The Space Shuttle Discovery will launch later this morning. Shuttle launches are always worth watching on NASA TV if you're interested. This mission will carry the largest payload so far to the station and includes three spacewalks. It is the second of three missions that will launch components to complete the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory. The crew will install Kibo's large Japanese Pressurized Module and Kibo's robotic arm system.
PubGamer are running a free Counter-Strike competition. You must attain at least 200 kills between now and June 13th to be in the running to win prizes totalling $1000. Prizes for this competition include mice, keyboards, speakers and headphones. More details are available on their site.
AirQ sent in this article which looks at carbon nano-ribbons and how chemists at Stanford University have developed a new way to make transistors out of them which could be used to make cooler and faster computer chips. Professor Dai's group succeeded in making graphene nano-ribbons fewer than 10 nanometres wide, which allows them to operate at higher temperatures. "For graphene transistors, previous demonstrations of field-effect transistors were all done at liquid helium temperature, which is 4 Kelvin [-452 Fahrenheit]," he said. "People had not been able to make graphene nano-ribbons narrow enough to allow the transistors to work at higher temperatures until now."
TweakTown look at the new ATI Catalyst version 8.5 drivers and how they perform under XP and Vista. This month, looking through the release notes for the latest incarnation of Catalyst drivers we see that a few performance increases have been promised. … We'll see if these performance increases translate to any of the games we use.
TrustedReviews have a Far Cry 2 preview. At the moment, the PC version has a few visual bells and whistles that the consoles don't, including more realistic and dynamic explosions and more striking fire effects. However, you will probably need a Crysis-ready rig to play it; the demo version was running on a quad-core, SLI system.
Overclock3D compare two motherboards based on Intel's new 'Eaglelake' P45 chipset − the Asus P5Q Deluxe and the MSI P45 Diamond. While the Asus P5Q Deluxe is not from the pinnacle of Asus' P45 releases, not being labelled as a ROG (Republic of Gamers) board, it is pitched as a high end board aimed squarely at the overclocking enthusiast. The MSI on the other hand is at the top of the pile, being labelled as a Diamond Gamers board, hoping to lure you in with its premium features.
SRI International, an American research and development institute, has developed new technology which allows some robots to climb walls. Von Guggenberg said that the new electrical adhesive technology called compliant electroadhesion, provides an electrically controllable way to stick machines to a wall. Since positive and negative charges attract, SRI researchers induce negative charges into the wall being climbed, while at the same time imposing positive charges in the robot, using an on-board battery source.
Early Saturday Morning
(link) Friday, 30-May-2008 14:58:10 (GMT +10) - by Agg
If you're a Melbourne-based PC modder, the Herald Sun wants to talk to you. More info in this thread. I'm writing a feature article on Melbourne's Mod Squad -- so I want to interview you & run pix of the wildest mod jobs in Melbourne.
Google have opened up their Google Sites to everyone, thanks mpot. Seems to be a kinda GeoCities for the modern era. :) Now we've made it easy for anyone to set up a website to share all types of information -- team projects, company intranets, community groups, classrooms, clubs, family updates, you name it -- in one place, for a few people, a group or the world.
The International Space Station has been having failure to flush. While one of the crew was using the Russian-made toilet last week, the toilet motor fan stopped working, according to NASA. Since then, the liquid waste gathering part of the toilet has only been working on-and-off.
IGN have a look at some surreal moments in gaming. Unsurprisingly, all the strangest games I've played seem to have come from the foreign gaming market *cough!* Japan!! *cough!*.
mr bill sent word of a new class of semiconductor. According to Williams and Chua, now virtually every electronics textbook will have to be revised to include the memristor and the new paradigm it represents for electronic circuit theory.
Telstra have been showing off holograms, thanks AirQ. "We've all seen this sort of thing in futuristic sci-fi movies, but the reality is that it can be done here and now, as we have just demonstrated, because of the scope and capability of Telstra's world leading networks," Mr Thodey said.
VIA have announced their first 64-bit processor, the VIA Nano. Building on the market-leading energy efficiency of the VIA C7® processor family, the VIA Nano processor family offers as much as four times the performance within the same power range to extend VIA's performance per watt leadership, while pin compatibility with VIA C7 processors will ensure a smooth transition for OEMs and motherboard vendors, and provides them with an easy upgrade path for current system or board designs.
A Belgian university has made a GPU-based supercomputer. The system uses four NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards, it costs less than 4000EUR to build and thanks to NVIDIA's CUDA technology it delivers roughly the same performance as a supercomputer cluster consisting of hundreds of PCs!
HWSecrets have an article to tell you everything you need to know about power supplies. Everything you need to know about power supplies, including cables, connectors, efficiency, PFC, protections, form factors, ripple & noise, voltage stability, maximum power, virtual rails and much more.
Dell have a cool new mini-laptop, info here and here. It's a small form factor notebook, just like the Asus Eee and the HP 2133. He wouldn't tell me what OS it's running, or the pricing, but that it's a low-cost notebook meant for developing countries, and I hope here.
ASUS meanwhile has a desktop EeePC called the Ebox. Strongly resembling the Nintendo Wii, the Ebox will sport a 160GB hard drive, 2GB of Ram and the same customised version of Xandros Linux found on its portable predecessor.
Sam noticed that Firefox are attempting a world record for the most software downloaded when they officially release Firefox 3. All you have to do is get Firefox 3 during Download Day to help set the record for most software downloads in 24 hours - it’s that easy. We're not asking you to swallow a sword or to balance 30 spoons on your face, although that would be kind of awesome. No official download date yet.
Brando have a new SATA HDD dock with card reader ports, thanks Sniper. Now we have a new model that still accepts bare 2.5- and 3.5-inch disks on top, but ditches the FireWire connectivity on the back in exchange for a card reader and two-port USB hub on the front -- perfect for plugging in storage of the smaller and quieter variety.
Another lost tribe has been discovered. The apparent aggression shown by these people is quite understandable. For they are members of one of Earth's last uncontacted tribes, who live in the Envira region in the thick rainforest along the Brazilian-Peruvian frontier. Discussion here.
The New South Wales Fire Brigade is having an open day and open house this coming Sunday, June 1st. As part of Open Day activities, adults and children of all ages are encouraged to head over to their local fire station and inspect a fire truck, hold a fire hose and learn more about fire safety. The theme for this year's Open Day will focus on home and winter fire safety, with the onset of winter next month, undoubtedly Australia's worst time for house fires. Also, free sausage sizzle! :)
Digit-Life compare dual-core and quad-core. This price border separates more expensive CPUs from popular products in the market. So, common users may be tempted to buy a real quad-core processor, even if it does not operate at a high clock rate. We only have to find out whether it's an objectively expedient decision.
Here's some funny pics showing that the MacBook Air might be too thin. German article but pics tell the story.
The presenters for Australia's version of Top Gear have been announced. From left to right: May, Hamster, Clarkson? Spooky. MOTORSPORT commentator Charlie Cox, cartoonist Warren Brown and driving instructor Steve Pizzati have won the highly sought-after job to host Australian Top Gear. Discussion here.
Subcommandante sent in this interview with Nintendo Australia's managing director. What's driving things at the moment is purely due to the fantastic products that we've got and the innovation. I think Mr Iwata is a brilliant man. He was prepared to step out and take the company with him, which was a massive step at the time based on the direction the others were going.
ExtremeTech have an article about installing solar power in a home, thanks Sniper. The net cost after the California rebate, Federal tax credit, and the Sunpower rebate came in at around $36K (not counting permit fees.) We ended up picking this one - not just because it was the low bid, but because it was the most thorough.
Folken sent in this warning about a Flash vulnerability. The vulnerability research community has been in a mad rush since the reports yesterday of an unpatched vulnerability in Adobe Flash being exploited in the wild. There is still a surprising amount of ambiguity in the situation, but we know a lot more than we did 24 hours ago.
He also pointed out a possible competitor for MS Exchange. PostPath seems to have released a Linux based messaging and collaboration server that is open and compatible with Exchange Server.
Iron Photographer submission deadline and Iron Musician voting underway
(link) Wednesday, 28-May-2008 16:47:37 (GMT +10) - by Rezin
Just a reminder that the deadline to submit your photo in May's Iron Photographer Challenge is 10pm (AEST) this saturday! The complete rules can be read here and here, and you can discuss the entries submitted so far in this thread. There are a lot of fantastic entries so choosing the top ten is, I'd imagine, going to be very hard.
You can also listen to the seven entries in this month's Iron Musician Challenge and vote for the one you like the best. The poll will close at 6:02pm (AEST) on saturday. You can discuss the entries in this thread. The winner of April's Iron Musician Challenge, macBdog, set the topic for this month's entries which is "confrontation." Make sure you actually listen to the tracks before you vote as there is no "candy" option and it wouldn't be right to simply vote for an entrant based on their forum handle/personality alone.
Folken pointed out this funny but sobering PDF from PIPE about the Government's NBN/FTTN process. Our analysis of the real cost to deliver on the governments FttN requirements has consistently been far higher than the $8.7billion figure bandied about by government and prospective bidders.
AirQ sent in news about Canada's anti-piracy strategy that has a few people concerned. But critics say that instead of cracking down on rogue Internet users heavily involved in illegal file sharing, the agreement seems poised to dramatically increase the government's ability to police the activities of Canadians, even when they legally purchase music files, DVDs and electronic equipment such as cellphones and personal video recorders.
Digit-Life consider the problems of testing 3D performance with FRAPS. The major point being that not all games have built-in benchmarks, to say nothing of convenient tools, simple automation, and full FPS data output. In this article we shall analyze whether it makes sense to use FRAPS to measure performance in 3D games that have no built-in benchmarks and what measurement errors this method implies.
Rezin spotted this handy-looking automatic desktop shortcut tool. Desktop Media is a free program that can display shortcuts on the desktop to USB drives, CDs/DVDs and other media when you plug them in, and automatically removes these shortcuts when you unplug.
Folken also reminded me of the Google Treasure Hunt. With each puzzle, we'll also be featuring one of our worldwide offices. The contest will run for four weeks, and you will get a virtual glimpse into our Mountain View, Sydney, and San Francisco offices.
TechReport cover CPU value. In this look at the CPU market, we explore how value scales across two, three, and four cores, whether bargain prices make AMD's Phenoms attractive from a value perspective, and how Intel's blazing-fast dual-core CPUs like the Core 2 Duo E8400 fit into the picture. Our results span 20 processors, 18 different benchmarks, and some custom tests that take power efficiency and more complete system pricing into account.
Dan's talking about a benign botnet, as well as answering some letters, about clashing drive controllers, replacing thermal goop, gilded heat sinks, and kinking cables.
2008 Multiple Sclerosis Australia Fun Run
(link) Wednesday, 28-May-2008 03:05:33 (GMT +10) - by Agg
It's only a few days until Admiral and Cee are running in the 2008 Multiple Sclerosis Australia Fun Run. You might remember this thread, where over $4000 was raised for MS Australia with the promise of Admiral doing the run in a pink speedo, among, err other things (NSFW). But of course, the original promise was that his wife would do the run in a bikini, so, in an oddly secondary nature to Admiral's speedo run, a further $3600 or so was raised for Cee's run, bringing the total to over $8000 for MS Australia! Go OCAU!
So, join in the fun in the forums here, and if you want to support Admiral or Cee and help fight MS, there's still time.
Samsung have a new fast SSD, report thanks Sniper. 256GB in size isn't too shabby either. More info here. Won't be long until I can't resist buying my first SSD, I can feel it. :)
The Phoenix lander landed successfully on Mars last night and is sending back pictures. The probe is equipped with a robotic arm to dig for water-ice thought to be buried beneath the surface. It will begin examining the site for evidence of the building blocks of life in the next few days.
From flarets: Thought this might be useful for Folders. In response to NVidia's CUDA (and in preparation for their hybrid GPU-CPU processors I suspect) AMD has released their Stream SDK to Linux (32 and 64-bit RPMs) which allows the use of a Radeon graphics card for general processing.
MadShrimps checked out a triple-core CPU from AMD, the Phenom X3 8450. Running at a modest 2100Mhz by default the Phenom X3 8450 will face stiff competition from Intel Core 2 Duo series.
If you recently went through Tokyo's airport and found a big bag of drugs in your luggage, here's why. Sniffer dogs failed to detect the cannabis and the officer could not remember which bag he had put it in.
Chook spotted this article about an encryption chip that they reckon will "end piracy". "There is a stealth encryption chip called a TPM that is going on the motherboards of most of the computers that are coming out now," he pointed out. Hmm, not much real info there.
From Marc, a GPS self-portrait has become the biggest drawing in the world. Holy cow, that's pretty amazing.
A huge security issue has been revealed in lots of open source software, thanks Kev. A simple programming error reduced the entropy in the generated program keys created by the OpenSSL library. Why does this matter? The OpenSSL library's key generation and other routines are used by the SSH remote access program, the IPsec Virtual Private Network (VPN), the Apache Web server, secure email clients, programs that offer secure internet portals and more.
Timbot spotted that GPU and Physics acceleration is NOT coming to Photoshop anytime soon. People are excited that the Photoshop team is exploring ways to make the app feel faster and smoother, and that's all good. What's irritating, though, is just how much bogus info is getting invented, passed around, and swallowed without question.
Sniper noticed this article on Flame - a robot which the creator describes as the most advanced walking robot in the world. Flame contains seven motors, an organ of balance and various algorithms which ensure its high level of stability. For instance, the robot can apply the information provided by its organ of balance to place its feet slightly further apart in order to prevent a potential fall. You can see Flame in action here.
Intel will be including SSD drives as part of their upcoming Centrino 2 platform, Montevina. Initial shipments of Intel High Performance SSDs will come in two versions – Client X25-M and Client X18-M – the former having a physical size of 2.5-inch and later 1.8-inch. Both will feature 80GB capacity and a SATA interface.
X-bit Labs have some more information on what is rumoured to be the next Xbox 360 design - Jasper. The code-named Jasper design of the Xbox 360 game console will use ATI Xenos graphics and memory controller hub (GMCH) made using 65nm process at TSMC as well as IBM Xenon central processing unit (CPU) produced at IBM’s 65nm nodes. The new system design is projected to consume less electricity, use less complex cooling systems and also produce less noise.
Disktrix have released a free version of UltimateDefrag. UltimateDefrag is revolutionary defrag software that not only lets you defrag, but also considers a more important phenomenon, and that is, the placement of files and folders on your hard drive.
A 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute in Canada has found a way to make plastic bags degrade faster. At 37 degrees and optimal bacterial concentration, with a bit of sodium acetate thrown in, Burd achieved 43 per cent degradation within six weeks. The plastic he fished out then was visibly clearer and more brittle, and Burd guesses after six more weeks, it would be gone. He hasn't tried that yet.
BurningFeetMan sent word of a new city building game being developed by Monte Cristo (the creators of CityLife). CITIES XL™ allows gamers to develop cities on realistic 3D maps using an incredible collection of unique structures and monuments based on American, Asian and European-influenced architectural styles. The maps feature a variety of environments: mountains, hills, canyons, beaches and islands, all set in different climates from tropical to desert, Mediterranean to temperate. A thread on this game can be found in our forums here.
ABC News reports on a recent survey which found that Australians with broadband spend an average of 22 hours per week on the web. The survey also revealed that online videos (whether that be feature length movies or user-generated clips) and music were the two most popular types of content on the net, with nearly half of Australian broadband users surveyed using this type of content.
A post on the ImportGenius blog details U.S. Customs records which suggest Apple will announce the 3G version of the iPhone at the World Developers Conference being held in early June. "They have never before reported this product on their customs declarations," says Ryan Petersen of ImportGenius.com. "The fact that they are importing millions of units, combined with dwindling stocks of the first generation of iPhones, clearly supports the Citi analysts predictions."
Compro Videomate E700 Dual Digital Tuner
(link) Saturday, 24-May-2008 08:16:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Spikes checked out the Compro Videomate E700 Dual Digital Tuner, in the forums:
PCAuthority report on CeBIT Sydney 2008 which was held this week. CeBIT 08 attracts more than 35,000 registered visitors and 750 exhibitors, and it's also a place for business to discuss VOIP, broadband, and other businessy things. But you're really here to find out what tech was on show. Here are the highlights.
Sniper spotted some info on AMD's GAME! initiative. In order to help address the needs of this mainstream gaming market, AMD has established a new logo program called AMD GAME!. The idea behind AMD GAME! is to guarantee that anyone buying a PC with this logo will have a good overall gaming experience with it.
Formula One goes to Monaco this weekend.. keep on track of things in this thread in our Motoring forum. The Monaco Grand Prix brings the wealthiest people from all over the world together for what really is a special weekend for Formula One. It is set in the luxurious streets of Monte Carlo, and is one of the most traditional races on the calendar.
From Jeremy: Episode 16 of Good Game will be airing Monday night, featuring reviews of Haze and Race Driver: GRID. We'll also look into the hidden side effects of Game Piracy and how it effects the industry, and meet hospital patients who are using immersive games as a form of therapy.
TechWareLabs report on MacWorld 2008. There is a first time for everything, and this time an Apple fan got to go to the Macworld 2008 Conference and Expo in San Francisco, CA! Will his head explode from all the Mac-related goodies? Maybe from Steve Jobs' keynote presentation, or maybe from "something in the Air"? Read on to find out what happened to Ricky on his California adventure.
CPU3D meanwhile went to Channel Expo 2008 in the UK. It's meant to be UK's largest channel event for showcasing the latest products, services and technologies, all under one roof. Distributors, resellers and retailers all come here to do business. This year's Channel Expo 2008 at Birmingham's NEC was a little bit better than last year's.
From Manaz: The SAGE-AU Victorian IT Symposium is a one day technical conference held in Melbourne. It is organised by the SAGE-AU Victorian Regional Chapter. This symposium aims to provide a forum for systems and network administrators, systems managers, developers of systems administration software and their managers to meet and share their knowledge and experiences.
LG are working on a two-sided LCD panel. LG Display Co Ltd developed a reflective LCD panel that can display different images on front and back sides of the glass substrate and unveiled it at SID2008.
NVIDIA is apparently acquiring a raytracing software company called RayScale, report PCPerspective and HotHardware. Word from Sunny Santa Clara-based NVIDIA Corp, is that the graphics giant has moved in on an acquisition of Utah-based RayScale, a 10 year-old start-up and productization of development work from few key people at the University of Utah. RayScale currently has a product available for Autodesk Maya, dubbed LightNow.
Meanwhile, PCPerspective have some info on an NVIDIA GPU client for Folding@Home. Apparently we aren't allowed to talk about specifics on performance of the client, mostly because the numbers we saw were based on an "upcoming NVIDIA GPU". Remember, OCAU is Team 24. :)
There's a 3DMark Vantage hotfix available. 3DMark Vantage received some strong feedback on some of the choices made during the development. There were also some small but annoying bugs found only after launch. A hotfix to polish things up was announced a couple of weeks ago. It took slightly longer than originally anticipated, but it's here, and offers some important changes and fixes to 3DMark Vantage.
Shacknews have an interview with Doug Lombardi from Valve about the state of PC gaming. But talking purely in terms of the Wii, the PS3, and the 360, if you added those together and looked at the whole picture, I'd bet you PC would be even, if not bigger than those three systems in terms of the money that's changing hands and the opportunity for doing business.
Greenpeace however wish that video game consoles were greener. "Whether game consoles are classified as toys or not, they can still contain hazardous chemicals and materials that could harm humans," said Dr. Kevin Brigden of the Greenpeace Science Unit. "The technology is available for the manufacturers to design out toxins and produce greener game consoles now."
The Phoenix mission should arrive at Mars this weekend, to analyse subterranean ice. Phoenix has to land in a process that requires it to slow itself from 12,000 mph (19,000 kph) to zero in seven minutes. Also, the shuttle Discovery will be launching on May 31 to visit the International Space Station.
Bletchley Park in the UK, famous for being the site where Alan Turing and others broke the code of the German Enigma machine, without which the Allies may have lost WWII, is under threat. As a result of lack of funds, the Trust is unable to rebuild the site's rotting infrastructure and faces an uncertain future. "The Trust is the hardest-up museum I know," said Greenish. "We have this huge estate to run and it's one of the most important World War II stories there is."
BFM spotted this article about dicking around with your brain using big magnets. Finally he located my Broca's and the train of pulses stopped me in my tracks. I wanted to recite the rhyme but stumbled and stuttered as my speech area was disabled.
Murray sent in a story about infinite battery life, a phrase that sets off quite a few "shonky science" alarms, but they're not talking about a closed system. The technology has been filed under a U.S. patent for a “charge-pump” that harvests radio frequency (RF) energy using a wireless antenna.
MadShrimps have been overclocking their Core 2 Duo E8500, using air, phase and LN2 cooling. The Intel E8500 is the highest end dual core CPU currently on the market, it doesn't get any faster than this… or does it? In this Overclocking report we take a retail E8500 sample for a spin with high end air cooling, than mount a modified phase change cooling on it, and to finish it off pour a few liters of LN2 over it.
TBreak meanwhile looked at Triple SLI on AMD and Intel systems. We put this theory to test by putting three nVidia 9800GTX cards in Triple SLI mode and running some games on the highest-end Intel and AMD CPUs, the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 and Phenom X4 9850 respectively.
HotHardware reckon ATI's upcoming Radeon 4000 series will use DDR5 memory for the first time. Just weeks away from the rumored public debut of AMD's new ATI Radeon 4000-series GPUs, AMD clues us in on a tantalizing tidbit about a key technology found in its next generation graphics cards.
From Velicoma: I thought the CSS players amongst us would be interested in the finals of the CEVO Intermediate (Thursday 22nd May 7:30pm AEST) and Professional (Sunday 25th May 8pm AEST). Both these matches are a best of three maps, and will be absolutely epic matches. Striking the Scene will be shoutcasting the matches, so you can tune in via winamp or similar media to listen to the event, you can also choose to watch the match through SourceTV, those details will be announced on Striking the Scene's website as well. It's going to be a great couple of matches, as all teams have been through weeks of difficult matches to emerge as the finalists; the best of the best in Australian Source. The first of those is tonight!
Digit-Life checked out 3DMark Vantage. Late in April 2008, Futuremark Corporation released the long-awaited new version of 3DMark. While the previous versions featured years of announcement in their names, the new series got a proper name of '3DMark Vantage'. Like its predecessors, this suite should become an industry standard for gaming PC benchmarking. Now exclusively for MS Windows Vista and DirectX 10 API.
Bit-Tech have a first look at a new line of gaming PC's from Acer, their Aspire Predator range. We certainly believe that Acer has a market in PC World style retail stores for first time buyers and families wanting something special, but we aren’t sure if Acer will ever break into the market covered by boutique system builders like Vadim. UK market info obviously, but possibly relevant here.
"Haze" is the new FPS for PS3, and seems at first glance to be the equivalent of Halo on the XBOX range. IGN and Bit-Tech have both reviewed it. For a game that's had so much hype surrounding it, Haze should have been the perfect game. The problem is that few games rarely live up to the hype, and Haze falls firmly into that category.
Axi$te sent this in: So a customer comes in, with this “Under Warranty” fax machine, and books it in with one of my sales guys, who doesn’t think twice about it, “As soon as the unit is plugged in, it says ‘Overheating’ on the display.” Well I come into my office this morning to be greeted by a roach runnin around my shelf.... opened up the fax machine and well you can guess the rest...
Pics may be disturbing:
I'm trying not to imagine the smell of roasted roach, personally.
AB spotted a project to bring the Tasmanian Tiger back from extinction. A University of Melbourne team has extracted genes from a tasmanian tiger and put them into a mouse embryo, reviving hopes that the extinct thylacine may one day be successfully cloned.
Microsoft has been exploring robots among us, according to a recent press-release. Moving the technology toward these so-called “social robots” are researchers in a variety of disciplines engaged in the growing field of human-robot interaction (HRI). To explore some of the challenges in realizing the potential of HRI, Microsoft Research launched the “Robots Among Us” request for proposals (RFP) last October with the bold declaration, “The robots are coming!”
Murray sent word of a Java development reality TV show. The two-week-long Hydra Versus Dragon Coding Competition begins on 23 June, and is expected to reach tens of thousands of viewers with daily online episodes.
HP is fixing the XP SP3 problems reported on earlier. The main problem, as Johansson and others see it, happened because HP, and possibly other OEMs, used the same images for AMD-based PCs that were used with Intel-based hardware. The result for customers with those AMD machines when the SP3 service pack was applied turned out to be a number of problems, including endless rebooting.
Here's a quite cool alligator-skin Xbox360 mod, thanks dink. Okay, the crocodilian pattern was created with common crafting supplies, but we much prefer our own "Man vs. Wild" interpretation of the console's backstory. Martha Stewart-esque origins or no, the final product is still downright unsettling.
MadShrimps checked out two overclocked 9600GT video cards. For quite some time now NVIDIA has allowed their partners to sell their reference products at overclocked speeds with a custom VGA cooler. Today we take a look at two of such none-reference clocked 9600GT video cards, one from newcomer Vvikoo and one from last year startup, TwinTech. We´ll investigate how the extra clocks make the product stand out compared to 3 other samples we have tested before.
"other ed" sent in this story about a voiceless phone call. With careful training a person can send nerve signals to their vocal cords without making a sound. These signals are picked up by the neckband and relayed wirelessly to a computer that converts them into words spoken by a computerised voice.
Today's timewaster is Penguin Defender (also here), from metamorphosis, who says: I worked on the sound for this flash game. Penguin Defender: A bit like Aquaria, for those who've played it, but flash-based, and you're swimming around the antarctic rescuing baby penguins. Kinda addictive. *"Game description: *Oh noes! Baby penguins are lost! Use the radar to point the way. Find a baby, touch them and lead them to safety! FTW!"
Thanks to those sent in details about Creative releasing a new series of X-fi sound cards. Creative has now released two new sound cards, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series and Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series both target PC gamers and make use PCI-Express x1 interfaces. Discussion on the forum.
Creative have also made its ALchemy software for the Sound Blaster Audigy series of cards available for free, rather than charging users for the privilege. ALchemy, an application for Creative’s Sound Blaster Audigy series of audio devices that restores 3D audio and EAX effects for DirectSound3D games in Windows Vista. Discussion on the forum.
Virtual-Hideout were invited to visit the Intel Hawthorn Farm Campus. For once, it was a really informative presentation which included details covering Intel's mission, product releases, updates, and new services. Some of the specifics, excluding processors, included the newest motherboards now hitting the shelves, future laptop platforms, and Intel's VPro service.
Bit-tech have an early look at two of Asus' P45 motherboards, the P5Q3 Deluxe WiFi-AP @n and the Maximus II Formula. I’m finding it difficult to describe it without swearing, but the Maximus II Formula looks like a simply gorgeous piece of hardware. In comparison to what we have here, the original Maximus now looks like a lump of mish-mash and we now realise Asus was aware of this.
Hardware Zone preview the Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 motherboard, which is set to be released in the next couple of weeks. The DQ6 heavyweight is big on storage, security and networking bandwidth, you would be hard-pressed to find a rival with so many options.
A story published by Tom's Hardware that involves two big motherboard manufacturers - GIGABYTE and ASUS. According to GIGABYTE's technical team, ASUS is lying about its EPU (Energy Processing Unit) energy efficiency performance figures and is playing tricks with its users. ASUS claims that EPU outfitted motherboards can deliver up to 80.23% "power savings" from motherboards without EPU components. There is also a response from ASUS on the matter.
This week the Escapist presents the latest episode from Zero Punctuation where Yahtzee reviews “Grand Theft Auto IV”. Yahtzee is a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer, when he isn't talking very fast into a headset microphone he writes a column for PC Gamer.
Fedora 9, the latest release from the Fedora Project, is available for download. Fedora is a free, open source Linux operating system sponsored by Red Hat. Release Notes can be found here. Download links can be found here.
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 cooling gear, laptops, hard drives, TV tuners, games, prebuilt PCs, web hosting, headphones and more. Worth a look!
Dangerfield sent word that Electronic Frontiers Australia are unhappy about the Government wasting money in the new federal budget, to fund the mandatory "clean-feed" Internet. In fact, in a survey of 18,000 Internet users, only 13% agreed with the policy. That’s why we feel it is a shame, when the Government has identified real needs for better education and policing, that their approach to Internet policy is so skewed towards the filter initiative. There are greater risks to Australian children online, and real steps can be taken to mitigate these risks. That’s where the funding should be going.
Frostytech have listed their top heatsinks for AMD and Intel. Quickly find your way to the current Top 5 heatsinks according to FrostyTech. The first pair of lists is for Intel Heatsinks, broken down by lowest temperature and quietest operation. The second set of lists are for AMD Heatsinks. Lifespan indicates if the heatsink is new, old or end of life.
Tech Report checked out some P45 boards from Gigabyte. Intel has yet to formally introduce the P45 Express, but given the success of the P35 chipset, we were naturally eager to get a glimpse of its successor. Gigabyte had no less than five different P45 models on display, including a new Extreme board that may well live up to its name, at least as far as overclocking is concerned.
From quertylesh: there's a known problem with XP SP3 when installed onto HP AMD machines, and on other AMD based OEM PC's. here's one source. a more detailed explanation shows that the problem is because OEMs like HP were too slack to create images for different hardware configurations when they build their systems, causing a registry fault when XP SP3 is installed onto one of the systems which has an incorrect XP image pre loaded onto it.
Guru3D looked at game performance scaling with quad-core CPUs. Guru3D takes 10 modern dual & quad core processors and then fires off a dozen of games at them in combo with a high-end graphics card.
VIAArena have a naked Pico challenge competition. To demonstrate the remarkable power and thermal-efficiency of the VIA EPIA PX5000EG board, VIA welcomes you to take part in the 'Naked Pico Challenge' where we will push the one watt VIA Eden ULV processor and in fact the whole board to it's absolute limits by running a system under full load without any cooling whatsoever! Simply guess how long the VIA EPIA PX5000EG board can take the strain and win a VIA ARTiGO Builder Kit.
I've heard about this from a few different sources now.. apparently some freaky ants are eating computers in Houston, Texas. "I think they go into everything and they don't follow any kind of structured line," said Rasberry. "If you open a computer, you would find a cluster of ants on the motherboard and all over. You'd get 3,000 or 4,000 ants inside and they create arcs. They'll wipe out any computer." NASA's Johnson Space Center is in Houston and they're getting worried. :)
Guinness World Records have apparently certified GTA IV as breaking records in its first day of sales. Fastest-selling video game in 24 hours: Halo 3 at $170 million Fastest-selling theatrical movie in 24 hours: Spider-Man 3 at $60 Million Fastest-selling book in 24 hours: Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows at $220 million. Speaking of which, Moodles spotted that Zero Punctuation have reviewed it.
Joeechick noted that St John Ambulance have a free online crash course in First Aid. This fun, yet useful 'Crash Course' gives you the basic knowledge to 'Do Something' before the ambulance arrives. The course shows you how to recognise an unconscious person, and provide basic first aid such as CPR, bleeding control and recovery position. The duration of the course should take approximately 30 minutes. You can complete the interactive course at your own pace, in your own time or even to review a session where you left off.
Digit-Life explore 8800GT performance scaling in modern games. We decided to find out what parameters affect performance in modern games most of all. Besides, we haven't analyzed how performance is affected by CPU/GPU/video memory clock rates for a long time already. So we decided to test a G92-based graphics card and determine main rendering bottlenecks in modern games.
Meanwhile MadShrimps go on an extreme overclocking adventure with a GeForce 9800 GTX. One area where the 9800 GTX might shine through however is overclocking, the new GPU generates less heat, and with the help of some LN2 it will be interesting to see how high it can climb!
This survey is intended to give us some insight into the sort of visitors we get here on AusGamers - we want to know more about you so we can better serve your gaming needs. We've tried to keep it as simple as possible, so please take the time to fill it out as accurately as you can - the better the information we get, the more we can do. So, get answering, and putting "OCAU" in the "Other" box for Question 24 probably wouldn't hurt. :)
(link) Wednesday, 14-May-2008 14:24:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg
NASA have been a bit mysterious this week, saying they will have a press-conference (tonight at 3am Sydney time) to announce the success of a long galactic hunt. NASA has scheduled a media teleconference Wednesday, May 14, at 1 p.m. EDT, to announce the discovery of an object in our Galaxy astronomers have been hunting for more than 50 years. This finding was made by combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with ground-based observations. What could it be, we wonder?
aXiSte pointed out this thread which reminded me of these photos you've probably seen linked on the news page a few times:
The funny thing is, people still occasionally email those photos to the news mailbox, saying I have to check out this crazy person carrying an oldschool CRT and midi-tower on a motorcycle. Of course, the crazy person is me, and those photos were taken back in about 2000 when I used to go to LAN parties fairly often by bike.
Anyway, I found the full set of pics recently so figured I may as well post the lot. Enjoy!
If a more up-to-the-minute feel is what you're after, remember we have a forum live view now too.
OCAU salutes Admiral for MS awareness (Ok and maybe photos of his wife in a bikini)
(link) Wednesday, 14-May-2008 04:34:22 (GMT +10) - by Rezin
WHEN Kristofer Dick and his newly wedded wife Cecilia Egan put down their names to support awareness and raise money for Multiple Sclerosis, they didn't anticipate the response they were going to receive.
What started as a promise to the forum members of Overclockers Australia for one honorable man to provide many with pictures of his wife running in a bikini has mutated into a fund raising Frankenstein. Kristofer (who uses the online handle of 'Admiral') was/is quoted in the thread as saying:
"If OCAU members can collectively donate $1000 to the 'team' that my wife and I have, she'll do the run in a bikini, as long as it's not raining or ridiculously cold."
With Kristofer being a regular contributor to the OCAU photography forum and keen amateur photographer, members of the computer enthusiasts website are going to expect nothing short of supermodel quality snaps.
With funds slowly dribbling in, one forum regular decided to up the online stakes and throw down the gauntlet claiming:
"I'll donate $50 if you post a picture of you getting out of the pool, wearing a bikini.
I'll bump it up to $75 if you hold a sign saying 'Goose1981 (the online handle of the member) gives the best cuddles'."
This would be the catalyst to what would explode into a fund raising frenzy as Admiral invoked the Toxx Clause. The clause stipulates that since he said he would do [x] if you achieve [y], so long as [y] is achieved, he has to do [x] or he will be banned. Goose1981 in consideration donated a generous sum of $100 to the Multiple Sclerosis fund binding Admiral to bikini wearing, sign hoisting, watery grave.
Understandably, by this stage the thread had successfully raised its fair share of attention. So much attention in fact that another member who goes by the handle CHiMPY, decided that a personal donation of $500 should be enough to keep Admiral out of a bikini, pleading:
"I have donated in an effort to keep Adsy's clothes ON..
Nobody needs to see that. Trust me people."
With the original target of $1000 obliterated in nothing short of 24 hours, and the opportunity to continue raising money for a wonderful cause the collective group of online delinquents knew that this could be milked for all it was worth. One of the female members who goes by the online handle Ma Baker, expressed sympathy for Admirals wife having to do a 16km run in her bouncing beach best. Ma Baker felt it would only be fair that Admiral should stand by his lady and take the plunge together.
The stakes were raised again, with Admiral bellowing to the masses that should the target of $2000 be met:
"I'll do the run in Speedos, and both of us will paint some OCAU coloured racing stripes and logos on ourselves."
Since that time the donations have been rolling in, with the total at this stage at approximately $2555 within 48hours. With each dollar, new and ingenious methods of ultimate embarrassment have been suggested including:
Auctioning off parts of skin for temporary advertising during the 16 km run. (Confirmed!)
Pink speedos. (Confirmed!)
Body paint and racing stripes. (Confirmed!)
Admiral was recently quoted:
"That's beyond anywhere near what I thought I could raise, I honestly didn't think that we'd get close to $1000 initially, this is just incredible. Everyone here deserves amazing praise, to get an online community donating so much towards such a good cause really says a lot about the calibre of the members here.
Time to secure those pink speedos..."
With the evil minds of embarrassment ticking over in the online community, only time will tell what dastardly acts of humiliation await, but at least Admiral and his wife can sleep easy knowing that it's all for a good cause!
You can help out the cause by donating by credit card or debit card here and check out all the shenanigans as they unfold here. Donations over $2 are tax deductible. Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system, affecting over 18,000 young Australians, and many more world wide, please give generously.
Details of the run which will be held in Sydney and Melbourne on Sunday June 1 can be found here.
2008-09 Federal Budget
(link) Tuesday, 13-May-2008 10:16:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg
The new Federal Budget has been unveiled tonight. The Government will deliver a strong surplus of $21.7 billion (1.8 per cent of GDP) in 2008-09, with every dollar of new spending matched by spending cuts.
There's a huge discussion thread here in the forums.
Interesting Forum Threads
(link) Tuesday, 13-May-2008 07:22:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Another quick snapshot of what's going on in the forums:
Daztay spotted the world's first digital camera, which used a cassette tape! In December of 1975, after a year of piecing together a bunch of new technology in a back lab at the Elmgrove Plant in Rochester, we were ready to try it.
InsideHW have an article about AMD's K10 architecture. As far as desktop computers are concerned, the K10 architecture also brings along an entirely new platform, which should unify all vital system components under a single brand - Spider.
BenchmarkReviews meanwhile explore the world of DDR3. Sadly, it might take an article like this to open the eyes of my fellow hardware enthusiast and overclocker, because it seems like DDR3 is the technology nobody wants bad enough to learn about. Pity, because overclocking is what it's all about.
Bit-Tech have some info on the removal of DirextX 10.1 from Assassin's Creed. Huddy said that he is working hard with his team to get DirectX 10.1 support back into the title for Radeon HD 3000 graphics card owners.
Microsoft have said their recent blocking of YouTube links was a glitch. Microsoft said in a blog posting Sunday that the issue was a mistake made by the third party that handles blocking of potentially unsafe content for MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger.
LegitReviews checked out Vista game performance with 2GB or 4GB of RAM. We got our hands on a 2GB and a 4GB set of Corsair DOMINATOR PC2-9136C5 memory modules and set off to see what happens to the average frame rate in nine games at 1920x1200.
Scratchy reminded me of the Fair Go Broadband initiative. There is a clear and present danger that in its rush to roll out the National Broadband Network (NBN), the Government will give away critical competition and consumer safeguards.
Bit-Tech ponder consumer and game publishers' rights when it comes to copy protection. Copy protection and piracy seem like two inescapable forces in modern digital media. But is either side right? Brett Thomas sounds off about pretty pictures, perils of intellectual property, and the dollars and cents behind everyone's favourite "freedom fighters."
IBM have a new liquid-cooled supercomputer for weather simulation. Using the IBM Power 575 architecture, the system sports POWER6 microprocessors, operating at a speedy 4.7 GHz. The system utilizes 4,064 of these blazingly fast processors, 12 terabytes of memory, and 150 terabytes of FAStT DS4800 hard drive storage. The computer is one of IBM's new systems that utilizes water cooling, which allows higher clock speeds and lower energy usage, as the PC enthusiast market has long recognized. Well, mainframes were water-cooled back in the 1960's or so, so it's not entirely a new idea. :)
Security researchers have created a rootkit that can hide itself in an obscure part of the CPU, avoiding detection from current antivirus products. The proof-of-concept software will be demonstrated publicly for the first time at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this August.
A security flaw in Gmail could allow spammers to send a potentially unlimited number of messages due to a recently discovered vulnerability. According to the Information Security Research Team, Gmail is susceptible to a man-in-the-middle attack that allows a spammer to send thousands of bulk e-mails through Google's SMTP service without fear of detection.
The first Gears of War 2 gameplay video has been released. Introduced by series creator Cliff Bleszinski, the trailer includes chainsaw duels, large scale firefights with Locust Horde and stunning new visuals. Discussion on the forum.
Criterion Games, a studio of Electronic Arts, announced that the award-winning driving game Burnout Paradise is being rebuilt specifically for the PC. Burnout Paradise will be the first Burnout title ever made for the PC, customized with expanded multiplayer, enhanced online features, and community driven content. Discussion on the forum
Take-Two Interactive Software said that "Pirates of the Caribbean" director Gore Verbinski will make a movie version of "BioShock", its hit video game. The movie will be made by Universal Pictures and John Logan, writer of "Gladiator" and "Sweeney Todd", was in talks to pen the screenplay, Take-Two said. Discussion on the forum.
Creative and driver modder Daniel Kawakami have settled their issues, as Daniel has been allowed to release a Dolby Digital Live Unlocker for the SoundBlaster X-Fi series. He was allowed to release the patch under the circumstances that he did not modify any existing executables or DLL files.
Gareth sent in this video of a modular robot, which can reassemble itself when kicked apart. A robot developed by roboticists at the University of Pennsylvania is made of modules that can recognise each other without any human interaction.
Forum member "Other Ed" sent in details that Codemasters Studios, has secured the exclusive video game rights to Formula 1. The creators of genre-leading racing titles Colin McRae: DiRT and Race Driver: GRID, will lead the design and development of official FIA Formula One World Championship games for home console, handheld and PC gaming formats.
Voting for April's Iron Photographer is underway, where the theme of the photos was "hoax." You can discuss the entries here, or submit your own for the May Iron Photographer here.
WA-based ISPs iiNet and Westnet have joined forces after iiNet paid them $81 million. The combined user base will make iiNet the third largest ISP in Australia, though Westnet will continue to operate under its own brand. From Whirlpool: iiNet will be able to use Westnet's mainly resold services to boost the use of its own DSLAM infrastructure. It also gains Westnet's large agent/reseller network and will now be able to offer satellite services. Westnet will gain access to iiNet's ADSL2+, naked DSL and VoIP products.
HyRax1 noticed this NES controller with a difference. Kyle Downes measured the proportions of an NES controller and super sized it into one gigantic working control pad that doubles as a coffee table.
The Tech Report have an article about Ubisoft's comments on the Assassin's Creed DX10.1 controversy. So we have confirmation that the performance gains on Radeons in DirectX 10.1 are indeed legitimate. The removal of the rendering pass is made possible by DX10.1's antialiasing improvements and should not affect image quality.
Sony have unveiled a prototype fuel-cell system measuring roughly 50 × 30mm. The new fuel-cell system is direct methanol type and uses methanol as fuel. Also, it is an active fuel-cell system, which controls fuel supply with a pump. The system is hybrid type with the output supplemented by a Li-polymer secondary battery.
Here's an extensive guide to making your own bike / motorbike computer using a PIC, a homemade PCB and your own time and patience. Learn how to program was a priority in my mind, but not as a theoretical exercise, no, I like to get something useful at the end of any project. … My thoughts turned to my bike. It had a computer, very small and the sensor input was minimal.
Bit-tech have interviewed Josh Drescher, producer on the upcoming MMO game Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. With an inspiration drawn directly from the Warhammer universe and a dash of the Realm versus Realm mechanics Mythic first created in Dark Age of Camelot, Age of Reckoning is looking like it could (ironically) wow fans of the original tabletop game while still drawing in fans thanks to a deep understanding of MMO worlds.
Tom’s Hardware compare power consumption of 35 different AMD processors under varying conditions. Almost all of the released AM2 line processors were included, like the Phenom and the classic Athlon X2; also here are the “Efficient Energy” processors like the Athlon X2 BE and EE versions. On top of that, the new AMD 4000e series was also tested, and even the Sempron 64 and the old FX-62 were measured.
Anandtech preview what lies ahead in the world of gaming for the rest of 2008. We're back to bring you a taste of some of the great games that you can expect see, and hopefully play, in the coming months.
Tech Report have a comprehensive line-up of 20 GPU configurations from ATI and Nvidia to find out which ones give you the best value. We've taken another crack at quantifying value, this time by looking at what sort of GPU power you get for your dollar.
Legit Reviews benchmark and explain Nvidia’s Hybrid Power technology. Hybrid Power provides the necessary graphics performance for demanding 3D applications and intelligently switches to low-power operation for everyday computing needs.
VR-Zone share their results on latest energy saving technology from ASUS. According to ASUS, the ASUS EPU utilizes innovative technology to digitally monitor and fine-tune the CPU power supply with improved VR responses in heavy or light loadings.
Just a reminder for those who missed it, after some delay Microsoft has finally made service pack 3 for Windows XP available to public. SP3 is available both on Windows Update and the Microsoft Download Center. Discussion on the forum.
Yesterday the MPAA was awarded a major anti-piracy victory against TorrentSpy, which once was one of the major BitTorrent indexing Website. A federal judge awarded the maximum fine of $30,000 for each of almost 3700 files, landing the MPAA a $110 million judgment. Discussion on the forum.
Chimp Challenge is Underway!
(link) Wednesday, 7-May-2008 04:07:39 (GMT +10) - by Agg
The Folding@Home Chimp Challenge has kicked off. It's a simple competition between a few of the major Folding@Home teams to sprint to 5,000,000 points. To be part of it, either change your existing Folding@Home clients to team 24 (OCAU) and name "Monkey_Bollocks", or if you aren't folding yet, grab the client from here and get folding with those details.
There'll be a "new kid on the block" on Mars soon, with the Phoenix Lander making its landing later this month. Unlike the rovers, which were hunting for evidence of water at points along the Martian surface, the Phoenix lander knows exactly where to go to find water. To reach it, however, the spacecraft must dig down below the surface.
Meanwhile a Seagate 400MB hard drive that survived the Columbia shuttle accident has recently had 99% of its data recovered. After the reentry, Berg says, when it was not immediately recovered, "we assumed that it fell out of the cage and burned up and that was it." But engineers from Johnson Space Center had actually found the apparatus in the hanger at Kennedy Space Center where workers had laid out the Columbia debris, says James Myers of the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, the project's lead engineer.
If Wii Tennis isn't doing it for you, perhaps a spot of Wii pole-dancing will get you off the couch. "With pole dancing classes springing up in gyms and health clubs across Europe and the USA, the number of women seeking the body-sculpting and fat-burning effects of this aerobic form of exercise has never been greater," Peekaboo said.
Here's a tiny TV with a big future. The days of the LCD are numbered - the time of OLED is at hand. And if the performance of Sony's XEL-1 is any indication, nobody is going to miss LCD - or plasma - in the least.
DriverHeaven checked out a few processors from AMD. It has been some time since we reviewed an AMD processor on Driver Heaven, but quite a lot has happened since then with the release of various CPU revisions, as well as triple core, the 780G chipset and further energy efficient Athlon models. So today it is time to catch up with the current range of AMD products starting with the Phenom 9850.
Apparently there's a MacGyver blockbuster film on the way! The question is...do you bring back Richard Dean Anderson as old MacGyver, or bring in a younger, Christian Bale-type to reprise the role of makeshift gadget god?
Starstrike is a new game being developed by an OCAU person. It's still in the Alpha stage but some comments in IRC were quite positive, so it's probably worth checking out. Starstrike is a Real Time Strategy Game (like Command & Conquer or Warcraft). Matches are played on interior maps, on the decks of a ship adrift in space, its crew killed by the alien infestation. On most maps and gametypes a squad of Marines faces off against a brood of Aliens somewhere on the dead ship, but support for Marine-vs-Marine and Alien-vs-Alien maps and gametypes exists.
Vodafone just announced they will be releasing the Apple iPhone in Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey. Unfortunately no release dates have been mentioned, but it’s bound to be close. Discussion can be found here.
Nine Inch Nails' latest album “The Slip” is 100% Free, no payment required in any case, not even when you download the whooping 1.2GB version, which includes better-than-CD-quality WAVE 24bit/96kHz files. You can also choose from high-quality MP3s, FLAC lossless and M4A lossless. (Email Required)
HardOCP compare the 9800GTX in SLI, 3-way SLI and the 9800GX2 in Quad-SLI to see what really is worth your hard earned money. We compare a single-GPU, to dual-GPU, to triple-GPU, to Quad-GPU. We are also going to overclock our Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 3GHz CPU to 3.66GHz to reduce CPU limitations should there be any.
PC Perspective review the EVGA UV Plus+ External USB VGA Adapter, it allows you to connect up additional monitors to your notebook or desktop PC through a USB connection rather than requiring you to install another graphics card.
Gizmodo review the ultra-glossy Lenovo IdeaPad U110 Ultra Portable. The Lenovo IdeaPad U110 comes in the wake of America's new obsession with tiny laptops but all you want to know is that it's over half a pound lighter than the MacBook Air and will impress the fellow yupps at Starbucks.
Tom’s hardware have written up a graphics guide for gamers with a tight budget, focusing on a range of low to mid range graphics cards rather than just high end solutions. (All Text, No Graphs)
TechSpot review three of the latest AMD Phenom X3 processors. AMD is fighting hard to make a reasonable impression in the mainstream market, the latest processor series from AMD is a little unusual as it makes use of not one, two, or even four cores, but rather three!
There's a new episode of the OCAU Podcast! In this episode Sciby, Wayne and I ramble incoherently about a range of topics including PS3 games, laser pointers, cheap storage, eBay and Japanese snackfood.
You can grab this episode via iTunes here (you might need to subscribe (free!) in iTunes before you can see the new episode), or download the files direct from our server:
Just a reminder for those participating in Chimp Challenge 2008. It's time for people to swap over their folding machines to Monkey_Bollocks, in order for us to be at maximum output at the start of the challenge, please swap over your username to Monkey_Bollocks as soon as possible.
Microsoft have withdrawn their offer to buy Yahoo after months of negotiations. Microsoft has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Yahoo, Microsoft CEO Stephen Ballmer said in a letter to Yahoo made public today. Despite our best efforts, including raising our bid by roughly $US5 billion ($5.37 billion), Yahoo has not moved toward accepting our offer.
Bit-tech interview Doug Dobson, Chief Technology Officer at PC Power & Cooling, to discuss his views on the industry and find out how the company has changed following the acquisition. With the company’s acquisition by OCZ Technology last year, and the increasing number of competent power supply manufacturers establishing themselves in the industry, we felt it was a good time to find out what’s happening inside PC Power.
With numerous reports of Grand Theft Auto IV freezing up on some PlayStation 3 consoles, Take-Two's technical support posted a 12 step remedy that should fix the problems. Sony also confirmed the existence of the freezing issues and said that it is working with all concerned parties to pin down and fix the issue. Xbox 360 owners have experienced similar issues, but no remedy exists yet.
Fortune Magazine reports that Steve Jobs dropped from No. 1 to No. 120 in the Top-paid CEOs list. Having topped Forbes‘ list of the U.S.’s highest-paid CEOs last year with a total compensation of $646 million — thanks almost entirely to restricted stock grants that vested in 2006 — Apple’s $1-a-year CEO dropped to No. 120 this year. Total 2007 compensation: a mere $14.6 million.
Anandtech have a quick update to their VelociRaptor article after receiving a new drive with the latest firmware. The acoustic and thermal characteristics of the new drive did not differ from our previous results. However, the performance differences noticed when testing the new drive is worth a quick update to our original article.
A new version of the CPU temperature monitoring tool Core Temp has now been released, as well as the latest instalment of GPU-Z. Both packed with multiple bug fixes as well as support for future hardware.
Sniper spotted this extremely cool R2-D2 Projector. We knew that there was a motorized, fully-articulated R2-D2 projector with built-in DVD, iPod dock, all kinds of digital media inputs, and Millennium Falcon remote control, but we never imagined it would be so amazingly drooltastic as this video shows.
Here's an interesting 3D LED display, with a (loud) youtube video too. Here are some numbers: it is build with 25000 lightballs, each containing 12 LED’s. It can display 16 million colors and 25 images per second. It measures 5 by 5 by 1 meter and it is 3.3 tons heavy. Impressive!
Australia has ranked #12 on a list of international broadband rankings (PDF). More info here. In identifying factors that have spurred broadband performance in other nations, we present key findings that government and the technology industry must recognize if we are to find the right course for the United States. And we propose key policy recommendations that will drive greater broadband performance.
NASA is inviting people of all ages to send their name to the Moon. "Everyone who sends their name to the moon, like I'm doing, becomes part of the next wave of lunar explorers," said Cathy Peddie, deputy project manager for LRO at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "The LRO mission is the first step in NASA's plans to return humans to the moon by 2020, and your name can reach there first. How cool is that?"
HyRax1 has posted another one of his Ubuntu how-to guides. This one shows you how to make a bootable USB stick version of the Ubuntu Hardy LiveCD. Scenario: You have a PC that you want to install Ubuntu to or needs rescue and you don't have a LiveCD handy, or perhaps the PC doesn't have a working CD drive or even a CD drive at all! Solution: If the PC supports booting from USB devices, then why not have a USB-bootable version of the Ubuntu LiveCD? We can dub this "Ubuntu LiveUSB".
Freewaregenius have reviewed Wubi, a simplified method of getting Ubuntu running on a PC with an existing Windows installation. Wubi is an Ubuntu Linux installer designed to be run from within a Windows environment in order to create a dual booting Windows/Ubuntu machine. Wubi is an officially supported Ubuntu installer and is open source.
Falls noticed a Flickr user commenting on his new Dell Vostro 1310 and its abnormal keyboard layout. They keys are all there. Shift, \|, Z, X... its just that the left shift is too big, forcing everything over too far. The Z has to be between the A and S... look on ANY other keyboard and that's where it sits. This is not a US/UK layout issue, just a general monumental flaw.
Several CBDs in New South Wales will no longer be getting the free wireless Internet that Premier Morris Iemma announced in late 2006. "Rather than just jumping in and committing funds and having it fail, like has occurred in Chicago, Houston, San Fransisco, we were more careful to just test to see whether there really was a need for this type of technology to be introduced," he said. "What we actually found is those schemes have not actually delivered on the objective they thought they would."
Fifteen years ago on April 30 CERN announced that the World Wide Web could be used by everyone, and Tim Berners-Lee believes "we have only started to explore the possibilities." "What's exciting is that people are building new social systems, new systems of review, new systems of governance," he said. "My hope is that those will produce... new ways of working together effectively and fairly which we can use globally to manage ourselves as a planet."
Another anniversary is that of SPAM, with the first batch of e-mails being sent thirty years ago today. The first spam message was the product of a more innocent time. Thuerk sent the ad for a new computer model from his own email address, and had a co-worker type in all of the addresses by hand, says Brad Templeton, an internet pioneer, now chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Continuing with the Internet-related topics is a Lateline interview with Hew Griffiths - "the man US authorities say was the 'elder in the highest echelons of the underground internet piracy community'." At the time Australian Hew Griffiths was unemployed and living with his father on the NSW Central Coast. Yet according to the US Department of Justice he was the leader of an organised crime group robbing American software companies of tens of millions of dollars.
AnandTech have posted part 1 in a series which documents their HTPC build. You don't have to guess that I view the PC as the center of the digital home, it's the best home for media in my opinion and it continues to deliver the most responsive user experience. While the idea of a PC (or PC-like device) in every room of your house isn't quite as fleshed out as I'd like it to be, a Home Theater PC (HTPC) is easily a reality today.
If you have a Windows Mobile device and like the iPhone's user interface, keep an eye out for the iSwish and iZoom beta release due out this month. iSwish: With this project we not only skin a windows mobile device but we implement all the cool interface stuff. It is also has full summerboard support for all the great themes people have created. iZoom: At a very low level the multiple touches of a normal touch screen device (i.e. not the iPhone) are masked. Our development team thinks we can make inferences from the data and simulate multi-touch.
Let's get ready to rumble!!...Just because we got bumped off the top by [H]ardOCP in the Folding@Home Ranks, it doesn’t mean we can’t show them we mean business in the upcoming Chimp Challenge 2008, which is starting in just a few days.
The goal is to reach 5 Million points in the shortest possible time, the challenge starts on the 6th of May 2008 at 5:00AM AEST. Any points uploaded before that will not be counted, but if you do start folding before then it’s still for a good cause, so don’t think your time is wasted.
It's simple, you download and install the Folding@Home client. Fill in the username as 'Monkey_Bollocks' (without the quotes) and the team number as 24, which is for Team OCAU.
You can find more details about this contest here. If you have any questions or queries about setting up for Folding@Home, check the distributed computing section or the Team OCAU site.
Frostytech have updated their Top 5 Heatsink Chart, listing the best Intel & AMD heatsinks. Frostytech has compiled a catalogue of over 450 CPU cooler reviews and picked to cream of the crop on both Intel/AMD platforms. Frostytech's Top 5 Heatsink chart ranks each cooler by low temperature and low noise output.
TweakGuides Tweaking Companion For Windows XP has undergone a major revision, bringing it up to Version 4.0. The guide has been updated for changes for XP SP3, it has also had a significant number of additions and improvements.
Tweak Town have some photos of the upcoming Foxconn Quantum Force “Avenger” motherboard based on Intel P45 chipset. Foxconn it seems has stepped ahead of the pack with a product that is complete and ready to launch ahead of schedule.
Bit-tech recently published an Interview With Ben Cousins, executive producer for Battlefield Heroes. It is cartoony. It is web-based. It is fun and it is completely free to play, with no hidden costs for weapons and bullets.
EVGA just released the latest version of their Precision Overclocking Tool. This program allows you to fine tune your EVGA graphics card for the maximum performance possible, with Core/Shader/Memory clock tuning, real time monitoring support including in-game, Logitech Keyboard LCD Display support. **It works with other brands not just EVGA.
Anandtech have published a 24" LCD Roundup consisting of five new LCD’s. Our roundup today examined five recent LCD introductions from different companies. Combine that with the 24" LCDs we've reviewed previously and we now have a good basis for ranking the current LCDs.
Check your watercooling!
(link) Friday, 2-May-2008 07:38:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Just a quick note about something that happened this week. My main machine locked up one night and refused to boot the next morning. Some sniffing around revealed a probably fried CPU and motherboard, and a further examination showed that my Cooler Master AquaGate Mini R120 CPU cooler had run completely dry. Whoops. That'd explain the scorched mark on the CPU IHS, then. Sadly this motherboard has misreported temps since day 1 so I haven't even been running a temperature monitoring program that could have alerted me.
I don't particularly lay the blame at the feet of the AquaGate Mini - even my own review mentions that Cooler Master guarantee it to not need refilling for 2 years. The review was written in November 2005, so we're well past that now. So, take this as a gentle reminder to perhaps check your own watercooling system - even the "sealed and maintenance-free" pre-built ones, and make sure they're still up to scratch!
Refilling the AquaGate Mini with coolant from another kit wasn't too tricky and it seems to be happily pumping the fluid around again. But my slackness at checking the coolant seems to have cost me a G0 Q6600 and an Asus P5K Deluxe - not to mention a day of driving around for replacements yesterday, including getting a flat tyre and meeting aXiSte (I'm not sure which was more traumatic!). So yeah, just a heads up. :)
Ok, time for some news catchup. Firstly the big story is that high-profile Linux and ReiserFS programmer Hans Reiser has been found guilty of the first-degree murder of his wife. By the time he was done, Reiser had succeeded only in dispelling the cloud of ambiguity surrounding his actions in the case, replacing it with a storm of very specific explanations that each strained credulity.
Rezin noticed that today's "Giveaway of the Day" (for the next hour and a half only) is Coding FTP, which sounds like a fairly handy scriptable FTP client. Maybe you don’t want to click a button? No problem! You can use any scheduler, e.g. Windows Task Scheduler, to automate the script. Now, you can focus on your work and let Coding FTP upload/download/delete files for you automatically.
I can't remember who now, but someone from IRC noticed that Channel Nine have a Catch Up TV page where you can watch TV shows you missed. Free downloads of Channel Nine's blockbuster new series Canal Road and Sea Patrol II are available on Catch-Up TV for the first time. All you have to do is get the free HIRO video player and then download the episodes of your choice.
A few people sent in this cool blog about an iPhone webserver. It worked flawlessly and in the three hours I needed to rebuild my server, my iPhone handled 411 unique visitors (there was an access_log running along on my phone) which is just about my normal traffic in these quiet days.
Meanwhile an OQO E2 ultra-mobile PC seems to have become the world's smallest Mac. According to the man behind the conversion, it's an ongoing project and not quite everything is running smoothly as yet, although he indicates that the potential is there for a full conversion.
Australia's CDMA network was recently turned off, thanks Sniper. Goldsworthy explained that: "Our team has been preparing for the closure of the CDMA network for more than two years and nothing has been left to chance. CDMA customers have been individually contacted by phone, letter and SMS messages in an effort to remind them of the need to migrate to a new mobile network."
Back to iPods, this time with a warning from Police that they can be distracting when crossing the road. The Police website is here. Recent growth in the use of portable media players and mobile phone usage has led to a need for greater awareness amongst both pedestrians and motorists to ensure these new technologies don’t lead to a rise in pedestrian accidents.
CPU3D have a thermal paste shootout. Thanks to our CPU3D review team, we take a look at 3 thermal paste products from Antec, OCZ and Xigamatek. Does the quality of thermal paste really improve cooling performance? We put these products to the test using our Q6600 processor and various looping benchmarks.