New Major Sponsor: Apple Computer
(link) Monday, 31-March-2008 13:14:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg
As you're probably aware I recently made "the switch" from PC to Apple and haven't looked back. At a recent exhibition I got talking to a contact from Apple and things kinda snowballed from there. So as of today I'm very happy to welcome Apple Computer as a new Major Sponsor of OCAU! We've seen a lot of our readers make the switch from PC to Apple and it just seemed a natural evolution of OCAU to partner with Apple more completely.
So, expect to see more Apple branding around OCAU soon. This is an exciting new direction and I hope you're as thrilled about it as I am. :) There's more info about the "iOCAU deal" here.
edit: APRIL FOOLS! :) Hehe, pretty obvious one this year. So no, Apple have no association with OCAU, although I'm sure they're lovely people and won't sue us for using their name in vain, ahem. And no, I haven't really made "the switch", I don't even own an iPod! Check this page for previous OCAU April Fools jokes.
Australian PC World have released an online quiz where you can test your knowledge on the history of broadband in Australia. Have you been on the journey since the beginning? How much do you know really about Broadband? Why not take our short History of Australian Broadband quiz and find out? Discussion in the forums here.
Now that the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD format war is over, are you ready for Blu-ray 2.0?2.0, also known [as] BD-Live in market speak, adds more memory (from 256MB in Profile 1.1 to 1 gigabyte) to a player and requires Internet connectivity via an Ethernet port. Thanks AirQ.
Also from AirQ is this interesting article talking about the oldest known recording of a human voice. The 10-second clip of a woman singing "Au Clair de la Lune," taken from a so-called phonautogram, was recently discovered by audio historian David Giovannoni. The recording predates Thomas Edison's "Mary had a little lamb" - previously credited as the oldest recorded voice - by 17 years.
Dan from Dan's Data looked at Weigui Solutions' "Spotlight", a LED flashlight measuring roughly 50mm in length that can be charged in your car's cigarette lighter socket. At a glance, you'd expect such a small flashlight to have a single 5mm LED in it, or perhaps a cluster of half a dozen of them, at most. What the Spotlight actually has is a half-watt Seoul Semiconductor super-LED, with a nominal output of 28 lumens.
If you "have a strong knowledge of games and the wider games industry" and can stick to a deadline, IGN AU are looking to hire a junior staff writer. Believe it or not, we're swamped with work at IGN Australia – and we want your help. For one talented person, we're offering the perfect foot in the door to the games journalism industry.
While the mistake in the end-user license agreement for Apple's Safari browser was amusing, the EULA for Adobe's Photoshop Express beta is a bit concerning (though it is now being revised). The company could begin selling your shots as stock photography or use that killer family pic as the box art for Photoshop Elements 7, without giving you so much as a credit for the image or a dime of royalty dues.
VeriSign is increasing the costs that registrars pay for .com and .net domains by 44c and 38c respectively. In a press release justifying the higher prices, VeriSign cited increases in the amount of traffic and cyber attacks on the global TLD infrastructure it is responsible for.
There's a bit of a riot going on at the Creative Labs forums currently. Apparently they have officially asked a guy called Daniel_K to stop making unofficial driver packages. Fair enough, you might think, except it seems lots of people need these packages for their cards to work in Vista, because the Creative drivers aren't making people happy. Kinda sounds like they should be giving him a job, not posting public cease-and-desist messages to him in their forums. :) Anyway, there's been some kind of retraction by Creative, but unfortunately they've managed to once again alienate a big chunk of their enthusiast customer base.
"Game On" is an exhibition about the history of video games and gamer culture in Melbourne at the moment. Get ready for Melbourne's must-see exhibition of 2008 - the action-packed celebration of games culture that has thrilled over one million players of all ages around the world. Game On tracks the development of videogames from the first computer game to arcade-era hits and the very latest from today's billion dollar industry.
Meanwhile "Gamerthon 2008" is also on in Melbourne (danger, LOUD video on that page). Attracting thousands of competitors from across the globe and boasting over $50,000 in cash and prizes, the Gamerthon is the largest, most innovative, and most prestigious, gaming tournament in Australia.
The BBC report on new flexible chips, thanks AirQ. "Completely integrated, extremely bendable circuits have been talked about for many years but have not been demonstrated before," he told BBC News. "This is the first one."
eWeek report that NVIDIA and Intel are set for a major battle. It’s more than just the graphics that go into PCs that Nvidia and Intel are likely to clash over in the coming months. Both companies also see GPU and graphics technologies as a key feature to delve deeper into the HPC (high-performance computing) market, a lucrative field where graphics could increase overall compute performance.
From Dan: AusGamers now has the latest trailer for Grand Theft Auto 4 "Everyone's a Rat" available for hi-def download and flash streaming here. Quite a few trailers, demos and patches on their latest files page.
Here's an interesting video about new robotic arms being worked on by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway. Inspired by the sophisticated prosthesis in Star Wars, Kamen set out to make what he calls his "Luke Arm".
XbitLabs have a PSU roundup continuing. This part of our roundup will be devoted to power supply units with capacity ranging from 450W to 850W. We will check out 7 models from AcBel, Gigabyte, Zalman and Corsair. All the details on their performance and functionality in our extensive article!
From Sparky1240: An interesting set of results at the recent CanSecWest security conference - where contests compete to win the notebook they're hacking: The only system to remain standing was a "Sony VAIO laptop running Ubuntu". Full wrap up here. It'll be interesting to see how this slowly bleeds into the mainstream.
It seems some things aren't aware that Daylight Savings Time ends next week, not tonight - for NSW and VIC, anyway. My Windows XP PC for example decided it was 2am when it is in fact 3am. Apparently there's a patch but I don't see anything in Windows Update related to it. The forums are apparently also reporting incorrect time for some people, but not for me. So, if you're confused about the time, have a fiddle with your UserCP settings and/or your PC settings. :)
Earth Hour is being held tonight at 8pm. Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis. Discussion in the forums here, or here if you're in Brisbane and are keen to take a few shots with other OCAU photographers.
"Who's the best action hero and why?" Answer this in 25 words or less and you could win big in IGN's Aussie Supanova Comp. When it comes to prize packs they don't come any bigger than this one. We've got more than $8,000 worth of entertainment gear to throw at a handful of insanely lucky IGN readers.
Here's another one of those peculiar USB products... the George Foreman USB iGrill. The George Foreman USB iGrill conveniently connects to your home or office PC using USB 2.0 technology, and provides a sophisticated web-based cooking interface. Thanks Bigtosser.
Adobe have released a Beta version of their new Web-based image editor, Adobe Photoshop Express. At Photoshop Express you can quickly and easily accentuate your photos with easy-to-use options for resizing, cropping, sharpening, and more. Discussion in the forums here. Thanks Marc.
Trouble is brewing between Asus and Creative over Asus' recent claim that their Xonar DX sound card supports EAX 5.0 sound effects. Creative says Asus is misleading its customers by claiming to support EAX 5.0. Asus admits that its implementation won't exactly reproduce EAX 5.0, but the company says DS3D GX produces "comparable" effects − comparable, but perhaps not genuine.
TheTechLounge have a 1TB hard drive roundup where they looked at an Hitachi Deskstar and two Seagate Barracudas. For drive testing, Windows XP SP2 with the latest patches was used. … Each test was performed in triplicate and averaged to gain the final result.
Midway and Epic Games have released an official bonus pack for UT3 which consists of three arenas: Morbias, Facing Worlds and Searchlight. These downloads, which are free to all owners of Unreal Tournament 3, mark the latest achievement in providing the gaming community with unrivaled mods and superior experiences through the most recent installment in the Unreal Tournament franchise.
At the recent CanSecWest Pwn2Own hacker challenge, a security researcher hacked into Apple's new MacBook Air winning himself the machine and a US$10,000 cash prize. According to sources at the conference, Miller used an exploit against the Safari browser that ships standard with Mac OS X.
This laptop bag might come in handy when your laptop's battery is flat and there aren't any power points around. Designed by US company Voltaic Systems, the bag incorporates a single solar panel to produce 14.7W of power. This is enough to fully charge a conventional laptop computer from a full day's sunlight, thus allowing the user to unplug it from the electricity grid and power up from the sun.
We had a minor outage earlier, so if you notice any strangeness when using or trying to log into the forums, drop me an email and I'll take a look.
Here's an interesting one, self-extinguishing cigarettes may be mandatory by 2009. Shaun noticed this page which explains how they work. There is no doubt that fire-safe cigarettes will save hundreds of lives each year. Deaths caused by cigarette fires declined dramatically in New York State in the first few months that fire-safe cigarettes were mandated there in 2004.
HardOCP have an NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT Roundup. The GeForce 9600 GT has its work cut out for it. Not only does it have to establish itself as a good product in its own right, but it has to compete with its older and more capable siblings with falling prices.
A strange metal ball which seems likely to be space junk has turned up on a remote Queensland property. While a spokesman for Aerospace Corp. told NEWS.com.au it was still working to identify the object, aerospace industry sources who contacted Mr Stirton believe it to be part of a rocket launched at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 1998.
Seagate's CEO is apparently not too concerned about the "flash vs hdd battle". But in case flash prices continue to plummet and the flash drives really do catch on, Watkins has something else up his sleeve. He’s convinced, he confides, that SSD makers like Samsung and Intel (INTC) are violating Seagate’s patents.
From Scott, some info about a PCI-E 1x video card, here, here and here. With the implementation of ASUS’ exclusive Splendid technology into a video add-on card, users will be able to enjoy full 1080P entertainment on their monitors. Able to provide an authentic ASUS LCDTV video solution to any PC, this card helps fill in the gap between viewing content on the PC and traditional Consumer Electronic devices.
TechWareLabs wonder if BTX is doomed. Err, yes. Well, it's had years to catch on and never has. Frankly, I don't know anyone who even really sees the point of it. BTX failed at being "something great that no one has ever seen before" at the same time it wasn't backwards compatible with the current design, ATX. Other reasons why BTX failed to catch on was because not all users were interested in cooling performance, which was BTX's most significant advantage.
In a trip through memory lane, MadShrimps are building a fast AGP-based system. While the rest of the mainstream world moves on to PCI-Express and DDR3, we take a step back to the previous generation hardware. Our aim is to build a scalable AGP benchmark platform with sole purpose: breaking overclocking records.
Another blast from the past is RAMBUS, who have won a legal battle recently. A San Jose jury today ruled in favor of Rambus in its legal battle with Micron Technology, Hynix Semiconductor and Nanya Technology in a patent infringement case involving DRAM memory.
Rather cryptically from bigiain: Dear Sirs! OVERCLOCKING NEGLECTED LAPTOPS. I am the Information and Data analyst of the Treasury-Payment Investigation Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria. In the process of cross checking files inherited from previous head of this department I found a particular machine file with series of complicated abnormal entries of a beneficiary who had made efforts towards getting the OLPC laptops but to no avail. I then decided to investigate the genesis of the difficulties/hitches to the release of the said laptops I found out this. In short, overclocking OLPCs. :)
Today's timewaster is the BBC's Brainbox Challenge website. Click "Play The Games" to get started, there's quite a few there.
Thursday Night Reviews
(link) Thursday, 27-March-2008 10:40:52 (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 GPS's, TV tuners, games, web hosting, MP3 players, EEE PC, memory, energy drinks, speakers and headphones etc. Worth a look!
SlySoft have announced that they have cracked the BD+ copy protection used in Blu-ray discs. Although the BD+ scheme is designed to be dynamically updated, van Heuen isn't worried. … Van Heuen is very optimistic that the Blu-ray Disc Association won't be able to squash this crack using technological methods. SlySoft's press release is available here.
Chienne from Internode Games Network recently interviewed Allen Covert, the storyline writer for the next Leisure Suite Larry game. He played the best friend and limousine driver in The Wedding Singer, Nicky's roommate in Little Nicky, and 10-Second Tom in 50 First Dates - and he recently took the time to sit down and answer some of our questions in this exclusive interview, and we'd like to share his answers.
According to echelon, those of you who "like vehicles with half the standard amount of wheels" may find this video of the D-Air racing air bag system interesting (or amusing). Here's some more information on this product. Thanks!
Techware Labs give a simple explanation on differences between some of the RAID levels. This guide is intended to help you understand what the different types of raid levels do as well as assist you in making a decision on which raid level is appropriate for your needs.
Rick noticed that the creators of South Park have decided to make all 12 seasons available for streaming on their site (but only to US residents at this stage). "The new Web site just makes it easier for people to see and share South Park... Basically, we just got really sick of having to download our own show illegally all the time. So we gave ourselves a legal alternative."
Apple has settled a lawsuit concering advertising that its MacBook and MacBook Pro LCD screens could display "millions of colours". The traditional 16.7 million colors advertised for many displays can be achieved through an 8-bit channel, but the plaintiffs believed that Apple actually used 6-bit displays, which generate 262,144 discreet colors before dithering.
Modders on the OCAU Forums may be able to gleam some ideas for their next project from the Illusion PC entry in the Next-Gen PC Design competition. Thanks Marc! The entire computer is disguised by an illusion to make it look nothing like a computer and also features the ability to be completely customized in a variety of different ways, however best suits the user.
You may have already noticed, but we recently split the Games Consoles forum so it has 3 new subforums, for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony consoles. So if you like your consoley stuff, you now have a bit more room to breathe.
Speaking of which, Nintendo have announced Guitar Hero for the Nintendo DS, which will be pretty funny to see people playing on the train on the way to work. Apparently you "strum" on the touchscreen and there's a string/frets button thingy in the GBA slot. Interview about it here.
A few people sent in this story about the NSW Police wanting people to dob in crooks via email. Film taken by the public on mobile phones and video cameras will be used by police as evidence in prosecuting serious crime from dangerous speeding to bashings, sexual assault and terrorism. Hmm, hopefully this won't produce too many eVigilantes.
On a similar note, someone who allegedly stole an Xbox360 and laptop felt the wrath of the internet recently. Then he pretty much started getting harassed through AIM, a YouTube video, and probably every social site he’s ever subscribed to almost constantly. By Sunday, the kid actually shows up at McPherson’s house and gives him the laptop back. No word yet on the Xbox, but McPherson has said he will be in contact with the kid’s parents soon.
XbitLabs looked at modern multi-GPU technologies. This article is devoted to the situation with contemporary multi-GPU systems. We are going to introduce to you Nvidia’s response to ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 – the new dual-chip GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics adapter that should replace the long-term leader of the high-end 3D segment – GeForce 8800 Ultra. They also have a 27 card-reader roundup.
CircuitREMIX have a thermal compound roundup posted. In the past few years, thermal compounds have undergone an evolution. I'm sure many are familiar with the basic silicon based thermal compound, also known as white goop.
Quan-Time sent in this geometric timewaster. Click on "figuur1" to start things off. I can't even finish the first one, I can only get it down to 18 blocks, not 12. :(
OCAU Polo Shirts - Nearly All Gone!
(link) Tuesday, 25-March-2008 02:13:30 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Nearly 100 orders have flown out the door, but we still have some stock of these sizes (measure one of your current shirts between the armpits to match sizing):
L - 58cm
XL - 62cm
$25 each inc shipping Australia-wide. Order 2 and get a free OCAU stubby holder! Or, $30 for 1 polo + 1 stubby. Or $35 for 6 stubbies (no polo) including shipping.
The Test My PC Security Web site launched by Comodo is aiming to become the largest collection of computer security tests anywhere. These tests include a combination of widely available firewall leak and Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) tests in addition to proprietary firewall tests from Comodo.
Dan from Dan's Data has the latest round of letters available on his site. In this edition: PC power consumption, partial archives, driverless laptops, and fancy names for Realtek chips.
Chris noticed that Sony have reversed a plan to charge $50 for removing all of the pre-installed applications (AKA bloatware) from its TZ-series notebooks. Fresh Start will now be a no-cost option on Sony's slick subnotebooks, but only for those who opt for Windows Vista Business Edition, a $100 upgrade.
Also from Chris is this Damn Interesting article on the US Army's testing of the VX nerve agent. The plane's mission was simple: using a specially rigged delivery system, it was to fly to a specific set of coordinates and spray its payload over a remote section of the Utah desert.
ExtremeMhz looked at the latest version of the GPS navigation suite for Windows Mobile smartphones and PocketPCs, CoPilot Live 7. Featuring a whole new "touch-friendly" interface and a number of other excellent features, this is one of the best options for anyone with a Windows Mobile Phone.
Sun Microsystems will be exploring the "high-risk idea of replacing the wires between computer chips with laser beams." The Sun researchers refer to their new system as a "macrochip." They said that the technology would make it possible for computer architects to completely rethink the organization of circuitry on a computer.
The CEO of Queensland's Buzz Broadband has labeled the WiMAX technology a "disaster" that had "failed miserably." In an astonishing tirade to an international WiMAX conference audience in Bangkok yesterday afternoon, CEO Garth Freeman slammed the technology, saying its non-line of sight performance was "non-existent" beyond just 2 kilometres from the base station, indoor performance decayed at just 400m and that latency rates reached as high as 1000 milliseconds.
Wired have a huge but fascinating article about rescuing a capsized container vessel. They're a motley mix: American, British, Swedish, Panamanian. Each has a specialty — deep-sea diving, computer modeling, underwater welding, big-engine repair. And then there's Habib, the guy who regularly helicopters onto the deck of a sinking ship, greets whatever crew is left, and takes command of the stricken vessel. Good Sunday arvo reading.
From paulh: Found this in New Scientist magazine. If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader Version 7 (its fixed in 8) and go look at the Patent List referring to this software (Help | About |Patent and Legal Notices) you will see a long list of Patents starting with 337,604. IF you then go to the US Patent Office Website and have a look at Patent 337,604 here (works best in IE.. Doesn’t seem to like Firefox) You get a patent for a Towel Rack. Not sure whether this counts as news or what.. but it's weird enough I thought you might like it. Someone somewhere actually started going through the patents. I’m sure they were surprised with their first hit.
Ah-hah, just earlier today I was whinging to one of my Apple-friendly mates that iTunes had tried to sneakly install Apple's Safari web browser onto my PC, by making it look like a normal iTunes update. Seems I'm not the only one affected.
Tweaktown took a look at Gigabyte's DES and ASUS's EPU, both power-saving technologies. First we thought we would start off with a bit on the GIGABYTE implementation for saving power which they have called Dynamic Energy Saver or DES for short. On the technical side of things, DES looks and feels to be a more involved design when it comes to how it operates compared to the ASUS implementation.
Timbot spotted these home gaming setups that are all pretty insane. Playing PS3 or Xbox 360 at any one of these awesome gaming rooms would be like immersing yourself right into the game, rather than just playing it. You can literally feel like you’re in the cockpit, on the battlefield, or surrounded by zombies at any of these ridiculous game rooms.
TrustedReviews have part 3 of their console classics guide posted. In the first two parts of our console classic guide we ran through the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. Now, in our final part we?re looking at what we?re going to call the 32-bit era, though in truth it?s more like the ?32/64/who really knows what-bit?? era.
YouTube have announced their 2007 Award Winners. You have spoken! Here are the videos that you voted to the top of the heap.
Don sent in this BBC Questionaut timewaster. He reckons it's awesome despite being a kids game. Journey through strange worlds and test your knowledge of English, Maths and Science on this magical mission to recover your friend’s hat.
PCSTATS have written a beginners guide to recovering and repairing Vista installations. If you were used to the recovery tools available under Windows XP, you will be annoyed to find that none of the old methods work in Vista, especially the 'repair install' that could generally be relied upon to fix most XP issues. New tactics are required for Vista, so let's help you learn them!
According to Tech ARP, Microsoft are delaying the release of Windows XP's Service Pack 3 RTM. Microsoft has also made some changes to when and how Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be released. There is a thread discussing this here.
BioWare's Matt Atwood spoke to bit-tech.net about "ports, pron and piracy". We talk to Matt Atwood from BioWare about piracy in the industry, having Jack Thompson defend sex scenes in Mass Effect and whether Tim Sweeney is right that PC hardware is slowly killing the PC gaming market. Oh, and he details the Mass Effect PC conversion for us too.
The Tweaking Companion for Windows Vista from TweakGuides has been significantly revised, and now includes all the changes from Vista's SP1. The guide covers every major topic, from the correct installation of Windows and critical drivers and software, through to recommendations for every significant setting and feature, all the major performance and convenience tweaks and customizations, as well as detailed troubleshooting advice.
Ars Technica reports that the now-concluded 700MHz spectrum auction raised a grand total of US$19.592 billion for the US government, with Verizon and AT&T coming out as the big winners. The auction ended this afternoon with a terse announcement by the Commission that there were no "bids, withdrawals, or proactive activity rule waivers" during round 261. "Therefore, Auction 73 has closed under the simultaneous stopping rule."
Celchu noticed an article from The Sydney Morning Herald reporting, somewhat innacurately, that Exetel has started to crack down on copyright infringers. Exetel's modified notice and disconnect system, which executive Steve Waddington said in a blog post had been operating for two years, prevents users who have been fingered as copyright infringers by a "recognised industry source or their legal representatives" from browsing any web pages. More information on Steve Waddington's blog and Whirlpool Broadband Forums.
A University of Virginia student, along with his two Germany-based partners, are claiming to have cracked the encryption code used to protect millions of wireless smartcards. The popular chip that the trio "dissected" is called the MiFare Classic RFID chip and is manufactured by NXP Semiconductors, a Netherlands-based company. Nohl and his colleagues found that it was fairly easy to crack the RFID chip's code.
Museum Victoria has an article about Australia's first computer, CSIRAC. For the next eight years, CSIRAC provided a computing service for science and industry, operating for approximately 30,000 hours and tackling around 700 projects. These included calculations for weather forecasting, forestry, loan repayments, building design, psychological research and electricity supply.
VooDoo spotted this cool Kangaroo TV idea at the Formula 1 round in Melbourne. While I've been a regular race-goer for thirteen years, I've never felt as in-touch with the race as I did with Kangaroo TV around my neck. There are super-screens around the track that display the main race feed, but having the ability to change channels, listen to alternate commentary and watch live-timing right in the palm of your hands is something that feels like it's from the future.
Caffeine junkies will enjoy this coffee printer video. Yep, Oleskiy Pikalo woke up one day with a hankerin' for some fancy designs on his latte, so he bought a used Philips 8155 x-y flatbed plotter and modified it to shoot out edible ink. The result is a machine that can draw surprisingly detailed art on your cup of joe — and put creative baristas everywhere to shame.
Internet addiction is apparently a common mental disorder, according to the American Journal of Psychiatry. “After a series of ten cardiopulmonary-related deaths in internet cafés and a game-related murder, South Korea considers internet addiction one of its most serious public health issues,” he said.
Timbot sent in this article about massive "oil" reserves on Titan. Saturn’s orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new Cassini data. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes.
Trog sent word of a new World of Warcraft trailer on AusGamers Files. Explore the mystical grounds of the new 5-person dungeon, Magisters' Terrace, where one of the Burning Crusade's most notorious villains is preparing to make his desperate last stand. Lead your raid group straight into the heart of the Sunwell Plateau to confront the most terrifying and deadly agents of the Burning Legion.
TechGage and Bit-Tech are the latest to post their thoughts on Intel's recent announcement of Nehalem, Larrabee, etc.
HotHardware meanwhile report on Microsoft and Intel's multi-threading research centres. Even today, writing software able to take advantage of multi-threading is notoriously difficult. In order to help drive the development of the tools and threading-aware applications, Microsoft and Intel are together awarding the Univerity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of California at Berkeley $10 million dollars over five years to fund two Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC).
NeoSeeker have a mid-range GPU roundup posted. There is a veritable wealth of cards available around this price-point. While the last generation of video cards had a relatively weak mid-range compared to the top-end cards when it came down to game performance, nowadays it is a very different situation altogether.
Murray noticed this silent "fan" with no moving parts. Boffins in the US have developed a microchip fan with no moving parts that operates silently and generates enough wind to cool a laptop computer. More here, thanks William.
Apparently IE8 Beta 1 came out recently too. Internet Explorer 8 can be installed on Microsoft Windows Vista® Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Vista, Windows XP® Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Server® 2008 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2).
Arthur C. Clarke, RIP
(link) Wednesday, 19-March-2008 00:41:26 (GMT +10) - by Agg
A few people sent word that Science Fiction Grandmaster Arthur C. Clarke has died, aged 90. When I was a little kid I read his Islands in the Sky, which opened my eyes to the wonders of science and astronomy. I've been a huge fan of his writing ever since and consider him partly responsible for why I'm such a huge nerd. Thanks Arthur, and rest in peace.
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 and nForce 790i Ultra SLI
(link) Tuesday, 18-March-2008 16:14:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg
NVIDIA have officially released their GeForce 9800 GX2 dual-GPU video cards. With two on-board GPUs, a GeForce® 9800 GX2-based graphics solution is bar-none the fastest graphics card available, and when paired with a 7 Series NVIDIA nForce® motherboard, creates the latest in a line of powerful NVIDIA gaming platforms.
They also announced the nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard chipset. NVIDIA® nForce® 790i Ultra SLI®-based motherboards are the foundation for the world’s fastest gaming PCs, delivering top performance for 1600 MHz FSB Intel CPUs with extreme CPU overclocking, and unmatched DirectX® 10 gaming for 2-way, 3-way and Quad SLI technology.
CafePress for OCAU Merchandise?
(link) Tuesday, 18-March-2008 11:23:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg
People still ask me about OCAU merchandise pretty regularly. I'm happy to get some more merchandise happening but preferably in a way that doesn't chew up all my time for weeks and leave me with loads of stock in the shed. :) One interesting idea is CafePress, which is a "create on demand" setup based in the USA. Shipping has historically been the problem with them for Australian people but, hmm, it doesn't seem so bad anymore. There's not a huge number of interesting products, but I made a few for example:
There's a few other options if people want anything specific. Anyway, let me know what you think about the pricing/shipping/products/etc on there. Failing that, does anyone know of an Australian equivalent to CafePress?
Forum member HyRax1 has written a how-to thread on encrypting specific directories in the Ubuntu operating system using EncFS. This HowTo is based on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10, but should work with any distro that has ENCFS available to it. … Purpose: To encrypt one or more specific directories on Linux without needing to encrypt the entire volume or partition.
Domain Name Journal has confirmed that the Fund.com domain name recently sold for an incredible price of US$9,999,950. Fund.com, thus becomes the highest all cash domain sale ever reported topping Porn.com (sold for $9.5 million in May of last year).
AnandTech have posted an interesting article discussing various aspects of hardware virtualization. In this first article we discuss "hardware virtualization", i.e. the technology that makes it possible to offer several virtualized server such as VMware's ESX, Xen, and Windows 2008's Hyper-V.
Ars Technica wants to let everyone know that rumours of an official launch date for Windows 7 are not true. Perhaps it's a sign of how desperate some sites are to get linked by the big aggregators, or perhaps it's a sign of how disappointed people are with Windows Vista—or both—but the endless stories about Windows 7's "official launch" are silly and (more importantly) quite misleading.
The team from PC Perspective have released their latest Podcast where they spoke with John Carmack. What started out as a simple Q&A about Intel's ray tracing plans turned into a discussion on the future of gaming hardware, both PC and console, possible software approaches to future rendering technology, multiple-GPU and multi-core CPU systems and even a possible insight into id Tech 6, the engine that will replace the id Tech 5 / Rage title.
Tom's Hardware look at the fifteen greatest hacking exploits. Some hackers have left their marks on the history of computers, becoming idols for a whole class of newer computer users. Let's go back and take a look at these computer gods, some of whom could break every known protection, and even became involved in great virtual manhunts with the powers that be.
Intel's Dunnington, Nehalem and Larrabee
(link) Tuesday, 18-March-2008 03:34:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Intel have revealed some info on their upcoming products. Among those are Dunnington, the company's upcoming six-core server part; Nehalem, the next-generation architecture that will supplant Core 2 processors later this year; and Larrabee, Intel's forthcoming discrete graphics processor. Coverage on Tech Report, HotHardware, PC Perspective, HWSecrets and Anandtech. Discussion in this thread in our Intel Hardware forum.
From slick: I was in the process of explaining the concept of LAN parties recently to a work colleague. I headed over to Wikipedia and started explaining what I got up to in high school. I came across this picture that just shocked me... Apparently it's a photo from the world's largest LAN party, DreamHack.
Phoronix have benchmarked the performance of disk encryption in Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 6. Unfortunately, the Ubiquity installer in Ubuntu 8.04 continues to lack LVM and encryption support, but using Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 6 we have looked at the performance cost of this encrypted configuration on Ubuntu Linux.
For those having trouble soldering surface mount components onto printed circuit boards, you might be interested in looking at the technique a certified IPC trainer uses. John Gammell sent this video to me in response to one of my newbie attempts. In it, he shows how a pro approaches an SMT job using the "vertical drag" method. Direct YouTube link.
Driver Heaven looked at Soulstorm, the latest title in the Warhammer 40K series, and questions whether it is any good or if it's just another tired rerun. Soulstorm includes two new armies as well as flying units and more maps, but nothing to rewrite the game history, this is not necessarily a bad thing however as the series has developed into a very playable and enjoyable gaming experience.
If you've been wanting to overclock your PC but were not sure how to do it, have a look at Benchmark Reviews' Introduction to Overclocking Guide for Beginners. I believe that if you learn properly you can overclock without trouble, as long as you know your limits. This tutorial explains how to determine these limits.
Still on the subject of overclocking, circuitREMIX had a go at overclocking Intel's Core 2 Duo E8400 Xeon counterpart, the E3110. For those who don't care about heat, we were able to get our E3110 to run at 4.3GHz at 1.443v, which is still a pretty safe voltage if you have decent air cooling. For those with watercooling or higher end cooling, 4.5GHz and beyond should be easy.
Here's an interesting article from CNET on some of the differences between the flash hard drive in their Dell Latitude D830 and a conventional mechanical hard drive in their T42 ThinkPad. The notebook I'm testing--a Dell Latitude D830 with a 64GB flash hard drive from Samsung--hasn't emitted a sound in three days. … Compare that with my T42 ThinkPad. It sounds like a guinea pig got trapped inside, particularly during the start-up phase.
From Spoon69: Spoon69 from the forums here, not sure if this news worthy or not, but my friend, and fellow OCAU user Herbo was flown across to Singapore on Friday to partake in the international Crisis tournament. He was 1 of 6 people representing Australia and he did us proud by coming 2nd overall. For his efforts he won a new pc. Unfortunately that’s all I have information wise at the moment, as he doesn’t return to Australia until very early Monday morning. Nice one! Hopefully we'll see some pics and info soon.
Timbot spotted The VirtuSphere, like a giant hamster exercise ball you play video games in. The Washington-based manufacturers describe it as the ultimate computer games peripheral, but say it could also be used as a unique exercise treadmill or for simulation exercises.
It's all becoming a bit SkyNet-like in Second Life, with a child-like intelligence having been created in-game. The child is a product of logic-based artificial intelligence and complex modelling techniques, and operates on what has been said to be the most powerful university-based supercomputing system in the world.
Here's an interesting article about the dirtiest jobs in IT. Closely related to the help desk zombie, but even lower on the totem pole, is the on-site reboot specialist. Unlike help desk or support vampires, the on-site rebootnik must venture out into the physical world and deal with actual people.
From Vic: Here's a cool TF2 case mod I found while browsing youtube. Work log page: here.
Intel are looking to unveil a new line of SSDs. During Q2 2008 the company will launch 1.8-in. and 2.5-in. solid-state drives offering between 80GB and 160GB diskless storage.
TechARP have a new benchmark involving x264 HD encoding. Simply put, it is a reproducible measure of fast your machine can encode a short, HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file.
TechReport have the second part of their guide to console classics. Part one of our journey back through console history took us to the 8-bit era of the NES, Sega Master System and PC Engine. However, it was with the 16-bit machines that console gaming really took off in the UK. This was the period when games consoles took the imagination of the kids, teens and twenty somethings by force.
The qualifying has just started in the first Formula One round of the season, which of course is in Melbourne this weekend. If you can't get near a TV or the track, here's some photos from people in our Photography Gallery:
click for threads
You can also keep track of things in this thread in our Motoring Forum.
Call of Duty 4 developer, Infinity Ward, will be releasing the game's first downloadable map pack in the coming months. Now that the team has moved on from the single-player campaign (and has time to work up some new art assets), we can expect to see new Call of Duty 4 maps set in entirely new locations separate from the original game.
Gibson Guitar have claimed Activision's 'Guitar Hero' infringes a patent they hold. Gibson said the games, in which players press buttons on a guitar-shaped controller in time with notes on a TV screen, violates a 1999 patent for technology to simulate a musical performance.
The Game On exhibition is being held at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne (map) until the 13th of July. Game On tracks the development of videogames from the first computer game to arcade-era hits and the very latest from today's billion dollar industry. OCAU Forums thread.
Madshrimps have a guide on overclocking NVIDIA's GeForce 8400GS video card. In this guide we'll be showing you how to increase performance via voltmods, where to solder and what resistor value's you should look out for.
PlayIt3D recently interviewed Robert Krakoff, the co-founder and president of Razer. Here we are today with Robert Krakoff answering some questions on Razer and what Razer have planned in the future!
Ars Technica talk about a planned IPv4 outage during an Internet Engineering Task Force meeting held this week. Yesterday evening, shortly before 7 PM, the mixed IPv4/IPv6 network was turned off, forcing the IETF to proverbially eat its own dog food and talk to the world outside the meeting hotel through the remaining IPv6-only network.
If you're feeling creative this weekend, why not have a go at making your own hand-drawn hologram. I've stumbled across a technique for drawing holograms directly upon a plastic plate by hand. … This takes nothing more than a compass and some scraps of plexiglas.
Things didn't go entirely to plan with an update of the database server today, so I had to go visit the datacentre and sort things out. Anyway, it's all good now. In future to let people know what's going on I'll update this page:
Speaking of aircraft, the USAF's F-117 Stealth Fighter will be retired next month. The Air Force decided to accelerate the retirement of the F-117s to free up money to modernize the rest of the fleet. The F-117 is being replaced by the F-22 Raptor, which also has stealth technology.
Sniper spotted this new fast SSD from OCZ. While first generation SSD drives had read speeds of 58 MB/s and supported write speeds of up to 35 MB/s, the second generation comes with a massive 120 MB/s read and an even more impressive 100MB/s write speed.
Meanwhile Guru3D show how you can make your own SSD, kinda. Why using CompactFlash you ask ? CompactFlash defines a physical interface which is smaller than, but electrically identical to the good old ATA interface. That is, it appears to the host device as if it were a hard disk of some defined size and has a tiny IDE controller on-board the CF device itself.
Subcommandante sent in this odd one about nanowires responding to music. Silicon nanowires grow more densely when blasted with Deep Purple than any other music tested, says an Australian researcher.
TechReport checked out AMD's CrossFire X. AMD's CrossFire X will let three or four Radeon HD 3800 GPUs team up in order to kick some green team backside. How well does it work? We've taken a quick look at AMD's first drivers for CrossFire X, we've talked with one of AMD's driver architects, and we have some interesting things to report.
PCPerspective spoke to John Carmack. In our article, John discusses his views on what Intel is trying to do with Larrabee as well as the future id Tech 6 engine (beyond the upcoming Rage title). We also discuss multi-GPU graphics and the AGEIA physics situation. As always, the amount of information that John brings to the table in a short time is impressive.
TweakTown have an analysis of the recently released ATI Catalyst 8.3 drivers for Radeon graphics cards. This is a pretty good driver as far as performance increases go for Vista users. … The Windows XP driver on the other hand seems to be horrendous for X2 users with some severe power drops.
An editorial just published by bit-tech.net talks about why sequels are a good thing. We all hate sequels right? Sequels suck. Why can't those idiots who make games come up with new ideas? All we get from companies like EA are the same game again and again. That's a bad thing right? Or is it?
IGN interviewed Al Alcorn (the creator of Pong) on the birth of Atari, holographic gaming and being paid to not show up to work. Al Alcorn is one of the most important figures from the earliest days of the videogame industry. Not only was he there at the birth of Atari, alongside Nolan Bushnell, but he was the engineer who built Pong – the second coin-operated videogame machine and the game that kicked off an industry.
Register Hardware reminds us that the MP3 player is ten years old this month. The first commercially released personal music player capable of handling MP3 files was the MPMan F10, manufactured by Korea's Saehan Information Systems and launched in March 1998. The F10 contained 32MB of Flash storage, enough for a handful of songs encoded at 128Kb/s.
Finally, Tech ARP explain how to get the NVIDIA ForceWare 174 drivers to work with GeForce 8 cards. If you try to install ForceWare 174 using a GeForce 8 series card, it won't allow you to do so, stating that no compatible graphics card were found. However, it is very simple to hack the driver to allow its installation with a GeForce 8 or older graphics card.
Tech ARP have just updated their Hard Drive Performance Comparison Guide, where they test and compare the performance of all the hard drives they can get their hands on. Of course, the hard drive is more than just a repository for our data or a place to store the games we play. It affects the performance of our PCs, especially how long it takes to launch applications or games, or open up files. Its performance is also critical if you are low on RAM because your PC will use more virtual memory. This is where the Hard Drive Performance Comparison Guide comes in.
TechwareLabs recently took an unbiased look at Windows Vista and explain what they felt were the advantages and disadvantages of this still relatively new operating system. Like all operating systems there are advantages and disadvantages to using the operating system from Microsoft. Most of the people I talked to so far take up "I hate it or love it" attitude. People that generally love the system tend to point out its convenient features such as the new Graphical User Interface (GUI), added security, DirectX 10, and other extra features that are packed into the 6 billion dollar giant. The people that disagree tend to complain about Vista's slow transfer speeds, compatibility issues, and other miscellaneous problems that become annoying and unbearable to them over time. Users from the Overclockers Australia Forums describe what they like and dislike about Windows Vista in the for and against threads.
Coincidentally, William George from Puget Custom Computers shares his experience with Vista and why it isn't as bad as you've heard, responding to some of the charges that have been leveled against Vista. There are lists of why folks hate Vista, lists of things Microsoft supposedly stole from the Mac OS, and reports of people switching back to XP in disgust. Amidst all of this negativity, I wanted to share my experience with Vista - which has been remarkably good!
FireTech sent word that the Knowledge Base Article regarding the data corruption issue with Microsoft's Windows Home Server has been updated, with a Q&A page available here. The Windows Home Server team's current plan is to "release beta test versions of a fix over the next few months, with a final version currently estimated for June 2008, although that date could change as testing progresses."
DiGiTaL_MoNkEY spotted an article on the TorrentFreak site describing how the Dutch university INHOLLAND uses BitTorrent as a network management tool to distribute software to 6500 desktop computers in 16 different locations throughout the Netherlands. Before they decided to use BitTorrent, more than 20 servers were needed to distribute 25.6 TBs of data to the desktops, and even then it could take up to 4 days to update them all. Now, with BitTorrent, this process has speeded up significantly, and all computers are updated with the latest software in less than 4 hours. The data doesn't have to be distributed from one location, since all the workstations connected to the network actively help in the distribution.
An article on the CNN.com site details an interview they did with a Chinese hacking group who said that "no Web site is one hundred percent safe," and that "there are Web sites with high-level security, but there is always a weakness." They operate from a bare apartment on a Chinese island. They are intelligent 20-somethings who seem harmless. But they are hard-core hackers who claim to have gained access to the world's most sensitive sites, including the Pentagon. A video of this interview is available here.
CircleID mentions that the March 2008 Domain Name Industry Brief released by VeriSign reports that "the Domain Name Industry closed 2007 with more than 153 million domain name registrations worldwide across all of the Top-Level Domain Names (TLDs), an increase of nearly 33 million domain name registrations since the close of 2006." In the last quarter of 2007, the base of domain name registrations grew 27 percent over the fourth quarter of 2006 and five percent over the third quarter of 2007… The total base of Country Code Top Level Domain Names (ccTLDs) was 58 million, a 33 percent increase year over year and a six percent increase quarter over quarter. Across all of the gTLDs and ccTLDs, .com has the highest base followed by .de (Germany), .net and .cn (China). The fifth spot is shared by .uk (United Kingdom) and .org. with approximately the same size base of domain name registrations. A PDF copy of the Domain Name Industry Brief for March 2008 can be downloaded here (239 KB).
To round up this post, trog has said that two new StarCraft II trailers − Zerg Revealed (56.8 MB) / Zerg Cinematic Teaser (6.87 MB) − are now available on the AusGamers site. The third and expected playable race in StarCraft 2, the Zerg were revealed by Blizzard at a recent Korean event. Two of these trailers have now been released in a higher quality and you can check them out locally on AusGamers.
Marc spotted a shoe with a Nintendo in it. Just the thing for Maxwell Smart to get his Super Mario Brothers fix.
From Primax: Hot chicks cosplaying as Link from the Legend of Zelda. Arguably this is greater geek eyecandy than booth babes. :P
Aftahours spotted an older but interesting article about sleeve vs ball-bearing fans. It's accepted that ball bearings produce more noise then sleeve bearings - 1 to 3 dBA according to some sources - but the differences are rarely noticeable during their typical roles in cooling fans.
BF sends word of a new MythTV version release. It's been quite a while, so there's lots of new stuff. Notably: autodiscovery (less manual configuration of new frontends), storage groups (no need for LVM/etc), support for multiple recordings on one DVB/ATSC multiplex, a couple new plugins, some new deinterlacing/video display options, and many, many other things. There's a huge page about MythTV in the Wiki, too.
TrustedReviews have a guide to console classics. In the first part of a multi-part series, Stuart takes us on a trip down memory lane to look at the 8-bit consoles that started it all. So, if you have fond memories of the NES, Master System, and PC Engine then check this out.
HWZone meanwhile cover the Singapore IT Show 2008 in part 1 and part 2, and TechWareLabs went to MegaCon 2008 which is for sci-fi, anime, horror and hero genres. Each year in Orlando Florida thousands of eager people gather to meet the celebrities behind the mask and dress up as their favorite character. We cover MegaCon 2008 and have a 13 page gallery filled with all the ensuing mayhem. Stay tuned for our MegaCon 2008 Babes gallery.
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 games, memory, web hosting, TV tuners, energy drinks, mp3 players, RC helicopters, headphones and various components etc. Check 'em out!
Forum Projects #2
(link) Sunday, 9-March-2008 10:57:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Apparently the universe is 13.73 billion years old, give or take a bit. NASA’s WMAP is the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (which is a mouthful, and why we just call it WMAP). It was designed to map the Universe with exquisite precision, detecting microwaves coming from the most distant source there is: the cooling fireball of the Big Bang itself.
DailyTech report on the Acid3 Test for browsers. Currently, no known browser is able to correctly render the Acid3 test, which displays an animated, incrementing score counter and a series of colored boxes with some description text.
Publishing giant Ziff Davis has filed for bankruptcy protection, thanks Sniper. The company cited a decrease in revenue after falling print subscriptions and advertising as the main reason for the filing, according to an Associated Press report. Ziff Davis has holdings including PC Magazine and Electronic Gaming Monthly, and plans to undertake a major restructuring to reduce its debt.
Google has been banned from taking images of military bases in the USA. The ban comes after detailed footage from inside and outside of the U.S. military base at Fort Sam Houston in Texas turned on up Google Earth’s Street View service.
Phoronix looked at NVIDIA Quadro performance under Windows, Linux and Solaris. In this article today, we are doing just that as we test the NVIDIA Quadro FX1700 512MB with each of these operating systems and their respective binary display drivers.
There's an interesting analysis here about Flash and Disk storage. Looking at these figures you can see its possible to buy 23 times the storage per dollar with 3.5 inch disks compared with flash.
Bigiain notes that the Apple iPhone SDK has been released, a 2.1GB download. Washingtonpost have an article covering it. Ultimately, the iPhone may very well shape up to be a major platform in its own right if programmers take to the SDK en masse. And if the App Store fills up quickly with cool tools and games, yesterday's announcement may prove to be a major one, even for those who have no interest in creating their own software.
An attack on the Pentagon last June apparently stole an "amazing amount" of data, thanks Rezin. The messages themselves were spoofed and appeared to be legitimate missives from other employees. Once the recipient opened an infected email, the worm sent that person's password and other login credentials back to home base.
Here's an amusing story about a Phantom of the Internet who mysteriously plagiarises other websites, thanks Wessam. Someone's been hacking into his websites. He says he was alerted to the problem by his web techs on February the 14th this year.
The XBOX 360 HD DVD Emulator is now available as a free download on Xbox Live. This is a development and test tool. If you're looking to make your own HD DVDs or play around with some HDi - have at it. If you think this will allow you to playback ripped discs you have stored on a hard drive, it will not. The emulator is a great tool for testing HD DVD projects.
I haven't quite got my head around what this means yet, but there's a new .au domain transfers policy from auDA. Some more info here. Basically it's allowing a secondary market in our domains, from the sounds of things.
Trent Reznor is giving away music, and still making lots of money. For all the talk of Reznor "pulling a Radiohead," though, the actual strategy was different. There is no "choose your price" component, and there is no free download of the complete project from the NiN site. Instead, Reznor's strategy is more akin to the "free sample" model. Discussion here.
ASELabs have a guide to a DOS bootable USB drive. The one area that USB flash drives are lacking is the ability to boot. Even though many computer motherboards support USB booting, it is difficult to get the right combination. Using this guide, you will be able to make a bootable USB "hard drive.
TechSpot have a video about upgrading an UPS. All in all, I spent about $300, including the tools, to make a UPS with an ~80AH capacity.
Bit-Tech reckon the manufacturers are misinterpreting the enthusiast. It's all about buying it for the look, for the oodles of features you'll never use and general e-peen extension. Back in the day, the real enthusiasts were people that bought relatively inexpensive products and made them into expensive ones. It was about extracting the maximum value and that doesn't correlate to these companies’ bottom lines.
IGN talk to an Australian working on WoW. But what's it like working at Blizzard? What's it like inside those walls? And what is the team cooking up for the new Sunwell Isle patch? We caught up with Julian Morris, an Aussie ex-pat working as an exterior level designer on World of Warcraft to find out.
OCZ have a press release out about their neural activator entering mass production. The NIA radically changes the ways that gamers can interact and control elements within games, and can be configured in a matter of minutes for any game that is already published or will be released.
Rezin spotted an interesting article about Windows on a (USB) stick. Riffing off SanDisk's concept of "bring it all with you," reports now say that Microsoft is extending SanDisk's approach to the rest of Windows with a new "StartKey" product. By the end of the year, StartKey portable flash drives could store a user's Windows profile, applications, and settings, or even an entire bootable installation.
TheTechLounge are the latest to check out the 8.3 Catalysts from ATI/AMD. As of Catalyst 8.3, a.k.a. "The New Beginning" a.k.a. "The Big One" a.k.a. "The Humptyback Zinglebert," it's clear that CrossFireX has picked up where SLI left off. Right now, it's a better arrangement, with a lot of advantages not limited to performance. It's just that now there's even more reason for NVIDIA to improve SLI, and when they do, they're likely to start with a hardware advantage.
I recently made the move to an HDTV, PS3, Blu-Ray etc.. earlier today I watched the Blu-Ray version of Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and man, for a film that's 40 years old this year, it still looks fantastic.
Whirlpool have published the results of their Australian Broadband Survey 2007. The Australian Broadband Survey for 2007 was conducted over a four week period — from 31 December 2007 to 1 February 2008, during which the survey was successfully completed and verified a total of 17,881 times.
Quite a few people sent in this story about Australia's geekiest geek. And no, it's not me. :) A swipe of his arm under a small scanner identifies Oxer with the house computer, which then unlocks the door. But that's just the tip of the iceberg for Australia's biggest nerd, whose entire house is connected to a central processor and can be controlled remotely via a computer or mobile phone.
Rezin spotted this way of viewing YouTube videos in higher res than default. What videos will actually look better in the higher res format is completely dependent on the material that was uploaded to YouTube, obeying the rules of garbage in garbage out.
The_Scotsman sent word that the Australian Navy's Seasprite project has been officially canned, with $1.1B having been spent already. More here and here. But developing the advanced combat system proved difficult, as did fitting the flight control system, and the project was plagued by delays.
TrustedReviews looked at the upcoming mobile Penryn. With Intel introducing 45nm processors to notebooks in the form of Penryn, we take a look at how this new range compares to the 65nm Merom CPUs they're replacing.
Metku built a 100% passively cooled system. I have wanted to build a fully passively cooled computer case since I had my first Athlon Thunderbird 800 MHz. That time the fan noise was amazingly high, and manufacturers didn´t much care about the noise levels, and didn't offer products for building a quiet PC. Nowadays a quiet PC is not much of a challenge to build, but totally silent?
Well, I've run out of postpacks for the moment, so it's time for some news catchup!
Bit-Tech have an editorial about the Sea of Grey, their name for the performance graphics mainstream market. Tim Smalley mulls over the ups and downs of having lots products to choose from. They also have a Mod of the Month contest for February.
TechPowerUp have a GeForce 8800 voltmodding article posted. Our latest voltmod article contains detailed instructions how to modify the GeForce 8800 GS/GT/GTS for higher voltages to increase the overclocking potential. Included modifications are GPU Voltage, Memory Voltage, Reverse Memory Voltage and Overcurrent Protection.
LegitReviews checked out 3-way NVIDIA SLI with 8800 GTX cards, and to keep things even, also took a look at ATI CrossFireX Triple benchmarking. We slapped together a Radeon HD 3870 X2 with a Radeon HD 3870, which in turn creates a Triple CrossFireX platform with just two x16 PCI Express slots. Read on to see what CrossFireX is all about!
CPU3D are installing a custom phase-change cooler in their system. Our resident overclocker takes a look at how to install a Phase Change Cooler. Is it easy, cost effective and what are the benefits? Lots of similar shenanigans in our Extreme Cooling forum.
Rezin sends word of an OSX security issue. Apple has confirmed a security glitch that, in many situations, will let someone with physical access to a Macintosh computer gain access to the password of the active user account. Hmm, not securing physical access would present a problem for many systems.
Microsoft will be cutting the price of some boxed Vista versions, thanks HCT. Only copies of the year-old operating system that are sold in boxes directly to consumers are affected by the price cuts - not the versions pre-loaded on personal computers. The cuts will range from 20 percent to 48 percent.
Meanwhile IntelInside spotted an article about emails from MS's top brass, complaining about Vista. One executive, Mike Nash, complained he was "burned" so badly by compatibility issues he was left with "a $2100 email machine".
HWZone wonder what $1600 (presumably USD) gets you in a battle between branded PCs and DIY PCs. Now that the festive season is over, the chances are you probably have some spare cash on hand, so why not take the opportunity to get your hands on a new budget rig? With that thought in mind, we decided to see what we could get in terms of performance and value with a set budget.
Another one from Rezin, this time looking at web hosting now vs 10 years ago. We looked at three things. The price of a regular, consumer-oriented shared web hosting account, and how much storage space and data transfer (traffic) was included in that account. And boy have things changed. In a little over a year, OCAU will be 10 years old! And boy have things changed. :)
Last but not least, here's a video about some pretty cool sounding technology. Science educator Roy Gould and Microsoft's Curtis Wong give an astonishing sneak preview of Microsoft's new WorldWide Telescope -- a technology that combines feeds from satellites and telescopes all over the world and the heavens, and weaves them together holistically to build a comprehensive view of our universe.
OCAU Polo Shirts Clearance Still On
(link) Monday, 3-March-2008 06:44:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Over the weekend and today I've packed a total of 40 polo shirt orders! Many sizes are now sold out, but we still have stock of these sizes (measure one of your current shirts between the armpits to match sizing):
L - 58cm
XL - 62cm
2XL - 65cm
$25 each inc shipping Australia-wide. Order 2 and get a free OCAU stubby holder! Once they're gone, they're gone! More info in this thread.
It's been a while since I last mentioned Folding@Home. We're still in second place in the world, behind the [H]orde, where we've been for quite a while now. Traditionally as the heat of summer fades away our production ramps up again, so if you'd like be part of that push, check out the Team OCAU Forum and the Folding Page. There's a guide to getting started here. Have fun, compete with your friends and help find cures for diseases - remember, OCAU is Team 24!
Duncan sent in this petition about internet censorship in Australia. So, if you like signing online petitions and you're opposed to the Rudd Government's plans to try and force internet filtering on us, sign away.
MSI have an interesting new northbridge cooler, using a Stirling engine and therefore needing no electricity, despite having a spinning fan. As hot air expands in the system, it applies pressure to the central piston in the heatsink pushing it up. The piston's movement upwards rotates gears which in turn spin the fan. Thermal energy generated by the chipset is converted into kinetic energy. Discussion here. Scottath noticed more info here and here.
Craig notes that Google is opposed to OOXML. "After further technical analysis of the specification along with all the additional data available on OOXML, Google believes OOXML would be an insufficient and unnecessary standard, designed purely around the needs of Microsoft Office," Google says.
Speaking of which, the free browser game Ikariam has attracted a huge following on OCAU in only a few days. Check out the original thread here in our Games forum, and there's more info here in the Wiki.
Bit-Tech have a mainstream graphics comparison. We take six of today's performance mainstream graphics cards and put them through a gauntlet of tests to work out where the best value for money lies. We come out with a number of interesting findings, but will they answer all of our questions, or create more? Read on to find out.
Meanwhile HWZone have a GeForce 9600 GT Showdown posted. The mid-range segment got a boost recently with the release of NVIDIA's GeForce 9600 GT, shaking up the competition and leading to price cuts from ATI. It also means a flood of new cards from the many NVIDIA board partners. To help you navigate these newcomers, here's our GeForce 9600 GT shootout.
Still talking video cards, XbitLabs checked out the 256MB GeForce 8800GT to see how it compares with the 512MB models. Today we are going to check out the youngest member of the family equipped with only 256MB and will try to find out how it affects the gaming performance in contemporary titles.
They follow up with a 160GB external 2.5" HDD's roundup. We would like to introduce to you 9 external storage solutions with 2.5”hard disk drives of 160GB inside. We will talk about products from Fujitsu, Maxtor, Seagate, TEAC, Transcend, Toshiba and ZIV.
IGN say that R-rated video games may not be as close as previously thought in Australia. While the topic will still be discussed at the upcoming Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (to be held on March 28th), the controversial classification update is still being argued against by at least one, very vocal, state attorney-general - Mr. Michael Atkinson, the South Australian Labor minister.