at their Enthusiast System Architecture in action. Running the show are new versions of Nvidia's control panel and system monitoring software optimized with ESA in mind, providing users with an unprecedented level of control over system variables and customizable hardware monitoring.
CPU3D want to show you how to overclock your video card. I've tried to make this guide as simple as possible, so even a beginner will be able to muddle through.
Bit-Tech have an interesting article about gaming in the real world, written by a former member of the armed forces. A question that’s often asked is how much of what we might experience in a real life situation is reflected in those games that claim to be as close to real as possible? Having spent most of my working life in the Armed Forces and spending most of my spare time fragging in ‘realistic’ 3D environments, I believe I’m in a position where I am pretty qualified to answer that question.
TrustedReviews consider the new MacBook Air when compared to other offerings. The Sony VAIO X505VP was a design statement and a technology showcase at the time, whereas as the MacBook Air is simply a design statement.
Saturday Night Reviews #3
(link) Saturday, 19-January-2008 11:30:10 (GMT +10) - by Agg
While we're looking up, MESSENGER flew past Mercury recently, the first NASA spacecraft to do so since 1975, and took some cool high-res photos. More info and pics here.
Phoronix checked out an audiophile's dream at Goldmund's media demonstration room. Their systems are so advanced that they simply cannot be built in a day or even a week, but for each of their media rooms they spend extensive time planning and constructing the rooms that are slated to be perfect, even an imperfect world. Uh, right.
Tech Report checked out some new sound cards competing with Creative, under Vista. The Xonar and Prelude both target the high end of the desktop sound card spectrum, so it's only fitting that we face them off against each other in Windows Vista. Read on to see how they fare in a range of gaming, signal quality, and subjective listening tests.
TrustedReviews pine for the days of shoot 'em ups. If you're a long time gamer, you probably get all misty eyed at the thought of R-Type, Nemesis, Defender or even Scramble. If you long for the good old days of mindless shooting and bombing, take heart, the shoot 'em up isn't dead.
Sun Microsystems recently aquired MySQL, the open-source database system that (among other things) powers OCAU. More info and comments on slashdot, thanks mpot.
Ambush noticed an interview with the Media Defender hacker. A teenager hacked into the outfit charged with protecting companies like Sony, Universal, and Activision from online piracy - the most daring exploit yet in the escalating war between fans and corporate giants. Guess which side is winning.
Digit-Life have a mid-range heatpipe cooler shootout. Today we'll focus on 21 Mid-End coolers and their tests. They also ponder DDR2-800 vs DDR3-1333. We're going to compare performance of two processors in combination with different memory modules: standard DDR2-800 and higher-clocked DDR3-1333.
DriverHeaven meanwhile have a motherboard roundup with the Asus Maximus Extreme, Asus Maximus Formula, MSI P35 Platinum Combo, Asus P5E3 Deluxe and MSI X48 Platinum. Today we will be looking at the mainstream and enthusiast models to identify which boards offer the best value, performance and features.
Remember to keep an eye on our Sponsor Specials Forum if you're shopping around for a good deal. In there our many sponsors have threads featuring memory, energy drinks, mp3 players, sound cards, amps, headphones, CPUs, tv tuners, video cards, network storage and loads of other goodies. Also some interesting little mobile power gadgets. Worth a look!
(link) Thursday, 17-January-2008 11:53:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg
YouGamers have an interview with Joe Camel, who they describe as one of the "Kings of the Overclockers". I'm a tinkerer by nature. As a child I was more interested in how the toy worked vs. just playing with it. Then it became the challenge to learn new skills (soldering/tweaking).
TechReport checked out a neural headband controller that OCZ are working on. The folks at OCZ have been talking for a while about a device known as the Neural Impulse Actuator, which employs several sensors embedded in a headband to read certain electrical impulses from the wearer, theoretically acting as a PC input device.
Craig sent word of home router insecurity. Security mavens have uncovered a design flaw in most home routers that allows attackers to remotely control the devices by luring an attached computer to a booby-trapped website.
Oppylock meanwhile noticed these 40-hour laptop batteries on the way. The researchers have found a way to use silicon nanowires to give rechargeable Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries used in laptops, iPods, video cameras and mobile phones as much as 10 times more charge, potentially giving a conventional Li-Ion battery-powered laptop 40 hours of battery life rather than four. However the comments link to this interview where the claims are less extreme.
First up, best wishes to others who share this special day with me ;)
TechSpot have reported on AMD's announcement regarding delays to Phenom supplies. AMD publicly stated late last year that it would be able to offer quad-core AMD Phenom 9700 and 9900 CPUs with fixed erratum as well as at higher clock-speeds in Q1 2008. However, the chipmaker recently notified its partners that the launch of its higher-end chips will be postponed until next quarter.
Metku have posted up their latest case modding article, entitled Eutanasia. The basic guidelines for the case were simple. As this case was going to be built to be used at Lan-parties, the case should be small, simple, durable, upgradeable and it still should be able to house a powerful system.
Justin McManus sent in some interesting articles. First, some information on the next TV standard boasting 33 million pixels. Ford appear to have a problem with owners taking nice pictures of their cars and sharing them. Next, someone seems to have finally integrated a flash-based MP3 player into some headphones (perhaps this should satisfy mezla). Next, is a report on the apparent USA lack of science curriculums. And finally, some info on Sony's proposed alternative to W-USB.
An interesting article about a dude in America who has decided to post his every move online. What would you do if you were suspected of a crime that could send you to jail cell in Guantanamo Bay for untold years? When it happened to Hasan Elahi, he decided to put his life online, for all to see.
Finally, TechSpot hava had done some multi-GPU testing with the latest Crysis patch. Just last week Crytek released a highly awaited first patch for Crysis which weighed in at 139MB and carried a number of rather large promises. While it was claimed that SLI/Crossfire performance would improve with this patch as well as the overall rendering performance for all graphics cards in DX9 and DX10, they never stated by how much, so they did dodge a bullet there.
A Polish teenager has apparently turned a tram system into his personal train set, after modifying a TV remote to change track points, thanks Craig. He treated it like any other schoolboy might a giant train set, but it was lucky nobody was killed. Four trams were derailed, and others had to make emergency stops that left passengers hurt.
HWSecrets checked out Foxconn's F1 Motherboard Prototype at CES. It is not only that, this prototype – internally known as F1 – will come with a water-cooling solution to cool down the chipset and the transistors from the voltage regulator circuit, and below the north bridge block it has a thermoelectric cooler (TEC, a.k.a. "Peltier").
Nick sent word of an optional Vista update to block malicious "gadgets". Dubbed "Windows Sidebar Protection," the 1MB download was added to Windows Update on Tuesday and classified as a "high-priority" update.
Pat mentioned (in relation to a previous news story) that DI MOTO are an Australian company working on plastic optical fibre componentry. The next generation of networking and cabling technology promises superior quality of service, easy installation and significant cost savings.
Justin spotted this interview with Trent Reznor about his disappointment with a recent online album release. Reznor produced and helped bankroll the album, which debuted November 1. All the more reason why he was stunned when fewer than one in five people who downloaded the music were willing to pony up $5, roughly the cost of a McDonald's Quarter Pounder.
Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, has died aged 88. New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced the news today. Miss Clark said the death of New Zealand's greatest hero was a profound loss.
NASA have advised that asteroid 2007 WD5 will probably not hit Mars later this month. Boo! Our best estimate now is that 2007 WD5 will pass about 26,000 km from the planet's center (about 7 Mars radii from the surface) at around 12:00 UTC (4:00 am PST) on Jan. 30th. With 99.7% confidence, the pass should be no closer than 4000 km from the surface.
One worrying development at CES concerns internet filtering. Network-level filtering means your Internet service provider – Comcast, AT&T, EarthLink, or whoever you send that monthly check to – could soon start sniffing your digital packets, looking for material that infringes on someone’s copyright.
Speaking of which, there's a petition to stop Australian Internet Censorship. Show your support by signing this petition. Show Mr Conroy and Mr Rudd that Australia does not require a Government babysitter. I'm not a big fan of online petitions but it can't hurt I guess. "Email Required" is a bit of a worry tho.
IGN looked at a new game from Radical, called Prototype. This game has a similar sense of chaotic freedom and power. Rather than feeling artificially restrained, this is a game where you can run up the side of a building, then leap from rooftop to rooftop. This is a game where you can barrel down the street like a charging bull, knocking pedestrians aside and vaulting off the bonnets of any vehicles in your path.
They also take a look back at the history of Duke Nukem Forever. I still remember the awesome fun we had playing Duke Nukem 3D at work. Laser tripbombs, the shrink gun, jetpack jousting.. come on, DNF!
From Marc: This is pretty cool, this allows you to use your GPRS Windows Mobile to act as an ad-hoc Wi-Fi router, allowing you to access the web through the phone's GPRS.
An Australian company now offers loss of license insurance. The policy was designed for good drivers who fell victim to revenue-raising, National Underwriting Agencies spokesman Noel Johns said.
Tweaktown looked at Gigabyte's Dynamic Energy Saver technology. First of all, DES is not a fad and it will be available on pretty much all GIGABYTE motherboards bar the really low-end models. However, the roll-out will take some time but the good news is that GIGABYTE has already shipped motherboards with DES.
USB 3.0 is on the way, thanks Nick. Info here on TheReg and here on PCMech.
(link) Thursday, 10-January-2008 17:09:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Remember to keep an eye on our Sponsor Specials Forum if you're shopping around for a good deal. In there our many sponsors have threads featuring CPUs, mp3 players, TV tuners, speakers, coolers, energy drinks, video cards and many other goodies. You can even win a 24" LCD monitor!
Free Game Demos
(link) Wednesday, 9-January-2008 00:29:22 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Kane and Lynch: Dead Men Updated (623MB): Kane & Lynch: Dead Men is a violent and chaotic journey of two men -- a flawed mercenary and a medicated psychopath -- and their brutal attitude towards right and wrong. This volatile partnership combined with innovative technologies allow for an unparalleled gaming experience.
Ghost in the Sheet (68MB): Ghost in the Sheet is a comedy adventure game of supernatural proportions. Become a ghost and master your new paranormal skill set to unravel the secrets of your life-after-death adventure! Mystery, intrigue, comedy and adventure await…aren’t you just dying to play?
Hard to be a God (425MB): A demo allowing you to try out the English version of Hard to be a God, an RPG with adventure and espionage elements based on a storyline of the novel with the same name by Strugatsky brothers.
Democracy 2 v1.07 (31MB): Democracy 2 is the ultimate political strategy / simulation game. Based on a complex Neural network, the game simulates the motivations, loyalties and desires of everyone in the country. As president or prime minister, it's your job to balance the need for income from taxes against the demands of the voters.
X Motor Racing v1.03 (95MB): Changes from 1.02 to 1.03: - improved 3D tire simulation code - improved engine code - customizable physics accuracy - added tire pressure, temperature and attrition.
Gish Demo v1.51 (10MB): Gish isn't your average hero, in fact he's not your average anything... see Gish is a ball of tar. A Sunday stroll with his lady friend Brea goes awry when a shadowy figure emerges from an open man hole and pulls Brea into the ground below. Following Brea's calls for help Gish suddenly finds himself in the subterranean sewers of Dross, a long forgotten city filled with twisting corridors, evil traps and some of the most demented creatures imaginable.
Aquaria (67MB): Naija has the gift of the Verse. By singing songs, she can weave this force to change the waters around her. With each song Naija learns comes new abilities. With powerful songs, Naija is able to change form, giving players many options as to how to play the game.
The Witcher (2.1GB): Giving players a tantalizing taste of the world of The Witcher, the demo begins with the first part of the prologue in which the seeds of the epic story are sown and the white haired witcher Geralt learns the fundamentals of combat. The prologue is followed by the entirety of Act 1, during which Geralt of Rivia will see the first threads of the story weave their web around him and be called upon to slay man and beast to stay alive and earn his keep.
City Life 2008 (514MB): From elegant villas in residential neighborhoods to imposing skyscrapers in the financial district, players design and develop the city of their dreams. They have to provide comfort and satisfaction for the citizens by offering them adequate leisure and entertainment facilities, as well as work and access to education. It's up to the player to manage their city effectively, overseeing booming development while at the same time regulating the very delicate issues of pollution and traffic.
Penguins Arena v1.3 (23MB): Penguins Arena is a thrilling and innovative First Penguin Shooter with very short rounds and where the magic of reincarnation, combined with the supernatural ability to return to the game as a ghost, ensures that your character has every chance to change your tribe’s fate.
Keep on top of the latest games info in our Games Forum.
DiGiTaL_MoNkEY has posted a huge thread summarising CES 2008 as it unfolds. Considering the amount of new technology announcements that come from CES 2008, i thought it would be useful for a single thread with general news updates and discussion. I’ll be hunting the net for the latest news & announcements and posting them in this thread, obviously everyone is free to posts any news they encounter to share with everyone. :) OCIA have the inevitable booth babe pics. :)
SETI@Home are looking for more volunteers to crunch the data from their radio telescopes. "The next generation SETI@home is 500 times more powerful then anything anyone has done before," said project chief scientist Dan Werthimer. "That means we are 500 times more likely to find ET than with the original SETI@home."
LegitReviews found a 72GB SATA SSD from SanDisk, at CES. SanDisk informed us that the SSD SATA 5000 1.8" has been trimmed down in size and weight to fit inside new, sleek laptops. It measures only 5mm in height, and weighs less than 45 grams.
From echelon: Just stumbled across a very interesting little application. It appears to be an in-game overlay that ties in multiple game-specific wikis (e.g. WoWWiki), non-game-specific chat applications like MSN, a browser, a music app, server finder etc.
CNet may be taken over soon, thanks Craig. The company, founded in 1992, has more than 2,600 employees. It has been particularly hard hit because of increased competition in its core market from technology-focused blogs like TechCrunch, written by a handful of people at a fraction of the cost.
TCMag have an interesting history of gaming that never was. Gems have been produced, and you let them slide by, teaching the game publishing world that all you want really is ‘more of the same’, and in this case, ‘the same’ happens to be Madden, Fifa, Pro Evolution Soccer, and uninspired ‘realistic’ shooters.
Bit-Tech have a story about how someone became a game designer, in part 1 and part 2. When we left the story, James had just entered in a competition to have his indie game published on Xbox Live. Now, read the second part to find out how he bagged the prize without winning and completed the transition from dishwasher to game designer.
ARN have a story about Nintek's recent closure. A spokesperson from the administrators of Perth-based online retailer, Nintek, has suggested toughening market conditions and inadequate management skills could be behind its demise.
PopularScience has a guide to 2008 in Science. Jellyfish invasions, Internet auctions, god particles: Read about the year's biggest science stories before they happen.
Intel's big announcement at CES is about more 45nm CPUs. Only four processors from Intel's 'second wave' are set for servers as Penryn makes its march into the mainstream. Headlining the show are seven desktop chips: four in the new E8000 dual-core series and three in the new Q9000 quad-core line. More info here.
NVIDIA meanwhile showed off some new chipsets. The 780a, Hybrid SLI and even a new PureVideo HD feature are all discussed in our coverage. More info here.
AMD has some new goodies too. The new Mobility Radeon HD 3600 and Mobility Radeon HD 3400 GPUs feature support for DirectX 10.1 graphics, PCI Express 2.0 connectivity, and Avivo HD video acceleration.
A few people pointed out this giant curved monitor from Alienware. Lit by LEDs, this 2880x900 monster is well over three feet wide and is said to have an other-worldly .02ms response time, great for gaming.
Apparently Boeing's 787 Dreamliner may be vulnerable to hackers, thanks Craig. The computer network in the Dreamliner's passenger compartment, designed to give passengers in-flight internet access, is connected to the plane's control, navigation and communication systems, an FAA report reveals.
Tiberius J. Stoatfondler, or "Sciby" as we know him has recently made the move to Osaka in Japan to teach English. Which is pretty funny if you've ever, say, edited his reviews or heard him speak. Nonetheless, he's settled in now and is furiously blogging his every tiniest thought in text and video form:
The website NetAlarmed.com presents an amusing take on the recent Government announcements of internet censorship plans for Australia. Worth a look!
I'm an adult. Can I opt-out?
Sure, but feedback to NetAlarmed suggests only a small amount of Australians will choose to opt-out (mainly felons). For those that do choose to opt-out, rest assured your personal details will be kept completely confidential on the NetAlarmed Watch List.
From Eraser: Well this is some fairly big news. Warner and Newline who up untill now have been HD-DVD and blu-ray have sided with blu-ray. It looks as if the HD-DVD group have gone into damage control as they have cancelled their pressmeetings to have a meeting with the other HD-DVD partys. This could be the swing to make blu-ray win over hd-dvd. Info on the Warner side here, Newline here and the press conference cancellation here.
Craig spotted a story about a Solitaire lawsuit. It involves the somewhat infamous patents of Sheldon Goldberg, which got plenty of attention back in 2004 when he started claiming that computer solitaire was covered by his patents. The two key patents are for a network gaming system and a method for playing games on a network.
Marc sent in this video of a mario mod for doom. In this clip, you'll see "a classic Super Mario Bros. level recreated in 3D, using the Doom engine."
Phoronix looked at the AMD Phenom 9500's performance in Linux. Have you recently upgraded to AMD's Spider platform with their quad-core Phenom processor and are running Linux? If so, and are experiencing kernel panics, stability problems, and even a psychedelic Ubuntu logo, you're not alone.
Intel has abandoned the one laptop per child program. Mulloy said the use of AMD chips in the OLPC machines had nothing to do with Intel's decision to withdraw.
Craig also spotted this bluetooth hack for ipods. It replaces the headphone jack and draws power directly from the iPod's battery, giving you a completely wireless and dongle-free audio device.
Driverheaven have an interview with Giuseppe Amato, AMD Technical Director sales and marketing EMEA. In the mobile space AMD had a very strong 2007 and we have our sights set even higher for 2008 with the release of the Puma platform in 1H 2008. Puma will raise the bar in platform performance per watt with more visual computing performance than any other mobile platform.
From stmok: Lenovo goes for entry level notebook jugular. All have facial recognition software called "VeriFace". (Bye bye fingerprint scanner?). More info here and here. The 17inch one has something called "Game Zone" on the right side where the keypad is supposed to be. (Has extra large arrow keys, small LCD display, etc)...Not sure how that works. Anyone know? Looks like they retain the ThinkPad keyboard, but have done away with the TrackPoint (aka: "red nipple") and ThinkLight (aka: bright keyboard LED).
Dan has more letters! In this edition: PC-drowning oil, solar air conditioning, big and little PCIe slots, defragging by copying, and putting magnets in your fingers.
Nintek have posted official details of their voluntary administration over on the Nindeals site. Strange that the main site hasn't been updated, though. Anyway, at least it's confirmed now and there are Administrator contacts for people who want to be listed as creditors etc.
HotHardware have checked out a futuristic Crystal monitor from Dell. Last year at CES in Las Vegas, Dell previewed a "concept" monitor that definitely pegged our collective geek-o-meters with its ultra-sleek, clear, tempered glass design and super-thin, clean profile. Discussion thread here.
Some Apple-related snippets from Justin: there'll apparently be Blu-Ray in some Macs in future, they have some interesting keyboard patents and a lawsuit accuses them of an illegal monopoly in the online music market. The complaint takes issue with Apple's refusal to support the Windows Media Audio format.
James spotted the biggest plasma hi-def TV in the world, built by Panasonic. "Can you picture that on a wall near you?" he said. "It's a long way off any type of mass consumer. People's houses just aren't that big."
Scientific American look back at the year in robots. In 2007, our artificially intelligent companions moved closer to replacing us on the battlefield, improving healthcare (on Earth and in space) and even befriending our children.
Kombiluva found a monitor from ASUS that boasts crossbow-proof.. ness. Feel free to hit it with a hammer and stuff too.
Meanwhile I'll be over here controlling my PC with brainwaves, thanks eraser. NeuroSky has made a system which can turn brainwaves into commands. This is a revolutionary technique that will have a big impact on all kinds of markets.
LegionHW have a clock for clock comparison of Phenom and Core 2. There you have it, a clock for clock comparison between the Phenom and Core 2 Duo/Quad processors with the Athlon64 X2 thrown in for reference. It has been interesting to see how these processors compare at the same clock frequency.
Dan has been playing with antennas. A surprising number of add-on WiFi antennas are, technically, physically impossible. If you know why this is, you can avoid some significant frustration.
Thursday Night Reviews
(link) Thursday, 3-January-2008 11:36:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Internet Censorship in Australia
(link) Thursday, 3-January-2008 04:03:10 (GMT +10) - by Agg
A recent declaration from the Government about mandatory internet filters has me concerned. Senator Conroy says it will be mandatory for all internet service providers to provide clean feeds, or ISP filtering, to houses and schools that are free of pornography and inappropriate material. More worrying: Senator Conroy says anyone wanting uncensored access to the internet will have to opt out of the service.
Electronic Frontiers Australia have attacked this Clean-Feed Proposal in an announcement released yesterday. "Waving the 'save the children' flag may be good politics, but it ignores serious technological problems which will likely cause the proposed scheme to fail," said EFA Chair Dale Clapperton. "Furthermore, Australia is supposed to be a liberal democracy where adults have the freedom to say and read what they want, not just what the Government decides is 'appropriate' for them." I definitely recommend reading this article.
There's another article here outlining some of the previous attempts to do something similar, and how they failed. Even the current "CleanFeed" system has issues. Telstra BigPond spokesman Craig Middleton said yesterday: "We stand alongside the IIA and other ISPs in the view that PC-based filtering, in the hands of a responsible parent, is the only workable solution." Another article here points out the very real technical, financial, moral and social issues with attempting to limit what Australians can do on the internet by default.
There's a lengthy thread discussing this issue here in our Current Events forum. That thread also covers the recent Restricted Access System Declaration 2007 (more info here) where the onus is placed on online content providers to check the ages of subscribers before allowing them access to certain types of info. From the perspective of a forum operator I have another set of concerns about that system, too, but I'm waiting to see how the Codes of Conduct are developed over the next couple of weeks.
Australian Broadband Survey 2007
(link) Thursday, 3-January-2008 01:23:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Whirlpool are once again running their Australian Broadband Survey. Last year, we managed over 20,000 responses, and we hope to match that level this year. As always, the survey is not about advertisers or company research — we just want to share your opinion on important issues like download limits, pricing, customer service and reliability of service.
The survey is here. Discussion here in our forums.
LostCircuits have a detailed look at AMD's Phenom processors. We took the current flagship edition, that is, the Phenom 9900 and pitted it against the Phenom 9600 Black Edition with the lower speed NorthBridge. We ran AOD and different memory frequencies and then compared the results with whatever competition is out there. We also did some more research into Erratum 298 and the bug it describes along with possible scenarios where it can occur and the workaround solution a.k.a. patch that could be worse than the bug itself.
From Craig, about the Home Server corruption issue: Here is a follow up on the news item posted in Saturday Midday news (29th Dec). Seems the corruption issue only happens when you edit a file that is directly on the WHS box, and not if you edit on a local PC and it is backed up later.
There's some bizarre iPod activist activity going on at Wal-Mart. "Reclaim your mind from the media's shackles. Read a book and resurect [sic] yourself. To claim your capitalistic garbage go to your nearest Apple store." Sounds like Tyler Durden might be doing night shift in the warehouse.
A UK group are looking at using GPS to stop speeders. Under the current guidelines, the system will give an audible warning that the speed limit is being exceeded. The system can also rudely intervene and take control of the throttle and vibrate the gas pedal to let the driver know that such action is unacceptable.
Timbot spotted this YouTube video with cool 3d effects, a bit like those webcam effects we've been seeing for a while but a lot more realistic.
Today's timewaster is from Subcommandante: it's a hangman game with some PC and gaming-related questions.
Happy New Year!
(link) Tuesday, 1-January-2008 11:22:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Slightly belated New Year's Greetings to you all. :) 2007 was certainly an interesting year for me personally, with my wife and I having welcomed our first child just before the year began. In terms of OCAU there's been a few ups and downs as usual but overall very positive and continuing to grow as a community. Here's to another great year - and scarily enough, it's only 18 months until OCAU's 10th birthday!