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March 2011
Thursday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 31-March-2011  22:24:35 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Motherboard & CPU:
Cooler Master Choiix Cruiser Mouse at Tweak News.
MSI P67A-GD80 at Techware Labs.
Intel Core i3-2100 Processor at iXBT Labs.
ASUS P67 Sabertooth TUF Socket 1155 Motherboard at Pro Clockers.
ASRock P67 Pro3 (B3) Motherboard at iXBT Labs.
Gigabyte E350N-USB3 AMD Fusion Mini-ITX Motherboard at eTeknix.
Gigabyte P67-UD7-B3 at Pure Overclock.
J&W MINIX 890GX-USB3 Mini-ITX (AMD 890GX) Motherboard at TweakTown.
MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II 1GB5 OC Video Card at Overclocking Intelligence Agency.

P67 Memory Kit Roundup at Overclockers Club.
Patriot G2 Series DDR3 1600MHz (2x2GB) Memory Kit at Mad Shrimps.
G.Skill SNIPER Series 1600MHz CL9 8GB Review at Vortez.

Video Cards:
AMD Radeon HD 6950 1 GB at Tech Powerup.
HIS HD 6850 IceQ X Turbo Graphics Card at Tweak News.
HIS HD6850 and HIS HD6850 IceQ X Turbo at Bjorn 3D.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 550 Ti at Legion Hardware.
HIS Radeon HD 6850 IceQ X Turbo 1GB at Legit Reviews.
Geforce GTX 560 Ti SLI at Funky Kit.

Prolimatech Genesis "Dual Blue Vortex 140mm Edition" CPU Cooler at Mad Shrimps.
AURAS Shagon' ARC-118 CPU Cooler at TweakTown.

Kingston HyperX MAX3.0 External HDD at TBreak.
MemoRight FTM-25 240GB SandForce Solid State Drive at TweakTown.
iStorage diskGenie 128GB SSD at Tech Reviews.co.uk.
Intel SSD 320 Series 300GB SSD at Hot Hardware.
Zalman ZM-HE350 U3 Hard Drive Enclosure at Techgage.
OCZ RevoDrive X2 100GB PCI-E SSD Think Computers.
Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB 2.5-inch Hard Drive at Tweak Town.

Cases & PSU:
Thermaltake Level 10 GT Full Tower PC Case at Legit Reviews.
Cooler Master GX 450 W Power Supply at Hardware Secrets.
BitFenix Survivor Case at Hardware Heaven.
Xigmatek NRP-MC802 800W PSU at VR Zone.
Raidmax Aeolus Case at Tech Powerup.
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 760W Power Supply at PC Perspective.
NZXT H2 Classic Case at Neo Seeker.
Rosewill Thor Full Tower Chassis at Tweak Town.

NZXT Bunker USB Locking Device at Think Computers.

HP 2711x 27" Display at Tech Review Source.
Sennheiser CX310 Adidas Originals at TBreak.
Corsair SP2200 2.1 Speaker System at Neo Seeker.
Roccat Kave Headset at eTeknix.
SteelSeries Spectrum 5XB Headset at Overclock 3D.
Cyborg R.A.T. 9 Wireless Gaming Mouse at Hardware Heaven.
JVC Everio GS-TD1
SteelSeries Siberia V2 Full-Size Headset at Tech Reaction.

Input Devices:
Aperion Verus Forte at Digital Trends.
Revoltec Fight Mouse Elite at XS Reviews.
Razer Spectre Gaming Mouse at Metku.
Thrustmaster T500 RS Force Feedback Wheel at Mad Shrimps.
RAZER TRON Gaming Mouse and Mat Review at Mad Shrimps.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Asus G73SW Laptop at Tech Review Source.
HTC Flyer Tablet at TBreak.
HP Pavilion DM1 at Tbreak.
Sapphire Edge-HD Mini PC at Tech Powerup.
Asus' K53E dual-core Sandy Bridge at Tech Report.

Internet Explorer 9 at Business Computing World UK.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 at Gaming Nexus.

Thursday Afternoon (7 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 31-March-2011  12:39:29 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

If you think your gaming skill is up to par, you could always enter the Team Immunity FFA Championships! More importantly, entry is now free: Just as an update, the FFA Competition is on this weekend and we've now made entry FREE! As a result of venue costs coming in below budget we've passed this saving onto gamers. Everyone who has paid will receive a refund in full within the next 2 days."

Tweaktown has asked the question, "Are consoles holding back gaming technology?" "Remember the good old days of id Software and Epic Games? Their constant battle in the PC FPS graphics arena? - Quake, Unreal. Quake 3, Unreal Tournament. Back in those days we had the ah-mazing 3dfx Voodoo range of video cards. Those things were unstoppable for smooth gaming at the time. 3dfx ushered an entire new unseen era that just didn't seem possible at the time and really pushed graphics to the edge of imaginations for both gaming developers and gamers alike. But, we always needed the gaming developers pushing envelopes and PC seemed to have the exclusives virtually every year. "

In business computing, HP's CEO Leo Apotheker has slammed Oracle for dropping Itanium support. "From my perspective, it's a rather clumsy attempt by Oracle (NSDQ:ORCL) to try and prop up a failing and deteriorating Sun server business," Apotheker said at the outset of his Monday keynote speech at HP's Americas Partner Conference 2011 in Las Vegas. "It is an anticompetitive decision, it is self interested and it is to the endangerment of customers." Thanks to Dan for the link.

The Guru of 3D has looked at triple-screen gaming and achievable performance: "We'll take three 1920x1200 Dell 24" monitors, configure them in a 5760x1200 pixel resolution on both products and fire off a dozen of games at that resolution with superior image quality settings. Not only will we be looking at 'per card' performance, we'll now double up performance once more as we'll place the cards into quad-GPU mode via SLI or CrossfireX. So for both AMD and NVIDIA that means chucking up quad GPU performance and compatibility." I can barely concentrate on one screen - three would be too many for me.

Techware Labs have covered the Orlando 2011 MegaCon, featuring quite a large gallery of photos from the event: "Star Wars, Star Trek, and Anime Oh My! There was definitely something for everyone at this years MegaCon show which turned out to be huge. Hallways and corridors were jam packed with costumed hero’s, villains, and characters from just about every story ever told. Inside the convention hall was packed even tighter as attendees crammed down lanes searching for their favorite fan gear. At the back of the hall were the invited media guests and celebrities which drew an amazing amount of attention and caused lines that wrapped around the hall. Everyone wanted a photo with the stars present."

Google is setting up a 1gbit-per-home network infrastructure in Kansas City, as part of a larger study regarding large bandwidth usage (IE: what can be done with it all?): "Kansas City, Kansas will have a new Internet provider next year, one that operates a 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home network, provides "open access" to any ISP wanting to use the pipes, and charges fees in line with current rates for much slower connections. That new Internet provider? Google."

It seems that a lot of people are wanting to raise money and support for Japan - and so they should - and this time, it's gaming royality that's getting involved, with the auctioning off of several 'rare, amazing gaming collectables'. "So far, Play For Japan—which is run by a group of volunteer coordinators—has raised more than $40,000 by selling numerous big-ticket items through eBay auctions. A Nintendo DS signed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Koji Kondo, for instance, sold for $4,050. There was also a signed copy of the PlayStation classic Final Fantasy Tactics signed by artists Akihiko Yoshida Hideo Minaba, which sold for $1,341, and a statue of Brutal Legend's Eddie Riggs signed by none other than Tim Schafer. While many of the auctions are already complete, there's still plenty to bid on, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross."

Love or hate the iPad, they certainly do have their uses, and they're gaining even more love thanks to their ability to mirror the screen to an external display. Ars Technica have reported that now there's a 'hack' to do just that, wirelessly. "Teachers and corporate presenters alike begged Apple for video mirroring capabilities for the iPad, and the company delivered the feature in the iPad 2. Apple's solution still leaves users tied to a cord, however, so two employees at networking service provider Straight Up Technologies developed a simple hack to give their client wireless HDMI output and freedom of movement while sharing the iPad's screen." The great part is that it doesn't involve jailbreaking the iPad or doing anything that would void warranty.

If you're constantly wondering when your particular flavour of phone will get an update, wonder no more! Telstra now have a page lists what models will be recieving what OS update.

Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 30-March-2011  21:43:00 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Here's a bit of a slice of what's going on in our always-busy forums.

Turn satellite into big ass wireless antenna? in Electronics.
disposing off 30+ HDDs.. recommend a method of destruction in Storage & Backup.
Colorado under administration (the shop not the state) in Current Events & Serious Discussion.
Serious weight gain needed. in Sport, Fitness & Health.
Been begged to do a wedding but theres a problem in Photography & Video.
How do you make electricity from coal? in The Pub.
Gerry Harvey: No One Makes Money From The Internet in The Pub.
Cool sh*t you get from work (or your partner) in The Pub.
File server build in What/Where Should I Buy?
Electronic Cigarettes? in Sport, Fitness & Health.
BYO Computer at Suncorp in Business & Enterprise Computing
Mini-ITX build in Portable and Small Form Factor.
Power usage: How many to an outlet? in Newbie Lounge.
Unmarked US "diplomatic" aircraft visits Brissy in The Pub.
need some comfortable work shoes in The Pub.
Coffee Machines and Value for $$$ in Geek Food.
which 2tb hdd for storage in Storage & Backup.
Must-have guitar pedals in Musicians.

Wednesday Afternoon (4 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 30-March-2011  17:15:08 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The Federal Government has managed to get two NBN bills through Parliament, after appeasing the rural independent MPs. It's promised to keep wholesale prices uniform whether customers live in the city or the bush and to analyse the impact to communities for any future policy change on technology. Discussion here.

NASA are hamming it up in space, with a tongue-in-cheek Robonaut 2 unboxing video. Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli unpack the newest member of the Expedition 27 crew, Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space. Oh sure, we laugh now, but one day they're going to need him to open the pod bay doors.

Suncorp have made the decision to let staff use their own PCs instead of having a standardised corporate fleet. The BYO (bring your own) device program at one of Australia's largest insurers means staff will be able to break free from the shackles of their company-issued PCs and plug in their personal laptops, tablets and smartphones into the enterprise network. Discussion here.

The Australian Classification Board have released their decision report on Duke Nukem Forever. Reading the report gives some spoilers of game details. Upon the successful completion of this level, Duke is given a "special" lap-dance by the stripper. The breast nude female is depicted in a first person perspective implicitly gyrating on Duke's lap. The Board notes a facility also exists for the player to "jiggle" the stripper's breasts during this scene.

Australia's Police forces are investigating virtual money laundering. NSW Detective Superintendent Commander Colin Dyson told iTnews at the Cards and Payments Australasia conference in Sydney today that cybercriminals were using virtual, gaming platforms to communicate and transfer funds around the globe. Dyson declined to name what virtual worlds were under investigation, noting only that they were a "growing area of interest" for State and Federal cybercrime-fighting teams.

The Judge presiding over the Limewire vs music industry case has called their damage estimates absurd. "As defendants note, plaintiffs are suggesting an award that is 'more money than the entire music recording industry has made since Edison's invention of the phonograph in 1877'," she wrote.

Meanwhile ArsTechnica report on an RIAA lobbyist becoming a federal judge who rules on file-sharing cases. Judges in Texas, West Virginia, and Illinois had all ruled recently that such lawsuits were defective in various ways, but Howell gave her cases the green light; attorneys could use the federal courts to sue thousands of people at once and then issue mass subpoenas to Internet providers.

Harvey Norman are launching an online store. "Harvey Norman has been the pace-setter for an awful long time," Mr Harvey said. "They're kicking us on the internet at the moment but there's no history of anyone making money on it."

Someone in IRC spotted this pancake picking robot which reminded me of an earlier video about a frozen pizza machine. This led to how frozen fish is made.. must be nearly dinner time..

Amiga CD32 Unboxing (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 30-March-2011  13:35:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Over in the Retro & Arcade Forum, Draxx is unboxing an Amiga CD32, sealed and untouched since it was made back in 1993.. ahh, it takes me back. Actually I never had a CD32, but we did have an Amiga 1000 and then Amiga 2000 when I was a kid.

Click for the thread!

Wednesday News (9 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 30-March-2011  12:32:11 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

First cab off the rank today, OCAU forum member Draco II has written some deep thoughts about the state of electrically-driven cars and their impact on Australian motoring. "With all the buzz surrounding cars like the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster, not to mention hybrid petrol-electrics like the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, you’d think that electricity-powered cars were a relatively recent innovation. But you’d be wrong. They may be touted as the future of personal transport, but electric cars are not new to North America, Europe or even Australia." In my humble opinion, if they want hybrids and electric cars to really take off, they have to stop designing the everyday versions to look like cutesy "The lil' Car That Could" models and the Prius.

ITShootout has a guide to modifying your AMD Radeon 6950 into a 6970. "It has been a long time since we were able to turn one video card into another using just a BIOS flash, but with the Radeon HD 6950 you can do just that, providing you have a model that follows the reference design. Most reference cards look like the card below and have an identical PCB and cooler to the Radeon HD 6970." OCAU does not take responsibility for you bricking your Radeon 6950 if you attempt this. :P

If you're looking for a PC that's teeny yet still fairly powerful, Futurelooks have gotten their hands on a "ZOTAC ZBOX AD02 Plus AMD Fusion E-350 Mini-PC", unboxing and 'previewing' it in a video in the link. "We took the afternoon off to go hang with Tuan from ZOTAC who recently received their brand new ZOTAC ZBOX AD02 Plus Mini-PC. While it looks similar to the early MAG series on the outside, these low powered mini-PCs use an AMD Fusion E350 1.6GHz APU on the inside. The ZBOX AD02 comes in two flavors, the vanilla AD02 and the AD02 Plus."

Onto some benchmarking, and first we have Crysis 2 being put through the wringer by the guys at Techspot. They question as to why DirectX 11 support has been omitted and explore what the game is capable of, on a PC platform. "Crytek and EA unleashed the highly anticipated sequel to Crysis last week. While waiting for it to become available Down Under, I found myself reading numerous reviews about the game. Most were highly positive, while informal observations from bloggers and PC gamers noted that Crysis 2 has departed from some of its predecessor's gameplay essentials and feels closer to a Call of Duty-style shooter... Still relevant to our discussion however is the absence of DirectX 11 support at launch. As PC gamers ourselves, we can't help feeling a bit disappointed by Crytek's exclusive use of DirectX 9 rendering, especially considering that the original game did support DX10." I really hope there's some freedom in the game - that was one of the best parts of Far Cry and Crysis (although a lesser extent on the latter).

On a definitely less pretty, but still interesting note, Phoronix has compared some of the latest compilers, looking at their relevant performance. "Version 4.6 of GCC was released over the weekend with a multitude of improvements and version 2.9 of the Low-Level Virtual Machine is due out in early April with its share of improvements. How though do these two leading open-source compilers compare? In this article we are providing benchmarks of GCC 4.5.2, GCC 4.6.0, DragonEgg with LLVM 2.9, and Clang with LLVM 2.9 across five distinct AMD / Intel systems to see how the compiler performance compares."

This will only apply to our Canadian friends: NetFlix has reduced the quality of its video service to Canada, due to "many Canadian Internet service providers unfortunately enforce monthly caps on the total amount of data consumed" Apparently Canadians have been treated a little roughly by their ISP's, with data caps being lowered in recent months, prompting some to protest against it.

While we're with Ars Technica, if you're waiting for the iPhone "5" to be announced in the next few months (like I am), don't hold your breath. Rumours have it that the next version of Apple's mobile phone will be delayed due to the development of iTunes cloud connectivity and the integration of LTE 4G technology. "Several rumors popped up this week suggesting that Apple might push the release of both the next iPhone hardware and the next major iOS update from its usual summer release to the fall. In the wake of those rumors, which claim the announcement will coincide with a new cloud-based iTunes "locker," it's possible that Apple may use the extra time to integrate newer technologies, including Siri's AI-based, voice-controlled searching, improved mapping, and possibly LTE compatibility into next-generation iOS and iPhone hardware." Looks like I'll have to consider an Android option then, before my trusty 3G dies completely...

Finally, we have the first photo from the NASA MESSENGER probe, which entered orbit around Mercury in mid-March. Its science mission to study the inner-most planet will begin on the 4th of March. "Mercury has been snapped by NASA's MESSENGER probe, which is currently preparing itself to start on its elliptical trajectory around the planet and commence collecting data about it in earnest."

Tuesday Night Reviews (9 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 29-March-2011  20:18:54 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Motherboard & CPU:
Mobile Sandybridge Performance at PC Perspective.
MSI Big Bang Marshal P67 at Overclock3D.
Amd Phenom 2 X4 840 Cpu at RB Mods.
Biostar TP67XE at XBit Labs.
Sapphire Mini E350 at Pure Overclock.

Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer DDR3 PC3-12800 Memory Kit at Mad Shrimps.

Video Cards:
XFX HD6950 1GB Overclocked Edition at Overclockers Club.
Inno3D GTX560 Ti 1GB OC at Vortez.
MSI R6970 Lightning at TBreak.
MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone CO at XBit Labs.

Swiftech Polaris 120 High Performance CPU Cooler at Tweaktown.
Thermalright Shaman VGA Cooler at Tweak News.
Noctua NH-C14 CPU Heatsink at APH Networks.
EVERCOOL HPK-1002EA Heatsink at Tech Powerup.
Swiftech Polaris 120 Heatsink at Overclockers Online.

Crucial m4 256GB SATA 6G SSD at TweakTown.
Crucial m4 256GB (C400) SSD at HWHeaven.
Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD at PC Perspective.
Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD at Tech Report.
Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD at Legit Reviews.
Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD at the SSD Review.
Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB Hard Drive at Benchmark Reviews.

Cases & PSU:
ou Jye BITWIN BW-B430JL 430W at Tech Powerup.
Aurum Gold 700W at VR Zone
In Win BUC Case at Hardware Secrets.
SilverStone GF06 HTPC Chassis at Overclocking Intelligence Agency.
BitFenix Colossus Window Full Tower Chassis at TweakTown.
Antec Six Hundred V2 Case at Think Computers.
In Win BUC case at Neo Seeker.

Patriot PBO Core HD Media Player at Think Computers.
Jabra BT530 Bluetooth Headset at Tech Reviews.co.uk.
Corsair SP2500 speakers at Guru of 3D.
Razer Ferox Portable Speakers at Bjorn3D.
Olympus Pen E-PL2 Digital Camera at TechReviewSource.
Kicker iK501 iPod Docking Station at Techware Labs.
Arctic Cooling P321 USB Headphones at ViperLair.
AC Ryan Playon!HD Mini 2 at XS Reviews.
Olympus XZ-1 Digital Camera at Digital Trends.

Input Devices:
Gigabyte Aivia M8600 Wireless Gaming Mouse at Hardware Heaven.
Thermaltake eSPORTS BLACK Gaming Mouse at Techgage.
Arctic Sound E361-BM Earbuds at Funky Kit.
GIGABYTE Aivia M8600 Wireless Macro Gaming Mouse at TweakTown.
Thermaltake Meka G1 Keyboard at Hardware Secrets.
Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard at Digital Trends.
Cooler Master Spawn Gaming Mouse at Megatech News.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch at Hot Hardware.

Bulletstorm at Review Stash.

Team.AU Benching Weekend Report (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 29-March-2011  15:37:16 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Team.AU have posted a big report of their recent benching weekend. Lots of overclocking, record-breaking and the usual shenanigans when there's 500L of liquid nitrogen available:

Click for the report!

MSI R6970 Lightning 2GB (15 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 29-March-2011  13:01:36 (GMT +10) - by Agg

DiGiTaL MoNkEY has checked out MSI's R6970 Lightning 2GB. This is a heavily customised Radeon video card with their "Twin Frozr III" cooler:

Click for the review!

Tuesday News (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 29-March-2011  12:45:36 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

First up, Overclock3D have reported on something important if you own a Kingston solid-state drive: "Kingston have discovered a technical issue with their SSDNow V100 solid-state drive. A small percentage of their drives have been shown to hang at BIOS and fail to boot. Kingston has developed a firmware update to address this issue." There is a firmware fix at Kingston's site.

Paul Baran, one of the Internet's engineers, arcitects and inventor of "packet-switching" technology has passed away at the age of 84: "As the father of packet-switching -- the basis of all online information exchanges -- he was initially scoffed at by major communications players like AT&T, who thought the tech was too advanced to be realized at the time."

In news that everyone saw coming, the iPad 2 has sold out in Australia. Apparently there seems to be some confusion as to what stock levels are accurate, and many people are pointing the finger at Apple, claiming that the company was aware of limited stock supplies whilst still going ahead with the launch. "Long-time Australian Apple watcher Matthew Powell, editor of MacTheMagazine.com, said Apple persisted with its announced March 25 launch date despite knowing that it did not have anywhere near enough stock to deliver on orders - particularly those placed online - in a timely fashion." Didn't this happen with the original iPad launch? I think it's fair to say that demand always outweighs supply when Apple manages to whip up the masses into a frenzy. Thanks to IntelInside for the link.

We've seen a lot of video cards released and reviewed lately, (including reviews from our own DigitalMonkey), but Xbit Labs felt it was time to compare the two big guns, the AMD Radeon HD 6990 and the nVidia GeForce GTX590. "There is always a constant and tough struggle for supremacy among the manufacturers of computer components like CPUs, graphics cards, system memory modules, coolers, etc. There is fierce competition in each price category, especially among top-end products. The graphics card market is a vivid example of that." Okay, so it's not like 'Eye of the Tiger' would be playing in the background when you're pitting video cards against each other, but still, you gotta love a prize fight like this. You can find our reviews of the AMD Radeon HD 6990 here and the nVidia GeForce GTX590 here.

After you've bought one of the monsters from either AMD or nVidia, you're going to want a nice screen to use with it, and Samsung is about to release a new display model with a new technology called PLS (Plane-to-Line Switching) - "Samsung have been very tight-lipped about their upcoming PLS (Plane to Line Switching) technology that they are launching to try to compete with LG Display’s IPS (In Plane Switching) technologies. Nonetheless they have quietly released a little information about the upcoming SA850 ... he SA850 is aimed at ‘professionals’ who are ‘sensitive to image quality’ and will be the first series to showcase the PLS panel technology." Thanks to ikonZor for the link.

In medical news, the blog, MedJuice has covered two areas of tech that are making themselves useful: the Microsoft Kinect can be used for hands-free manipulation of images, which is useful for surgeons who need to keep their hands sterile; and Stanford University has been handing out iPads to their medical students, hoping to see an increase in productivity from the students. "Stanford University were handing out iPads to their medical students, and now we get to see the fruits of their labours. The video below outlines all the uses they've found for their iPad - listening to lectures while annotating the PDFs of the slides, using QuickOffice and syncing with the cloud - the list goes on."

Over in America, AT&T has admitted that it purposely 'crippled' the speed of two of its 4G phones: "AT&T has admitted that it clipped the wings of its 4G network and is the reason that two recently released phones, the Motorola Atrix 4G and the HTC Inspire 4G, have dismal upload speeds. Carrier reps on Facebook have promised that AT&T will fix the problem with a software update to the phones in April after many complaints were made to the Better Business Bureau." However, the article doesn't say why the throttling was in place.

Finally - and this is most cool - we have two quadcopters juggling balls with each other (you in the back, stop sniggering). Watch the video to appreciate how pretty damn awesome this is, although it's sad to admit that two toys can play tennis better that I can.

2011 Formula 1 - Australian Grand Prix Aftermath (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 29-March-2011  00:02:20 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Well, Mark Webber didn't win on his home ground but it was an interesting race at the first round of the 2011 Formula 1 season. The reigning champ, Sebastian Vettel took home first place in the Australian Grand Prix, and of course OCAU forum members were discussing it before, during and after the race. The whole season will probably be discussed in detail as the year progresses, so here's a few threads for you, both about the Melbourne race and the 2011 season in general:

2011 Formula 1 QANTAS Australian Grand Prix in Motorsport.
2011 Melbourne GP - Saturday Album #1 in Photography & Video.
22 pics from the F1 Pit & Paddock in Photography & Video.
F1/Albert Park shots in Photography & Video.
F1 Dream Team/Fantasy League 2011 in Motorsport.
F1 at Bathurst 22/3/11 in Motorsport.
2011 F1 Singapore GP Trip in Motorsport.
Who will you support when Webber retires? in Motorsport.

Photography Gallery (3 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 28-March-2011  23:21:31 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Gotta love it when your adsl plan shaping won't unshape, delaying your entire night... but nonetheless, here's some great shots from our photography forum. Make sure you go into the forum, there's plenty of information if you're a budding photographer.

Monday Afternoon (5 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 28-March-2011  16:02:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The usual catfighting between AMD and NVIDIA continues, with AMD disputing NVIDIA's claim that their
GeForce GTX 590 is quicker than AMD's Radeon HD 6990, thanks JD. We combed through their announcement to understand how it was that such a claim could be made and why there was no substantiation based on industry-standard benchmarks, similar to what AMD did with industry benchmark 3DMark 11, the latest DirectX® 11 benchmark from FutureMark.

Also of some concern are reports that certain drivers are letting GTX 590's blow up in the hands of testers. It appears that some of the first NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 video cards to ship come with Forceware 267.52 drivers and they don't prevent the card from overheating when overclocked and overvolting. The folks over at SweClockers cranked up the clock frequency and video taped the carnage. More reports and discussion in this thread, near the end.

Meanwhile if you have an old EVGA card you might win a new one. EVGA wants to see the oldest, NVIDIA-based, EVGA graphics card you still have in your possession – the person with the oldest card will win a brand new EVGA GTX 590 Classified Limited Edition Graphics card! All you need to enter is a picture of the oldest, NVIDIA-based, EVGA graphics card you still currently own. Seems to be open to international entries but you have to join their forum thingy.

Lurks sent in this article about a recent EvE upgrade. The War on Lag is never ending, because EVE Online is always growing. But we have some interesting things to show you this week. This is the third in a series of three blogs that will show you how we fight lag through hardware upgrades, software fixes, and even wrestling the internet itself...

Digitimes have an article from about a week ago covering how the Japan earthquake affects the HDD industry. Furukawa Denko and Kobe Steel produce HDD-use substrates using aluminum mainly for desktop PCs. The two makers together dominate the entire HDD-use substrate market. Since their capacities are all located in the disaster zones, if the two makers continue to shut down their operations, the HDD industry may see substrate shortages.

It's always nice when you find something you misplaced, especially if you lost it on the moon. A team of physicists led by a professor at UC San Diego has pinpointed the location of a long lost light reflector left on the lunar surface by the Soviet Union nearly 40 years ago that many scientists had unsuccessfully searched for and never expected would be found.

A couple of people sent in this cool article about real spy gadgets, following on from an earlier article. We've expanded the rogue's gallery of ingenious spy gadgets with a raft of devious tricks from the former Soviet bloc and other countries, including a lipstick gun, shoe bug and a seriously savage rectal Houdini kit (you'll understand it when you see the pic).

VooDoo spotted this (possibly NSFW/disturbing in places) gallery of Google Maps Street View sightings. Not much more to say about that one, really, but some interesting images.

FutureLooks have a Sandy Bridge Mobo Roundup. Today, we have a nice mix of mainstream Sandy Bridge boards and I’m happy to report that for the most part, they have been a pleasure to work with over the last few weeks. In this round up, we’re testing several of the best price/performance P67 motherboards. We’re giving them a very thorough and scrutinized beating so that you know what to expect and help you decide what to choose when you make the switch.

I think we saw an earlier version of this years ago, but here's a video of a truck physics game which looks like a lot of fun. It's a Windows download though, not online, sadly.

But fear not, because today's timewaster is Jorinapeka from Tabris. I actually got this ages ago and don't think I've posted it before.. anyway.. I got sucked into this one and played up to level 12. Also, does the music remind anyone else of the Conan movies?

Monday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 28-March-2011  00:56:29 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Motherboard & CPU:
AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition at RB Mods.

Patriot G2 PC3-12800 1600MHz at XS Reviews.
Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer PC3-12800 at Overclocking Intelligence Agency.

Video Cards:
HIS HD6850 IceQ X Turbo 1GB at Overclockers Online.
EVGA GeForce GTX550 Ti FBP at Ninja Lane.
MSI HD 6950 Twin Frozr III 2 GB at Tech Powerup.
EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Superclocked Edition at Tech Reaction.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 at IXBit Labs.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 the Guru of 3D.
MSI GTX580 Lightning at Overclock3D.

Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME Plus VGA Cooler at Hardware Secrets.

Thermaltake BLACX 5G External Drive Dock at Techware Labs.
Synology DS411j NAS at Vortez.
Crucial's m4 solid-state drive at The Tech Report.
Corsair Performance 3 128GB Solid State Drive at TweakTown.
LSI MegaRAID SAS/SATA 9265-8i 6Gb/s PCIe RAID Card at The SSD Review.

Cases & PSU:
NZXT H2 Case at Hardware Secrets.
Antec P183 v3 at XS Reviews.
Enermax Hoplite at Pure Overclock.
Thermaltake V9 BlacX Edition Mid Tower Chassis at TweakTown.
FSP Aurum Gold 700W PSU at IT Shootout.

Thermaltake eSports Shock Headset at Neo Seeker.
Roccat Kulo Stereo Headset at Hardware Heaven.
SuperTooth Disco Bluetooth Speaker at Test Freaks.
SteelSeries Scope Gaming Glasses at Legit Reviews.

Asus RT-N12 SuperSpeed-N Router at TweakNews.

Magellan eXplorist 610 GPS at Techware Labs.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Acer Aspire One 522-BZ897 at TechReviewSource.
Apple MacBook Pro 17-inch (2011) at Digital Trends.
Apple iPad 2 at Tech Spot.

Crysis 2 at Digital Trends.
Homefront 2 at Gaming Heaven.

Geek Food (1 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 27-March-2011  20:26:55 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Some more yummy threads from our Geek Recipes forum:

Mushroomington Bears
by glasnt

couscous encrusted salmon
by TehCamel

Easy Brownies
by nyah8

Chicken Stew
by kingjam

Riso al Forno
by Shaetano

by Shaetano

2011 Australian F1 Grand Prix (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 27-March-2011  16:40:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

In about 20 minutes the 2011 Formula One Season kicks off, with the first race starting in Melbourne. Mark Webber has qualified in 3rd place. Keep track of things via this thread in our Motorsport Forum.

Saturday Evening News (5 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 26-March-2011  19:18:35 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

First up, we've all seen the beautiful images released from NASA, the shots of far off galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Well, I'm sorry to break it to you, but the shots don't come out of the telescope looking the way they do, NASA boffins do have to stitch together a lot of the shots and give them a good tweaking to make them look their best. "This processing work doesn’t mean that the images are fake – even while at times they appear to be total fantasy. And it doesn’t mean that, if we went there in a spaceship all of Hubble’s images would be different from what we could see in person." The link has a video, explaining what process they go through with the raw images.

In other news from Gizmodo, some observant Apple-owner has realised the top of the iPhone 4 fits perfectly in a cutout on a Mac Air case. Does this mean the iPhone 4 could be used as a handle? Was there ever meant to be a dock there? Or will this just fuel the minds of the obsessive, paranoid geeks for some time to come, but actually mean nothing? :)

We saw the new ASUS Eeepc Transformer back at CES 2011, but it's just been released in Taiwan:"The build quality of the final product units of the Eee Pad Transformer are much better than the units we've seen before, although one concern is the overly stiff hinge of the keyboard dock and the fact that in “notebook mode” the Eee Pad Transformer we got some hands on time with today didn't shut properly as you'd expect of a notebook. Minor issues maybe, but not something you'd expect of what is meant to be production ready hardware."

The Tech Report have released an article about USB 3: "A late adopter's guide to USB 3.0" "USB 3.0 is all around us these days. It's in our motherboards, our PC enclosures, and our external hard drive docks. It's even in some of our laptops—provided they don't have a glowing piece of fruit on the back, at least. That's all well and good, but what if, like me, you put together a PC just before the USB 3.0 craze?" Is USB 3 really that widespread that I'm late to the party? Looks like I'm living in the past again.

In tragic news, it seems more and more people are saying "LOL" out loud. "LOL is defined as an interjection, 'originally and chiefly in the language of electronic communications: ‘ha ha!’; used to draw attention to a joke or humorous statement, or to express amusement.' The real surprise here isn't the online ubiquity of LOL but its growing offline presence as a spoken word. As this week's announcement makes clear, LOL is now 'found outside of electronic contexts, however; in print, and even in spoken use, where there often seems to be a bit more than simple abbreviation going on.'" It seems there's only one explanation for this: some hapless geeks are de-evolving into... dorkgeeks.

Finally, TechReviewSource have a guide for spring-cleaning your computer (even though it's not spring for us down here in the southern hemisphere, I know)."It's that time of year, when the dirty aftermath of winter gives way to the desperate need to clean your home before the sun starts to pour through the window, exposing just how little housework you've done. As you prepare to tackle the floors, windows, and everything else you've neglected, you should seriously consider giving your PC, be it desktop or laptop or even handheld smartphone, a thorough cleaning as well." Go on, give your PC a clean. Your mother would be proud - or relieved. Either one.

Anyway, time for me to run off to dinner and the movies, have a great Saturday night. :)

Misc Pics (20 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 25-March-2011  14:06:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to simon and infirmus this week!

And if you're after more, check out this Wiki page which lists ALL "misc pics" news posts from the archive.

Friday Lunchtime News (22 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 25-March-2011  13:15:57 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

We've waited over a decade for Duke Nukem Forever and less than two months away from it's release, it's been delayed - albeit via an amusing 'announcement' video. As you saw in the video, it's delayed until the 14th of June but that's really all they've said about it. There doesn't seem to be any further information on their site, although there's a huge thread at Gearbox Software's forums.

The Apple iPad 2 has been released in Australia, amidst claims from the US that the new version of the tablet has light leaking problems. There's also a few other complaints about Apple's new baby, but if you're still keen on getting one, Gizmodo has discovered that you can buy one slightly cheaper at Big W (if they still have any in stock) Finally, Lifehacker has a complete iPad 2 launch day guide. Here's my launch-day guide: wait a month. :)

Even though Libya has turned into a full-on warzone with NATO forces attacking the armed forces, it seems that some people in the US Air Force are trying to keep a sense of humour by giving the callsign "Sheen" to one of their psy-ops planes, along with the callsigns to two survelliance aircraft seemingly inspired by Battlestar Galactica: "Charlie Sheen isn’t an F-18, but he is an EC-130 cargo plane specially configured for psy-ops. Some EC-130 flights over Libya have been going by the call-sign 'SHEEN' – as in, “SHEEN 53, what’s your altitude?” Other flights are 'CYLONs'." Makes sense to me!

While we're in the Middle East, Agg mailed in a link to this interesting and interactive timeline of the recent uprisings across various countries in that area of the world. Interesting enough, Israel, Kuwait and the UAE haven't got any markers in their rows.

Continuing on the theme of oppression, the Federal Government has instigated a full review of the current classification system in Australia. "What follows is the full release from both Robert McClelland, the Attorney-General and Brendan O'Connor, Minister for Home Affairs and Justice. The announcement appears comprehensive and coming from a unified front of both the AG and Home Affairs minister means that it carries serious weight. No specific mention is made of the Classification Board. The issue is important as it is the basis of Labor's proposed internet filter and also affects controversial games classification in Australia. It ends by setting a deadline for a full Australian Law Reform Commission report at the end of January next year. Links to download the original release and the Terms of Reference are included below." It's wordy, but it's worth a read as it'll affect all of us in one way or another. Thanks to King Krapp for the link.

Ars Technica have an interesting article about how sleepwalkers may be reliving the day's learning as they sleep. The embedded video shows a woman learning a process while awake, and then repeating it while asleep. "Much research supports this hypothesis, which in recent years has eroded the classical conviction that sleeping minds were, if not empty vessels, blank slates for undirected neurological activity. When tested on new facts, people remember them better after a good night’s sleep than a short break. Brain imaging shows similar patterns in their sleeping brains as when they are learning."

Finally, we have a bit of a weird, yet entertaining time waster for you: Bad Translator. Give it a seed phrase and it'll translate it back and forth from English to other languages, hopefully ending up with something amusing. It's kinda sad when it just ends up translating accurately though. Thanks to Sam for the link!

GeForce GTX 590 Roundup (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 25-March-2011  12:51:30 (GMT +10) - by Agg

NVIDIA unveiled their new dual-GPU GTX 590 monster yesterday, and of course you can read OCAU's review. Here's some more coverage from around the net:

HWHeaven (Quad SLI here, more here)
PC Perspective
Tech Report

NVIDIA have a video with more info about the new card. Discussion continues in this thread.

ASUS GeForce GTX 590 3GB (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 25-March-2011  00:01:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I hereby dub this "enormous video cards week" at OCAU. DiGiTaL MoNkEY has taken a look at NVIDIA's brand new dual-GPU monster, in the form of the ASUS GeForce GTX 590 3GB.

Click for the review!

Thursday Night News (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 24-March-2011  23:39:09 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

This weekend, thousands of backsides around the world will be plonked down on the couch and eyes glued to the TV - the 2011 Formula 1 season is going to begin, and the first round is in Australia! Exar Kun has posted a whole slew of information about the race. I'm certainly going to be watching!

If you're into MMO-style games, you'll probably be interested to know that Games On Net has 25 beta keys to give away for the upcoming game, "APB Reloaded" - "Thanks to the folks at GamersFirst, they've given us a pile of keys to their invite-only closed beta of APB Reloaded. We chatted to the GamersFirst folks back in late January about how things were going with their attempt to resurrect Realtime Worlds' cops-and-robbers MMO, and they've made good on their promise to provide us with Australian and New Zealand closed beta codes - which are sitting pretty in my hot little hands." Entries close TOMORROW though, so get on it!

A laptop-stealing thief has found out the hard way that you should never steal from a geek: "That's the lesson for gadget-stealing thieves after Mark Bao made mince meat out of the reputation of a man who nicked his MacBook Air one and a half months ago. The 18-year-old Boston, Massachusetts university student at the weekend posted on the web a video of the thief dancing to a rap song that was recorded with the stolen laptop's webcam."

If you're one of the very few people who doesn't use Gmail, TBreak has listed five features that make it even better: "I haven’t always been a supporter of Gmail. For me, Outlook has always been the email client of choice and any other email client, especially web-based ones have been a poor compromise. The only reason I started using Gmail was because of the 1GB plus account — a big advantage for Gmail back in the day when Hotmail only offered about 1mb worth of space. However, over the course of the years Gmail has gotten better and better."

Labour's web filter is copping flak again, this time from Facebook, Yahoo, NineMSN and Microsoft. "'I would hate for the public to get the wrong impression that there is a quick technological solution for inappropriate content, because there isn't,'' Facebook's chief privacy adviser, Mozelle Thompson, told the committee.
Advertisement: The views conflict with those of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who has championed a mandatory filter since it was announced in 2007."

Finally, a .xxx 'adult entertainment' domain suffix has been approved, even though it was rejected three years ago. "Proposals to create a new adults-only domain date back as far as 2003 when moves to open up the number of major domain names were announced by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), which administers millions of internet addresses. However, Icann blocked the plan in 2007 after long deliberations and threats in the US from the Bush government, which opposed the creation of .xxx on moral grounds and said it would override Icann if necessary." This will hopefully make it easier when filtering pornography access, especially for parents who aren't as technologically savvy as others.

Motoring Worklogs (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 24-March-2011  20:47:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg

One busy corner of OCAU is our Motoring Forum. Here's a few interesting projects from the Motoring Worklogs subforum:

jabba's RA23 Celica

PooJoo's Corolla RS-X

SirNemesis's Boosted Statesman

marshy's Datsun 1600

madkat's Toyota Supra

DanWA's LS1 LX Torana

BioNiKaL's MR2

blakeg's GT4 Celica

VooDoo's GTO

jabba's HQ Monaro

Timding's Clubman

fat245's 1973 Valiant

Thursday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 24-March-2011  20:39:37 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Motherboard & CPU:
Gigabyte E350N-USB3 at Techware Labs.
MSI P67A-GD65 at PureOC.
ASUS Maximus IV Extreme B3 Revision at Overclock3D.

Kingston HyperX T1 Black 6GB Memory at TBreak.
G.SKILL Ripjaws-X F3-17000CL9D-8GBXLD 2x4GB at APH Networks.

Video Cards:
PowerColor AX6990 4GBD5-M4D at Benchmark Reviews.
XFX Radeon HD6950 XXX at Tweak News.
HIS Radeon HD 6990 4GB Overclocked at TweakTown.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti at Techgage.
HIS Radeon HD 6990 4GB and HD 6970 2GB at TweakTown.
Palit GeForce GTX 550 Ti Sonic at Guru3D.
ASUS EAH6870 1GB at IT Shootout.
MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone II OC at Legit Reviews.

Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro Cooler at Tweak News.
Arctic Cooling Notebook Cooler at Funky Kit.
Arctic Equipment Breeze Pro at Tech Reaction.
Zalman CNPS11X Extreme at Tweak News.
Corsair Hydro Series H60 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler at TweakTown.

Western Digital My Book 3.0 1TB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive at Think Computers.
Synology DiskStation DS411slim NAS at Business Computing World.
Mach Xtreme Technology MX-GX 16GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive at Hardware Heaven.
OCZ's Vertex 3 SSD at Tech Report.
Crucial M4 256GB SATA 3 SSD Reviewat The SSD Review.
Seagate GoFlex 1TB External Drive at Big Bruin.

Cases & PSU:
Cubitek XL-Tank Case at PureOC.
Super Flower Golden King 550W Power Supply at TweakTown.
NZXT Classic Series H2 Silent PC Case at Legit Reviews.
FSP Aurum 600 Watt 80+ Gold Power Supply at Pro-Clockers.
NZXT H2 Classic Silent Midtower at Vortez.
Cooler Master GX 550 PSU at Grabbit Reviews.
SilverStone SFX ST45SF 450 watt PSU at PC Perspective.
Corsair TX750 V2 PSU at Hardware Secrets.
Jou Jye BITWIN BW-B520JL 520W PSU at Tech Powerup.
Sentey Optimus GS-6000 Mid Tower Chassis at TweakTown.
Antec Nine Hundred Two v3 at XS Reviews.
FSP Aurum Gold 700 Power Supply at Hardware Secrets.
BitFenix Colossus at Tech Reviews.co.uk.
Speck Fitted iPad Case at Think Computers.

NZXT Sentry LXE Fan Controller at Bjorn3D.

iMainGo 2 Portable Speaker at Tech Reviews.co.uk.
Battery Heads Nikon Coolpix Digital Camera Battery and Travel Charger at Test Freaks.
AC Ryan Playon!HD2 Media Player at XS Reviews.
Razer Ferox Module Gaming Speakers at RB Mods.
Canon PowerShot PowerShot ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS Digital Camera at TechReviewSource.
Corsair SP2200 2.1 Speaker System at TweakTown.
Lowepro Rezo 140 AW Camera Bag at Review Stash.

Input/Output Devices:
Buffalo USB 3.0 Interface ExpressCard at TBreak.
Smartfish Whirl Mini Laser Mouse at Megatech News.
Bigfoot Killer 2100 Gaming Network Card at Overclockers Club.
Razer Anansi MMO Keyboard at Hardware Heaven.
Nexus Silent Mouse at Techware labs.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Fujitsu Lifebook T580 at TechReviewSource.
Lenovo IdeaPad U260 12.5-inch Laptop at Think Computers.
Intel Core i5-2520M and The Asus K53E Notebook at Hot Hardware.

Fight Night Champion Xbox 360 Video Review at TweakTown.

Thursday Afternoon News (9 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 24-March-2011  15:12:45 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

I think everyone is pretty much aware that Firefox 4 is now released and available for download. It brings quite a few new changes, so it's being covered fairly strongly. Here's a few of the articles popping up regarding the release:

Firefox 4 highlights from Games On Net.
Firefox 4 review at Ars Technica.
A video from one of Mozilla's design team, talking about the new interface at Mozilla Blogs.
Firefox 4 Tweak Guide at Tweak Guides.
Firefox 4 clocks up 7.1 million downloads within first 24 hours at Engadget.
How To Fix Annoyances With Firefox 4?s New Look at Lifehacker.

If you don't have the latest version, you can download it here.

Onto regular news...

If you thought aircraft carriers were big, take a look at this: CG images of a new class of 400m long container cargo ships. The Danish shipping company, Maersk, are hoping that the new ships will be more efficent and environmentally friendly: "Called the ‘Triple-E’ class for the three main purposes behind their creation — Economy of scale, Energy efficient and Environmentally improved — these new container vessels do not just set a new benchmark for size: they will surpass the current industry records for fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions per container moved held by the Emma Mærsk class vessels." Currently, the behemoths will only be sailing between Europe and Asia, as America has no ports capable of receiving the huge vessels.

This is one way to get kids interested in history: make it relevant to what they know now. An artist and a copywriter (who writes copy, not someone who protects intellectual property) have created a small number of fake advertising posters for the Smithsonian. I think it's inspired and helps otherwise ignorant folk find connection to historical events, but the Smithsonian isn't too impressed. They've requested that the photos be removed, boo. Thanks to Rezin for the link.

Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, working with federal law enforcement agents, has brought down the world's largest spam network, Rustock. "Rustock, at its peak, was a botnet of around 2 million spam-sending zombies capable of sending out 30 billion spam email per day. Microsoft's wholesale slaughter of Rustock could reduce worldwide spam output by up to 39%." You just gotta love that. Damn spammers.

Speaking of worldwide (well, not really, but I needed a segway), Google has accused China of interfering with Gmail. China has a long history of censoring internet content, but if this proves to be true, it's hard to see it in a positive light. "Google has accused the Chinese government of interfering with its popular Gmail email system. The move follows extensive attempts by the Chinese authorities to crack down on the "jasmine revolution" – an online dissident movement inspired by events in the Middle East. ... In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake in Japan, Google set up an application to help people find relatives and friends lost in the disaster. This service too seems to have been blocked." Google also claims that China's 'cyberattacks' are becoming more and more sophisticated.

Bit-tech have asked a valid question: The Xbox 360's Xenos GPU has a less then a tenth of the processing power of a top-end PC GPU, so why don't PC games look ten times better? "...according to AMD, this could potentially change if PC games developers were able to program PC hardware directly at a low-level, rather than having to go through an API, such as DirectX." So will DirectX go the way of the Dodo?

Deadman has sent a link to this amazing plexiglass desk/case mod. I love it, and I want one. I especially love the separate hard drive tower mounted above the screens.

ASUS Radeon HD 6990 4GB (6 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 24-March-2011  00:52:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

DiGiTaL MoNkEY has taken a look at this behemoth from ASUS. The plain black and red shroud hides two separate GPUs and no less than 4GB of DDR5:

Click for the review!

Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 23-March-2011  20:31:24 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Here's a bit of a look at what's going on around the OCAU forums, and you can also find new interesting things you might have missed via the Who's Online page, the New Posts page and the Live forum view. Also try the Today's Posts link (find it on the Quick Links menu) and the handy Who Quoted Me? feature.

PC config to run 1996-2005 games using Windows XP in Overclocking & Hardware.
Martins LiquidLab.org Water Cooling Optimiser Calculator in Extreme Cooling.
New strain of xenomorphic mould-spawn discovered in family's PC! [56k NO] in Overclocking & Hardware.
Foods to take to uni in Geek Food.
Should the ACC stop Telco's advertising $X worth of calls? in Mobile Phones.
Starting a marine tank in Pets & Animals.
I am quite amazed by this humble Nokia 6300 in Mobile Phones.
HTPC experiment failed, need BD player advice in Audio Visual.
Hacked security firm leaves Aussies vulnerable in Business & Enterprise Computing.
Cathar and the Storm in Extreme Computing.
Coolermaster Hyper 212+ Review in Overclocking & Hardware.
Bullying and Retaliation...opinons! Awesome video and candy inside in The Pub.
Google remotely removes malware on Android devices in Current Events & Serious Discussion.
At@Games - Sega MS&GG handheld in Retro & Arcade.
F1 at Bathurst 22/3/11 in Motorsport.
Flight centre error - should I pay for their error? in Lifestyle.
Help please :( pulling data off a hard drive in Storage & Backup.
Build Me a Hard Drive in Science.
Perth meet - April in The Pub.
Snake! Should I tough it out like a man in The Pub.

Contests (5 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 23-March-2011  14:00:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's a few contests going on out there:

Scorptec are celebrating their new Rowville store with a Counter Strike: Source challenge. This means that you, the public, will have the opportunity to meet up with and try your best against our two Professional Grade players; Nicolas 'Fluke' Pontil-Scala and Anthony 'Ar3syk' Christou. Don't worry though, you don't have to beat them, just put up a good fight! Various prizes and food etc provided.

Cooler Master have a case modding contest. The competition is open from now until April 15th 2011 for experts and amateurs alike. Cooler Master has launched the 2011 event giving all enthusiasts the opportunity to showcase their mods for the world to see. They are seeking the most creative and innovative pc case designs from all over the world for the chance to win. Entries will fall into two separate categories: Tower Mod and Scratch Category with winners not only receiving bragging rights and international recognition but also up to AU $15,000 in prizes.

Team Immunity have a Call of Duty Black Ops tournament in Melbourne in April : The iM FFA Championships consist of a series of FFA (Free For All) group stages in order to quickly separate the top players. As the competition advances the format changes to 1v1 matches culminating in a 1v1 Grand Final in order to crown Australia's greatest Black Ops player. 1st Prize is $1000 + Intel SSD, 2nd $500 + Intel SSD and 3rd $250. The entry fee is $30 dollars per person with free Redbull being provided to participants on the day. If that wasn't all we are providing a door prize that every participant is entered into when they register and is open to anyone wanting to spectate on the day - the winner takes home one of Intel's new 510 Series SDD's!

Adrenalin have a contest to win a flight in a Mig-29! Are you ready for an Adrenalin rush like you've never experienced? You'll reach speeds of over 2,000kms per hour, G-forces of up to 7Gs and an altitude of up to 70,000ft, so high that you're able to see the curvature of the earth with nothing but sheer black outer space above you.

Plus of course the folding challenge below!

Team 24 Folding@Home April Challenge! (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 23-March-2011  12:39:58 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

There's a good chance that if you're a regular visitor to OCAU, you're aware of our ever-popular Folding@Home team - Team 24. The team's output is nice and strong, but for April, they're hoping to do something special... so they've organised a couple of challenges... with prizes! (including a very nice nVidiaGTX460 1GB video card):

"We're on a roll... Three in a row ! March is already looking promising with an impressive output of around 2 Million PPD. Can we raise the bar again? Register for Aprils' Challenge and a chance to win!

For the new people entering Team 24 i will link to some threads on the "EASY WAY TO START FOLDING" & where to keep track of your progress. In the meantime if theres any thing your not sure about have a look around the Team OCAU - Distributed Computing forum for answers OR post a question - someone will be happy to help out"

Read this thread for more information and make sure you read the Rules and Regulations.

Wednesday Midday News (9 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 23-March-2011  12:20:13 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

First up, if you live in New South Wales (that'd be Australia), don't forget to vote this weekend. If you can't make it to an official polling station, you can vote online now at http://www.ivote.nsw.gov.au/ - it's not really meant to be used if you're just feeling lazy and don't feel like wandering into your local place. :) (thanks to Skymaster for the link)

MedJuice has told us about Google Body, a Google Maps for the human body - now you can see all the inner squishy bits of the human anatomy in all its 3D glory. "Any of you see Hollow Man? Well, the guys who did the special effects there have teamed up with Google to create a fully interactive, layered 3D model of the human body - and it looks awesome."

Apple has some new technological woes - it seems that the iPad 2 has problems with its screen and light bleeding and 2011 model Macbook Pro laptops are overheating and freezing, although Apple is staying tight-lipped about it. There's a long discussion thread on Apple's forums here.

The latest - and biggest - version of Boeing's 747 "Jumbo", the 747-8, has flown for the first time. It incorporates a lot of the technology used in the development of their next-gen airliner, the Dreamliner. "The 747-8 borrows some of the 787 Dreamliner's weight-trimming tech for better fuel efficiency and lower operational costs than older 747s and jumbo jet competition from Airbus. "

Next, a couple of things from Ars Technica: M-Lab - a partnership between Google and New America Foundation - have mapped and released two years worth of gathered data, focusing on user-measured broadband speed: "M-Lab has distributed testing tools for two years now and its servers have recorded data on the results. One of the most basic measurements is pure speed, measured in megabits per second. When these real-world speeds are charted on a map, they make Internet speed differences obvious in a way often obscured by simple lists and numbers."

Then we've got a new battery charging technology - Electrode lets lithium batteries charge in just two minutes. Some very smart people released papers outlining a new recharging system: "The authors, from the University of Illinois, don't focus on the speed of the lithium ions in the battery; instead, they attempt to reduce the distance the ions have to travel before reaching an electrode. As they point out, the time involved in lithium diffusion increases with the square of the distance travelled, so cutting that down can have a very dramatic effect. To reduce this distance, they focus on creating a carefully structured cathode. "

Lifehacker - one of my favourite websites (y'know, after OCAU, of course) - has visited Internode's offices in Adelaide and taken a photo of nearly anything they went near: "As you’d expect in an ISP building, there’s plenty of server and comms rooms to keep everything ticking over. And as you’d expect in a building populated by geeks, there’s also some high-tech entertainment available in the form of a Sega Rally machine, as well as an industrial-strength coffee machine."

Finally, I know this has absolutely nothing to do with tech or anything, but I just can't stop watching this kitten jump fail. Enjoy your lunchtime, folks!

Tuesday Night Photography Gallery (3 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 22-March-2011  20:32:48 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Here's our weekly snapshot (ho-ho!) of photos from our ever-popular photography forum:

Tuesday Evening News (5 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 22-March-2011  19:21:50 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Amidst the horrific human cost of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, it's easy to forget of the wide-reaching ramifications of the tragedy. Ars Technica have looked more closely at how the disaster is affecting the technology industry in Japan and its workers; Canon, for example, has suffered "comparatively major damage" to one of its sites. Interestingly, the damage to Nikon factories may somewhat affect 'Moore's Law': "Three of the Nikon sites that shut down make lithography equipment; these are the high-powered lens systems that semiconductor makers like Intel use to etch transistors onto their chips. Nikon made lithography equipment for some of Intel's 45nm plants, and for all of the company's 32nm plants. The lens maker was allegedly contracted to make some of the litho equipment for the upcoming 22nm transition."

In what will come as a shock to exactly nobody, Apple is suing Amazon for App Store" trademark infringement. "Amazon's Android Appstore seems to have been intentionally contracted to a single word to differentiate its name, but that difference isn't enough for Apple, which has asked a California court to grant a ruling preventing Amazon's use of the moniker and asking for unspecified damages." Unsurprising that Apple would be ready to defend it's trademark after fighting through resistance from Microsoft to get the trademark approved in the first place.

OCAU member Draco II has an interesting look at the growth of Android from Google, a company that "was a search engine with a sideline in online ads." Good timing for me - I was going to make my poor iPhone 3G struggle along until the next version is out; maybe I'll consider the Android options that are currently available.

This is a great story from Wired: A wind-powered vehicle that can go faster than the wind propelling it. "No one here is weirder or more alternative than a mustachioed man who has shown up this year with an exceptionally strange-looking dirt boat and an extraordinary claim. The man, a fast-talking inventor named Rick Cavallaro, says that his craft—Blackbird—can, while sailing directly downwind, go faster than the wind that is propelling it." It really is fantastic story, make sure you read all of it. Thanks to Callan for the link.

If you live in Melbourne, Gizmodo have reported on Telstra launching 100Mbps cable plans: "There are two plans available – $80 a month for 50GB or $100 a month for 200GB, with theoretical speeds of 100Mbps over 24 months (although there is also a 12-month option for $10 more a month on both plans.)". It is only available in certain suburbs though, so check with Telstra before getting too excited.

Finally, another OCAU member has been scribbling - Oppressa has a very nice blog reviewing breakfast cafes around Sydney. As a massive fan of cafe breakfasts, I wholeheartedly approve of this, and they've covered quite a large number of cafes. Oppressa pointed it out after our Geek Food post last night, but I figured that it was too good to wait for another roundup of food threads. :)

Tuesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 22-March-2011  11:02:19 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Motherboard & CPU:
MSI P67A-GD65 at PureOC.
MSI E350IA-E45 - AMD APU Fusion at Guru3D.
MSI 890FXA-GD65 Socket AM3 Motherboard at Pro-Clockers.
Foxconn A9DA-S Motherboard at Vortez.
Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 Motherboard at TBreak.

Video Cards:
AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB in Crossfire at TweakTown.
AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB at PC Perspective.
ASUS Ultimate GeForce GTX 550 Ti at Legit Reviews.

Deepcool Ice Blade Pro at Overclockers Online.
Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Liquid CPU Cooler Review at Think Computers.
ZALMAN ZM-F4 135mm Ultra Quiet Cooling Fan at FutureLooks.
Arctic Cooling Freezer11 Low Profile CPU Cooler at Funky Kit.
Thermaltake Jing CPU Cooler at Overclocking Intelligence Agency.

OCZ RevoDrive X2 100GB PCI Express at Overclockers Club.
Viking Modular SATADIMM 200GB SSD at TweakTown.
LG Super-Multi N2A2 2TB (2-Drive NAS) at TechSpot.
Seagate Constellation.2: 2.5'' Enterprise Hard Drive at Bjorn3D.
Corsair Performance 3 Series 128GB SSD Review in RAID 0 at Legit Reviews.
Zalman ZM-VE200 Enclosure + Virtual Drive at APH Networks.

Cases & PSU:
NZXT H2 Classic at Metku.net.
Enermax Hoplite Case at Hardware Heaven.

Sony SMP N100 Media Player at TechGage.
ECO Sound Engineering V268 at TechReviewSource.

Input Devices:
Axtrom Intenso Wireless Mouse at TBreak.
IOGear Mini Wireless Multimedia Keyboard at Everything USB.
Razer TRON: Legacy Gaming Mouse at TweakTown.
Thermaltake eSPORTS CHALLENGER Pro at Tech Reaction.
CM Storm Spawn Mouse at Hardware Secrets.

Mobile Phones:
Nokia E7 at TBreak.
HTC Inspire 4G Cell Phone at Hardware Secrets.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Artic C1 Mobile Solar Charger at TBreak.
Apple iPad 2 at Hot Hardware.

Epson WorkForce 840 All-in-One Printer at Test Freaks.

Internet Explorer 9 at Digital Trends.
iolo System Mechanic Software at TechWare Labs.

Buffalo USB 3.0 PCI Express Card at Tbreak.

Geek Food (14 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 21-March-2011  20:25:29 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Our Geek Food forum is a busy little area, and here's a collection of some of the recent recipes. (It was such a mistake finding these before I'd eaten).

Takoyaki - octopus balls
by bl4ck32

Roasted Tomato Soup

Marinated Lamb w/ Sausages & Mash

Quiche Lorraine
by steveo2004

Fettucini w/ Creamy Chicken & Silverbeet

by gikku

Peri-Peri Chicken
by Amfibius

Chocolate Semifreddo
by gikku

Silky Vegan Chocolate Mousse
by crag_v

Monday Lunchtime News (26 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 21-March-2011  13:05:41 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

There's apps for everything on the iPhone app store, and apparently now there's an app to "cure" homosexuality. "Truth Wins Out, an organization that uncovers the fraudulent tactics and research of the "ex-gay" movement, was one of the first to point out that Exodus International, an outfit that promotes and endorses "conversion therapy" for gay people, launched an iPhone app earlier this month. The Exodus app is intended to reach tech-savvy young adults, and deliver this dangerous message: you can be "freed from homosexuality" and have your sexual orientation "cured" if you're LGBT." It honestly boggles the mind how some people get to that sort of end result in their head.

While we're talking about iPhones, there's been rumours that the iPhone 5 (or whatever the next model is called) will contain NFC (Near-Field Communcation) technology, that will allow for situations such as swipe-payments, etc. Cult of Mac have heard that it may go one step further, in the direction of remote computing. "... when a NFC-equipped iPhone is paired with a guest machine, part of the user’s profile includes the apps they’ve purchased through the Mac App Store. The icons for their apps appear on the remote Mac, but aren’t downloaded ... But if the user opens an app, it is downloaded temporarily to the computer for use. When the NFC connection is broken, the apps are deleted and the computer returns to its previous state." Sounds cool... but only for Mac users. Will there be a similar system in place for PC users? I wonder if Android will develop something for the corporate/enterprise environment that's much more flexible?

It admittedly happened a couple of days ago, but Nasa's "Messenger" probe has entered a stable orbit around Mercury preparing for a year-long study of the planet closest to our sun. "... Messenger rotated to face the Earth by 9:45pm, and started transmitting data. Engineering and operations teams confirmed the maneuver went according to plan. The event marks the end of a 6.5-year journey for Messenger, which has made 12 laps around the solar system, two flybys past Earth, one past Venus and three past Mercury before since launching in August 2004."

Heading into popular software development, Ars Technica have reported on Mozilla having released a roadmap regarding their developement process of Firefox for 2011: "The document describes a 16-week development cycle in which software improvements will flow down through several tiers. The tiered model appears very similar to Chrome's channel system. New code will initially land in mozilla-central, the repository that hosts the tip of the code base. As new features solidify, they will roll through "experimental" and "beta" channels before arriving in a stable release." It does sound a little dry, but it's still an interesting look into where they're heading after the impending release of Firefox v4.

Microsoft are really pushing cloud connectivity behind Windows 7 and Windows Live via TV adverts, but is it that easy to work out? Computing.on.Demand have whipped up some step-by-step instructions to let you do what the ads say you can.(Unless you don't use Windows 7)

This video did the rounds a little while ago, but it's still great (and makes me cringe from time to time): Crazy Moscow motorcyclist's high-speed commute. He *had* to scrape some paint of some of those cars. Please don't copy that guy, we want you to stay healthy and un-embedded from some random bus. :)

Finally, it looks like all the fuss over the Fukushima reactors in Japan has disappeared - when the media coverage stops, that's a sign that there's no outrage or scandal to be squeezed out. XKCD, a very clever web-comic, have published a handy guide to radiation doses and what's healthy. Thank god, because I was just about to eat a banana... that was close.

Don't forget that if you've got any news you think everyone should know about, mail it in and we'll post it up. You'll even see your name in lights!

Sunday Night News (6 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 20-March-2011  23:22:25 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

I'm absolutely loving being back in Australia - the food, the beer, the environment - but I wish the rain would stop this on-off thing, honestly. Just rain, or don't! I missed the Supermoon because of it! Anyway, on with the news...

It seems that boring old pole antennae may be a thing of the past with the University of Illinois' development of special inks that can "print" an antenna in 3D, allowing for a variety of shapes, which apparently gives near-perfect reception: "If the antenna is everything that is claimed, hopefully mass production of the printing process can be worked out, as the material required -- silver nanoink -- is relatively cheap and available. If the printing nozzle/equipment can be pushed out at an affordable cost, your smart phone in a couple years could get a 3D antenna and better reception."

In a slightly different direction, Wired recently featured a photo on their front cover of a young woman, one Limor Fried, a female engineeer from Adafruit Industries. It seems doing just that has caused a bit of a stir - not because she's a women AND she's an engineer, but because they made her look good on the cover. Gizmodo looks into the whole kerfuffle further; it's an interesting read, including some views on society's expectations of smart vs attractive.

Penny Arcade's "PAX East 2011" gaming show in Boston has wound down, but there's still pictures and coverage of the event, this time from Hot Hardware. They covered gaming and "the moshpit" in this article, with some nice shots of 'live' liquid nitrogen-cooled overclocking. Don't get too excited at the thumbnails of apparent gaming "girls" though. *shudder*

Speaking of computer gear geekery, Phoronix have looked at the AMD Fusion E-350 and how well it plays with Linux: "While the AMD Fusion APU performance is one thing, how well supported are the advertised Fusion features under Linux? Well, below is a Linux look at the highly advertised Fusion features and their relevant Linux state."

In what has to be one of the most topically-titled articles ever - "Death of the mouse: How eye-tracking technology could save the PC": "First it was the mouse, then touch control, then motion. On Friday, we got our hands on Tobii's new eye-tracking laptop, which could potentially eliminate the need for the mouse by keeping tabs on what you're looking at with astounding accuracy." It certainly looks interesting, and includes a video of the system in operation. Will this take hold, or is it something gimmicky that will disappear like the old VR helmets from the early '90s? Comment!

We here at OCAU are big fans of Crytek: Agg loved their first big game, Far Cry, and I really dug the original Crysis. Crysis 2 is coming out soon and Gaming Nexus had the opportunity to sit down with the executive producer, Nathan Camarillo. "With Crysis 2, they have “recreated” an island type setting with urban elements. Through the destruction of seismic activity, the action will break up the ground to create undulating terrain, create streams and rivers via broken water mains, cave like structures with hanging ceiling tiles and wires with water dripping, and so forth." Sounds good to me! Screen shots are at the bottom of the article.

I'm the first to admit that I'm a bit behind the bleeding edge when it comes to overclocking technology, but I've been aware that most motherboards come with a bevy of tools and tricks in the BIOS to help even the most ham-fisted geek with squeezing a bit of extra performance out, but I'm slightly amazed at this: AMD have included a nice little switch dubbed 'AUSUM' which allows you to switch to a second BIOS with faster settings - overclocking with a flick of a switch. TweakTown have taken a good look at a Sapphire RadeonHD 6990 4GB Video Card by running it in AUSUM mode. A simple switch is all that's required now? I remember the days of swapping out crystal oscillators in my old 486dx50's mobo, trying to eek out some more grunt. *rants like an old man*

Finally, we've got an old fashioned video card round up at Inside Hardware: "The Ultimate Graphics Cards Round-up: Spring 2011" Unfortunately, they do talk in euros when regarding price, but everything else should make perfect sense.

Forum Projects (1 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 20-March-2011  20:36:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Firstly, you might remember the concrete slab watercooling project by gigs from a couple of years ago. His house is complete and he's hooked up his PC to the cooling loop now. Anyway, here's a few more interesting things from the forums:

MorgzModz has a scratch-built
acrylic cube frame case

InsaneFurball has a
MAME cabinet project

booj walks us through
flashing a 6950 to 6970

AMD2400 reviewed the
LCD482-S LCD Desk Mount

Ic3man reviewed the

Willybomb checked out a
cheap guitar and pedal

bYrd built a custom
perspex Mini-ITX FreeNAS

aokman reviewed the
Razer Ironclad mousepad

iJayforce has an impressive
man-cave! (and PC)

Sunday Afternoon Timewaster (5 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 20-March-2011  16:09:19 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Most people will know of the very different, very Japanese game, Katamari Damacy - originally a console game where you roll a ball around an environment (room, car park, backyard) and objects will stick to the ball. It's mindless, fun and surprisingly addictive.

Well, Armunn has sent in a link for a "Web Katamari": http://kathack.com

Go to that page, follow the instructions and roll the ball around the page.

For example: Go to your address bar at the top of your browser, delete "http://www.overclockers.com.au" and just paste in the code from the site. It's a bit of fun and it entertained me for a while... but then again, I have a simple brain. Enjoy!

Live Streaming Extreme Overclocking (2 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 19-March-2011  15:13:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This weekend, local extreme cooling nutters Team.AU are live streaming some of their adventures from Adelaide. The overclocking party will take place in Adelaide, South Australia the home of James ”youngpro” Trevaskis, one of the world’s top overclockers, and birthplace of Tim "T_M" Marshall. James will be joined by fellow Team.AU members Tim “T_M”, Peter “bob(nz)”, Dean “Deanzo”, Dino “Dinos22”, and Jon “Uncle Fester” who are flying from all over Australia, Asia, and New Zealand to attend this event, with also a special guest Chris ”Booj” attending. This is sure to be an interesting event!

Check out the live stream here. More info here and continuing discussion here.

Saturday Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 19-March-2011  13:26:54 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Hope you're all enjoying your Saturday - here's a big pile of reviews:

Motherboard & CPU:
GIGABYTE G1-Killer Assassin X58 LGA1366 Gaming Motherboard at Future Looks.
ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Professional Motherboard at Techware Labs.
Gigabyte E350N-USB3 at PureOC.
ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Professional (Intel P67 Express) Motherboard at TweakTown.
ASRock P67 Pro3 at Phoronix.
BIOSTAR TP67XE Intel LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge Motherboard at Legit Reviews.

Kingston HyperX T1 DDR3-2133 CL9 at XS Reviews.
G.Skill RipjawsX DDR3-2133 8GB RAM at Overclockers.com.

Video Cards:
ASUS GTX 550 Ti DirectCU TOP at Tech Reaction.
PNY GTX 560 Ti OC2 at PureOC.
AMD HD 6990 at TBreak.
Sapphire 100310SR Radeon HD 6990 at Benchmark Reviews.

Thermaltake SlimX3 CPU Cooler at Hardware Secrets.
Cooler Master Hyper 101 CPU Cooler at Hardware Secrets.
Zalman CNPS5X-SZ Heatsink at Frosty Tech.
ThermoLab Trinity Heatsink at Ninja Lane.
Antec Kühler H2O 620 CPU Cooler at Mad Shrimps.
Zalman CNPS5X SZ CPU Cooler at Hardware Secrets.
NZXT Cryo LX Aluminum Notebook Cooler at TweakTown.
Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler at Bjorn3D.

Seagate Barracuda Green (2TB) at TechReviewSource.
Intel 510 SSD at Guru3D.
OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB PCIe SSD at Vortez.
ntel's 510 Series SSD at TechReport.

Cases & PSU:
Rosewill Thor XL-ATX Full Tower Gaming Case at Legit Reviews.
Inwin BUC Case at TweakNews.
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 760 W Power Supply at Hardware Secrets.
3R System L-1200 V.REX Case at Hardware Secrets.
Sentey Optimus Extreme at Neo Seeker.

Lamptron FC Touch Fan Controller at Techgage.
NZXT Bunker Lockable USB Enclosure at APH Networks.

Canon EOS Rebel T3i at Digital Trends.
Corsair SP2200 2.1 Speaker System at Overclockers Club.
Corsair HS1A Gaming Headset at Legit Reviews.
LG Flatron E2050 20-inch LED Widescreen LCD Monitor at Think Computers.
Samsung DualView TL205 at TechReviewSource.

Input Devices:
Belkin Washable Mouse and Mouse Pad Travel Pouch at Tech Reviews.
Tt eSports Black Element Gaming Mouse at Hardware Heaven.
Mionix Propus 380 Mousepad at RB Mods.
Steelseries SHIFT Gaming Keyboard at Funky Kit.
Razer Naga Epic MMO Gaming Mouse at Mad Shrimps.
ROCCAT Alumic Mouse Pad at Vortez.
Steelseries WoW Cataclysm Gaming Mouse at TBreak.
RAZER Anansi Expert MMO Gaming Keyboard at Mad Shrimps.
Epson WorkForce 840 All-in-One Printer at Test Freaks.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Gateway NV59c at Digital Trends.
Google Cr-48 Chrome OS Notebook at Benchmark Reviews.
MSI CX620 3D Laptop at TBreak.
MSI GX660R Gaming Laptop at Hardware Heaven.
Toshiba Satellite C655D AMD E-240 Fusion APU Notebook at PC Perspective.
GIGABYTE P2532 Notebook at TweakTown.
Amazon Kindle v3 at Tech Report.

Misc Pics (37 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 18-March-2011  14:12:56 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to Matt, aussierob, Simon and Wojee this week!

And if you're after more, check out this Wiki page which lists ALL "misc pics" news posts from the archive.

Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 18-March-2011  12:22:16 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

As always, here's a snapshot of what's going on in some of the forums. You can also find new interesting things you might have missed via the Who's Online page, the New Posts page and the Live forum view. Also try the Today's Posts link (find it on the Quick Links menu) and the handy Who Quoted Me? feature.

Pure sexyness in Overclocking and Hardware.
Why the Internet is going to remain a virus and trojan infested wasteland in Networking, Telephony and Internet.
Should Australia investigate Nuclear energy? in Politics & Policies.
Japan Earthquake (Nuclear Accident) in Current Events.
Cameras ARE just revenue raisers in Motoring.
Ever accidentally downgraded your vehicle? in Motoring.
Nissan Skyline is coming back to Aus in Motoring.
BMW testing a Ute in Motoring.
Disaster kit/prep in The Pub.
Best [Object] Ever Made in its Time in The Pub.
Bullying and Retaliation...opinons! Awesome video and candy inside in The Pub.
Moonageddon: on March 19, our nearest neighbour will be at it closest since 1993. in The Pub.
How many years do you give our civilisation? in Science.
Gimme food to try in the US in Geek Food.
Using a phone overseas? in Mobile Phones.
Earthquakes and the Moon in Science.
Arduino for car monitoring in Electronics.
Looking at solar panels for our house in Lifestyle.
Newbie home loan question in Career, Education & Finance.

Forum Projects (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 17-March-2011  22:10:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg

In case you missed it, OCAU now has official twitter and facebook pages. We also set up Tapatalk (discussion here) recently too, which makes it a bit easier to view the forums on a mobile phone. Anyway, here's some recent interesting things from the forums:

bundymania has a cool PC
called "Project Icebreaker"

windwithme reviewed the
HP ProBook 5320m, Core i3-350M

he also checked out MSI's
N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II OC

Sin0822 has a performance
review of Gigabyte's G1 Assassin

ChillerSR2 continues his
impressive project worklog

nEBUz shares his thoughts on
Adam's Notion Ink tablet

Thursday Night (7 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 17-March-2011  21:46:51 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Getting straight into it, the University of Canterbury in New Zealand have created an animation of the recent earthquakes in Japan. It's a pretty interesting look into what that country has been experiencing. If you've never been in an earthquake, imagine the rattling and rumbling from thunder, but deeper and obviously coming from the ground, rather than the sky. Thanks muchly to Reptile0 for the link!

Onto serious matters on the computer security front, Adobe have released a security advisory for their Flash player and their Acrobat application and associated Reader software: "This vulnerability (CVE-2011-0609) could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. There are reports that this vulnerability is being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks via a Flash (.swf) file embedded in a Microsoft Excel (.xls) file delivered as an email attachment. ".

Right, something less serious: If you're making a game, it's great that you're excited and positive about it, but don't go faking customer reviews to spread the good word. "A glowing fan review for Dragon Age II on Metacritic discovered to have been written by a member of the game’s development team sparked outrage among the gaming community yesterday. EA’s response? That’s how it works." Sadly, EA compares it to Obama voting for himself, losing sight of exactly the issue at hand. Nice work, PR drone.

While we're talking about games, software classification is always an issue, and it seems that while Apple's App Store has been self-regulating due to the sheer number of apps available, Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O’Connor has suggested that apps will only be properly considered for classification if users complain about a particular app. Is this a viewpoint that could spread to other areas?

Kogan are offering a free HDMI cable to anyone who bought a TV from JB Hifi in 2011, which is quite nice of them (and a nice bit of good-will advertising for them), but what gets me is the screenshot in the link for a HDMI cable on sale for $199 at JB Hifi. How is it worth $199?? Will it really offer that much more over one that costs $80-100? Or even a $40 one? More discussion about it in our forums here.

Counter-sniper and bullet-source-finding technology has been in user with the military for a couple of years now, but due to the size it's mostly been attached to vehicles such as the Humvee. Now, there's a man-portable version:"The Individual Gunshot Detector, produced by QinetiQ, is an acoustic monitor attuned to tracking down the source of gunshots just by their sound."

Finally, onto Thunderbolt, a new connectivity technology that Apple is apparently pushing hard, including it as standard in their current-model Macbook Pro range. Cnet has reported that some users may possibly get confused because the port format appears to be exactly like their old 'mini DisplayPort' connector, although they do point out that nothing will break if you do get them confused. Meanwhile, Seagate isn't convinced that Thunderbolt is mature enough for wide-spread usage: "The world’s biggest hard-drive manufacturer, Seagate, has told Australian Macworld that it’s not yet ready to commit to Apple’s new superfast connectivity protocol, Thunderbolt, although its technology is likely to appear in Apple-branded drives."

Thursday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 17-March-2011  14:47:13 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Here's a big pile of reviews for your post-lunch daze...

Motherboard & CPU:
AMD Brazos Platform and AMD E-350 (Zacate) CPU at Xbit Labs.
Gigabyte G1 Assassin Intel X58 Motherboard at Think Computers.

GSKill RipjawsX PC3 17000 CL9 Memory at Ninja Lane.

Video Cards:
AMD Radeon HD 6990 Graphics Card at Xbit Labs.
Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 FleX at TechGage.
HIS Radeon HD 6990 Crossfire at Guru3D.
Diamond USB PC to TV HDMI Adapter at Overclockers Club.
PowerColor HD 6950 PCS++ at Overclockers.Com.
Inno3D GeForce GTX 560 Ti at Legion Hardware.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX560 Ti at Funky Kit.
Sapphire Radeon HD 6990 4GB at Eteknix.

Evercool Transformer 4 CPU Cooler at Test Freaks.
Corsair H60 CPU Cooler at Neoseeker.
Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler at Overclocking Intelligence Agency.
Arctic Equipment Breeze Mobile at Tech Reaction.
Evercool HPL-815EP Low Profile Cooler at Overclockers Online.
Akasa Venom CPU Cooler at Eteknix.

LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i 6G Review at The SSD Review.
Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 3TB hard drive at Tech Report.
OCZ 50GB RevoDrive PCI-Express SSD at Ninja Lane.
Thermaltake Max5G USB3 Enclosure at Bjorn3D.
Kingston SSDNow V100 256GB Solid State Drive at TweakTown.
Kingwin USI-2535U3 USB 3.0 TO SATA HDD Adapter at TweakNews.
Lite-On eNAU608 External Slim USB DVD/CD Writer at Think Computers.

Cases & PSU:
Danger Den Black Series Tower 21 at PureOC.
ZALMAN Z9 Mid Tower PC Case at Techware Labs.
PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 750 W Power Supply Review at Hardware Secrets.
Enermax Hoplite Mid Tower Case at Legit Reviews.
Zalman Z9 Plus Mid-Tower Case at Big Bruin.
Thermaltake Level 10 GT Case at Think Computers.
Antec Twelve Hundred v3 at XS Reviews.
Corsair AX1200 1200W Power Supply at TweakTown.

ECO Sound Engineering V268 Wireless Bluetooth Headset at Test Freaks.
Samsung PN58C8000 58 Inch Plasma TV at TweakNews.
Sandberg USB Surround 5.1 Headset at XS Reviews.
XPAND X103 Universal 3D Glasses at Missing Remote.
Logitech HD Webcam C510 at Test Freaks.
Tt eSPORTS Shock Gaming Headset at Techgage.
SteelSeries Scope Pro Gaming Glasses at Vortez.
SteelSeries Scope Pro Gaming Glasses at Gaming Nexus.
Corsair SP2200 2.1 PC Speaker System at Hardware Heaven.

Input Devices:
Speedlink MYST Touch Scroll Mouse at Vortez.
Koribo Vivar Wireless Keyboard at Tech Reviews.
SteelSeries WoW:Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse & Qck Deathwing Edition Pad at Mad Shrimps.
Arctic Cooling M551 Gaming Laser Mouse at Funky Kit.
Razer Ironclad Mouse Mat at Bjorn3D.
Logisys MS6801 Wireless Notebook Mouse at Big Bruin.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Ultraportable Notebook Review at Techspot.
Acer Aspire D260-1270 at TechReviewSource.
Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820-TG-6847 at TechReviewSource.
Cartella Casing for MacBook Air at TestFreaks.
Nintendo 3DS Hands-on Preview at TweakTown.

Bulletstorm: Game & 3D Overview at Bjorn3D.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 at TechReviewSource.

Servers & Enterprise:
HP ProLiant MicroServer at Business Computing World.

ASUS GTX 550 Ti DirectCU TOP (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 17-March-2011  03:04:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The third GeForce GTX 550 Ti examined by DiGiTaL MoNkEY is from ASUS - namely, the ASUS GTX 550 Ti DirectCU TOP. Like the previous two cards from MSI and Gainward it features a custom cooler and a factory overclock.

Click for the review!

Early Thursday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 17-March-2011  00:47:37 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Some more news to tuck you into beddybyes...

There's a lot of things in the technology world that polarise people: ATi vs nVidia, Windows vs Linux, AMD vs Intel - and web browsers seem to be something that people get really passionate about. I'm a Firefox man myself, but there's plenty of people who won't touch anything but Chrome, Opera, or or Safari (*snigger*) or even the old "it's already installed" browser, IE. Now Microsoft have released a new version, and TechReviewSource have taken a long, hard look at IE9. Unfortunately, it only works on Windows Vista and 7, so since I'm currently on a Mac, looks like I'm sticking with Firefox for now. That's right, a Mac! Hah!

In recent months, Nokia has realised that it can't keep up with the twin mobile phone juggernauts of Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms, and have thrown in their lot with Microsoft as the operating system for their future phone models. Inside Hardware have an interesting look at how Nokia are dealing with these new threats, their new CEO, their new agreement with Microsoft and how they're not actually doing as badly as everyone thought...

And on the other side of the room, we have that archetypal 'vaporware' game that isn't so vapor anymore - Duke Nukem Forever, and Hot Hardware have posted some leaked in-game footage. Doesn't look bad to me, but then I personally don't think the graphics are what will set this game apart - the story, the humour and the execution have to really deliver or it's dead in the water.

Whilst we're still at the gaming table, Ars Technica have reported on CCP having arranged for players of their MMO, EVE Online, to use their already-interesting subscription system to make donations towards Japan's relief and recovery efforts: In a move sanctioned and partially organized by CCP, the game's publisher, players can convert PLEX, an item that represents 30 days of game time, into cash to donate to Japan.

Q2_stefan has sent in word that if you use Amazon Web Services, they've just released Windows Server 2008 R2 based EC2 instances as well as MS SQL Server 2008 R2, if you're into that sort of thing. "Amazon EC2 running Microsoft Windows Server® (available in 2003 R2, 2008 or 2008 R2 editions) is a fast and dependable environment for deploying applications using the Microsoft Web Platform, including ASP.NET, ASP.NET AJAX, Silverlight™, and Internet Information Server (IIS). Amazon EC2 enables you to run any compatible Windows-based solution on AWS’ high-performance, reliable, cost-effective, cloud computing platform."

Onto some good old fashioned hardcore video card grunt: Tom's Hardware has compared triple-GPU scaling, setting a trio of AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB cards set in Crossfire mode, against triple nVidia's GeForce GTX 570 1280 MB running in SLI mode. (Note how I skillfully avoided all threesome jokes.)

Finally, from the "What POSSIBLE use could this have" File, we have the EaTheremin eating utensils: Here's how it works: touching the EaTheremin fork to the moist mastication factory of a human completes the electrical circuit to emit "music." The sound varies based upon the quality of the connection (the wetter the better) and resistance of the food. No. Just... no.

Wednesday Night Photographs (4 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 16-March-2011  19:38:55 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Here's a few of the latest shots from our photography forum:

Gainward GTX 550 Ti GS (10 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 16-March-2011  14:44:49 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Following on from the MSI card earlier today, DiGiTaL MoNkEY has taken a look at Gainward's version of the new GTX 550 Ti, their "Golden Sample":

Click for the review!

Wednesday Afternoon (5 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 16-March-2011  14:33:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg

If you liked the sound of the NRG Hardcore Gamer events coming up in Sydney over the next few weekends, listen up. They're offering free entries to the 1v1 tournament, to the first 15 people to post "overclockers" as their team name.

IE is the browser we love to hate, but here's an article about what IE got right over the years, thanks Rezin. What was once the most innovative browser became the thorn in every front-end developer’s side. Amidst the turmoil and complaints today’s developers throw at Internet Explorer, what’s often not heard is how Microsoft changed the face of not only front-end development, but web development as a whole.

Meanwhile here's a video of Roomba automatic vacuum cleaners playing PacMan. With their mobility system already in place, these bunch of Roomba vacuum cleaners got pimped up with a bunch of decorations and a special software that transform them into a classic game of Pac-Man. The ghosts move around on their own while Pac-Man is controlled by the operator.

The Federal Government is weighing into the R18+ rating for games debate. Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor says after a decade of debate, it is crunch time. "We're becoming the laughing stock of the developed world, where we're the only country that doesn't have an R18 classification level for video games.

Speaking of which, the appeal for Mortal Kombat has been unsuccessful. The game had been effectively banned down under late last month, but publishers Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment decided to re-submit an identical copy of the game for review, claiming that it was no worse than many other games currently on shelves. It seems the Board thinks otherwise, and the game remains Refused Classification in Australia.

One Australian allegedly involved in the DoS on Australian Government websites has been tracked down. It was the first and the last time George would be involved in hacktivism, he says. In June, he was charged with inciting others to attack government websites. The magistrate equated his actions to cyber-terrorism.

OCZ Technology continue expanding their SSD focus, with the acquisition of Indilinx Co. Indilinx controllers have been deployed within OCZ's SSD products since December 2008, and are currently featured in the Z-Drive series of PCIe-based SSDs. Indilinx's technology is expected to enable OCZ to expand its presence into the embedded, hybrid storage, and industrial markets.

Here's some more GTX 550 Ti reviews: Gigabyte on FunkyKit, Palit on TechPowerUp, Zotac on TechPowerUp, ASUS on TechPowerUp.

nVidia GeForce GTX550 Ti Roundup (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 16-March-2011  12:16:52 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Another NDA lifting, another collection of reviews rapidly appearing. The product in question of course is the brand new mid-range nVidia GeForce GTX550 Ti GPU which our own DigitalMonkey reviewed last night: MSI GeForce GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II OC.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti at TechReaction.
MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone OC at Hardware Secrets.
MSI GeForce GTX550 Ti Cyclone II OC at Guru3D.
MSI N550GTX-Ti Cyclone-II OC at Benchmark Reviews.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti at Tech ARP.
Gainward GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Golden Sample at TweakTown.
Nvidia's GeForce GTX 550 Ti at TechReport.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Debut: Zotac, MSI and Asus at Hot Hardware.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti at Pure Overclock.
Nvidia GTX 550 Ti (MSI vs Palit vs Zotac) Review at TBreak Technology
MSI N550GTX Ti 1GB at Overclockers Club.
NVidia GeForce GTX550 Ti at Ninja Lane.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti at Neoseeker.
SI GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Cyclone OC at PC Perspective.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti Graphics Card (Palit and Zotac) at Hardware Heaven.
MSI GeForce GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II 1 GB at Tech Powerup.

Don't forget to keep an eye on our Video Cards forum for any other GTX 550 Ti information.

MSI GeForce GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II OC (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 16-March-2011  00:03:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg

NVIDIA have taken the wraps off a new member of the GeForce 5xx family, the GTX 550 Ti. DiGiTaL MoNkEY checked out MSI's first take on the new GPU, their MSI GeForce GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II OC:

Click for the review!

Tuesday Evening (20 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 15-March-2011  19:12:03 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

First up, if you have family and friends living in Japan, Telstra is waiving call charges between Australia and Japan from the 11th until the 25th of March. Thanks to everyone who let us know about this; I moved back to Australia 36 hours before the big quake, so I'll certainly be using it to check up on friends.

Continuing in Japan, everyone is understandably nervous about the problems with the Fukushima nuclear reactors and the troubles they're having, but are they really as bad as the media are portraying? The Australian Science Media Centre have an interesting (but long and a little wordy) article regarding what's going on and what could possibly be expected. The short version is that it's not going to explode like a nuclear bomb, or be like Chernobyl, which according to a lot of sources, was a comedy of errors, ignorance and bad engineering. Regardless, I'm still keeping an eye on the news reports.

Everyone is pretty much aware of computer viruses, but once, there weren't any. In this interesting video, Mikko Hypponen of F-Secure searches for the original authors of the first virus, 'Brain'. It's a facinating look into some computing history.

Another video, this time a project from MIT: Using multiple display devices as a junkyard jumbotron screen. Pretty nifty idea and very cleverly executed... but not sure what you'd use it for? Ideas? Put them in the comments below.

One from the "Geez, Kids Today" file: 214,000 people said 'yes' to a Facebook event invite for a 16 year old girl's party, after she apparently made it open to invites, allowing anyone to attend. It was then 'adopted' by the infamous Anonymous crowd from 4chan, who sent it viral. The party was originally intended for the 26th of March, which is also my birthday. I'm kinda bummed because I was hoping we could make it a joint-party and now it's cancelled. :( Thanks to IntelInside for crushing my birthday dreams.

This one has to hurt: Steam user violates subscription policy, loses $1,800 in games. Seems the kid asked if someone would be willing to pay for their account - in theory. They weren't actually selling it, but Steam took exception to it and perma-banned them. Since then, the account has been reenabled, but the damage has been done, it seems. I'm of two minds about this: on one hand, you shouldn't be selling your access to Steam to other people, it's in their usage policy. On the other hand, you're paying to 'own' the game, not access to the games, which Steam acting as authentication system. If the game was on a DVD, you could sell it to your mate down at the pub, but via Steam...? What's your opinion?

Finally, while we're still at Ars, Global Piracy can only be stopped by one thing: lower pricing of legitimate media. It certainly doesn't help Australia where we're constantly forking over more cash for the same movie/game/tv season. This quote highlights the geographical disparity in pricing: In Russia, for instance, researchers noted that legal versions of the film The Dark Knight went for $15. That price, akin to what a US buyer would pay, might sound reasonable until you realize that Russians make less money in a year than US workers. As a percentage of their wages, that $15 price is actually equivalent to a US consumer dropping $75 on the film. Pirate versions can be had for one-third the price.

Right, off to dinner, but back with some extra stuff around midnight.

Tuesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 15-March-2011  11:31:22 (GMT +10) - by Sciby

Motherboard & CPU:
BIOSTAR TP67XE Intel LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge at Legit Reviews.
ASRock P67 Pro3 at Phoronix.
Gigabyte G1 Assassin Intel X58 Motherboard at Think Computers.

Kingston Genesis 4GB DDR3 2133MHz at Overclock3D.

Video Cards:
Sapphire FleX Edition Radeon HD 6870 1GB at Pro-Clockers.
AMD Radeon HD 6990 Graphics Card at Xbit Labs.
HIS Radeon HD 6990 Crossfire Review at Guru 3D.
Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 FleX at Techgage.
Sapphire Radeon HD 6990 Review at Overclockers Club.

Zalman CNPS5X CPU Cooler at Hardware Secrets.
NZXT Cryo LX Aluminum Notebook Cooler at TweakTown.
Corsair H60 CPU Cooler at Neoseeker.
Evercool Transformer 4 CPU Cooler at TestFreaks.

OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB PCIe SSD at Vortez.
OCZ 50GB RevoDrive PCI-Express SSD at Ninja Lane.
LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i 6G at The SSD Review.

Cases & PSU:
Coolermaster & Corsair 700-750W 80+ Gold PSU at Mad Shrimps.
ZALMAN Z9 Mid Tower PC Case at Techware Labs.
Thermaltake V9 "BLACX" Edition Case at Tweak News.
Antec Six Hundred v2 Gaming Case at Benchmark Reviews.
Danger Den Black Series Tower 21 Case at PureOC.

NZXT Bunker 3.25" Lockable USB Extender at APH Networks.

Samsung DualView TL205 at TechReviewSource.
ECO Sound Engineering V268 Wireless Bluetooth Headset at Test Freaks.

Input Devices:
Roccat Kova+ Mouse at RBMods.
Thermaltake Dasher vs. Mionix Propus 380 Mousepad Review at Hardware Secrets.
RAZER Anansi Expert MMO Gaming Keyboard at Mad Shrimps.
Koribo Vivar Wireless Keyboard at Tech-Reviews.co.uk.
Speedlink MYST Touch Scroll Mouse at Vortez.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Toshiba Satellite C655D AMD E-240 Fusion APU Notebook at PC Perspective.
Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Ultraportable Notebook at Techspot.

Apple iOS 4.3 (for iPad) at TechReviewSource.

Sunday Night (15 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 13-March-2011  21:26:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's a lot of buzz about the Trans Pacific Partnership, which people are calling the Son of ACTA. The US government, still trying to secure final passage for the drafted-in-secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), has already turned its attention to a new multilateral trade agreement that will bring the wonders of the DMCA to countries like Australia, Brunei, Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. More here.

John Carmack may be reconsidering his long-standing loyalty to OpenGL, now saying DirectX is better. 'It is really just inertia that keeps us on OpenGL at this point,' Carmack told us. He also explained that the developer has no plans to move over to Direct3D, despite its advantages.

I thought Google had already tested this feature, but when I tried to use it recently it was missing. Anyway, they're NOW saying you can hide sites from search results, so maybe I just dreamt it the first time around. Perhaps the result just wasn’t quite right, but sometimes you may dislike the site in general, whether it’s offensive, pornographic or of generally low quality. For times like these, you’ll start seeing a new option to block particular domains from your future search results. Now when you click a result and then return to Google, you’ll find a new link next to “Cached” that reads “Block all example.com results.” Finally we can kill all those content-free directory type sites that clog all the results pages.

If you're an Internet Explorer user, you might want to fix a browser hole that is apparently being actively exploited, thanks mpot. For now, we recommend concerned users and corporations seriously consider deploying Microsoft’s temporary Fixit to block this attack until an official patch is available.

YouTube say they're now showing the first feature-length Hollywood film created for the Internet. You can view it here, although it looks like it might be a bit NSFW. "Girl Walks Into A Bar" is a comedy starring Carla Gugino, Zachary Quinto, Rosario Dawson, Danny DeVito, Josh Hartnett and Emmanuelle Chriqui, YouTube's entertainment marketing manager Nate Weinstein said in a blog post.

Today's timewaster is Rolling Tyres from GoofyHSK. The trick is to click the brown boxes, if (like me) you couldn't work it out at first!

Earthquake in Japan (6 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 13-March-2011  20:16:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Top story of the last few days is of course the earthquakes, tsunami and related issues in Japan. A few people have asked after Sciby and chainbolt, our most prominent Japan-based members. As far as I'm aware they're both fine, and I hope that extends to all our Japanese members and their families. (edit: I actually moved back to Aus two days before the earthquake struck, but from talking to friends back there, 'devastation' doesn't cover it. I know one guy who's house and everything he owns was swept away. Thankfully, he was at work at the time. - Sciby)

In case you've missed it all, there's some terrifying and surreal footage, and lots of photos (more here, here and a jaw-dropping one here.)

On the technology side of things, Google have provided a person finder tool and satellite imagery of the affected areas. Things could have been a lot worse, if not for the quake warning system and strict building codes in Japan. There's a lot of confusing press reports about the situation with one of Japan's nuclear power facilities, but probably the best source of info is the Tokyo Power Press Releases page.

Discussion continues here.

Saturday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 12-March-2011  22:13:27 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Portable & Prebuilt:
Samsung Wave II smartphone on TBreak.
HTC Surround Cell Phone on HWSecrets.
Apple MacBook Pro 2.3GHz Sandy Bridge 13.3" Review (2011 Model) on PCPerspective.

Intel 510 Series 250GB SSD on HWHeaven.
Kingston SSDNow V+100 256GB Solid State Drive on Tweaktown.

Intel XTS100H CPU Cooler on HWSecrets.
Nexus Real Silent CPU Cooler - FLC-3000 R2 on ComputingOnDemand.
Noctua NH-C14 CPU cooler on Guru3D.
Xigmatek Loki CPU Cooler on Tweaknews.
SunbeamTech Twister 120 CPU cooler on TechReaction.

Audio Visual:
BenQ XL2410T LED 3d ready monitor on XSReviews.
Arctic Sound P281 professional headphones on FunkyKit.
Logitech Z305 USB Laptop Speaker on EverythingUSB.
Corsair SP2500 2.1 Gaming Speakers on Techgage.

Video Cards:
EVGA GTX 460 2WIN on PCPerspective.
ASUS 6950 and 6970 DirectCU II on PureOC.

Antec Sonata IV on BenchmarkReviews.
ThermalTake Level 10 GT on OCClub.

Timbuk2's camera messenger bag on TechReport.
FSP NB L90 Universal Laptop Power Adapter on APHNetworks.
Kingston HyperX T1 8GB (4 x 2GB) 2133MHz DDR3 Memory Kit on BigBruin.
Giabyte G1.Sniper LGA1366 motherboard on Bjorn3D.

Misc Pics (24 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 11-March-2011  14:43:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to metamorphosis and Tim today!

And if you're after more, check out this Wiki page which lists ALL "misc pics" news posts from the archive.

Sponsor Specials (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 11-March-2011  14:11:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Remember to keep an eye on our Sponsor Specials forum if you're shopping around. In there our various sponsors have threads with deals on arcade cabinet gear, plasma TVs, VPS hosting, fitness supplements, office chairs, toner cartridges, media players, photo studios, notebooks and a range of other goodies. There's even some competitions in there!

Friday Afternoon (4 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 11-March-2011  14:05:26 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to DiGiTaL MoNkEY for keeping the news page busy for the last few days!

Crusader pointed out this cool Hot Wheels projection mapping display in Circular Quay yesterday. On Thursday March 10, Hot Wheels™ lit up Circular Quay, showcasing groundbreaking 3D projection technology at Customs House in Sydney, Australia. In a spine tingling show, the notorious Hot Wheels™ Skull Racers shattered the facade of Customs House as they competed in the ultimate speed racing battle.

IBM's Watson supercomputer has finally been beaten at Jeopardy.. by a politician. The victory by Holt, a nuclear physicist, came Monday night after the super-computer had trounced other champions of the information game show, including Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, the all-time games and money winners on the TV version. "I played a full round against @IBMWatson tonight and was proud to hold my own," the 12th District congressman tweeted after his win at the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel.

Intel have released some info on cloud-based ray tracing. One example of taking advantage of the cloud is related to computer games. Companies like OnLive* and Gaikai* are making a business out of offering a service in which the game itself runs on servers in the cloud. It processes user interactions from the game client, and the server sends back a compressed, rendered image of the game to the user.

Some former members of Australia's Classification Board think the system is broken and needs a revamp. Hunt is now a private consultant and is helping Warner Bros. appeal the Mortal Kombat ban. He has previously helped overturn bans on F.E.A.R.2: Project Origin and Aliens vs. Predator. Hunt believes that the system should move to a self-regulatory model whereby publishers set their own ratings.

Tweaktown boosted a Radeon HD 6990 4GB to 1GHz. What that extra voltage helped us do was get the card running at 1GHz on the cores and 5400MHz QDR on the 4GB of memory. Unfortunately for the card to run stable we had to crank the fan up to 100%. Still it was a sacrifice my ears where willing to make.

Microsoft's Kinect is the fastest-selling gadget of all time. The Kinect motion sensor for Xbox 360 has been named by Guinness World Records as the fastest-selling gadget in history after it sold 8 million units in 60 days.

There was a broadband and beyond conference in Sydney recently, highlighting our need for more bandwidth. In the US last year, almost seven per cent of total entertainment revenues were generated by digital platforms. In Australia that figure was not even three per cent. One of the key differences, Dixon said, was that average broadband throughput is higher for US consumers and this influences the quality of the online video viewing experience and the consumer’s willingness to pay for such content.

Check out this impressive indie game trailer. Worth watching in HD and fullscreen, especially if you like mech combat. All clips in this video were captured from actual network game matches. The third person shots are from a spectator camera, gameplay is first person. We expect to release a first person gameplay trailer soon.

Today's timewaster is Mad Bombs, where you're a little bomb blowing stuff up.

Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 11-March-2011  09:31:38 (GMT +10) - by DiGiTaL MoNkEY

Aerocool Strike-X Tower on Hardware Secrets.
Antec Six Hundred Tower on XSReviews.
Nexus Prominent 5 Case on Hardware Secrets.
NZXT Whisper Full Tower on TechReaction.
Thermaltake Level 10 GT on Benchmark Reviews.

Antec KÜHLER H2O 620 CPU Cooler on HardOCP.
Corsair Hydro Series H60 on Mad Shrimps.
Lamptron Fan-Atic Fan Controller on Legit Reviews.
Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler on Tweaknews.

Buffalo DriveStation Axis USB 3.0 1TB on T-Break.
Intel 510 Series 250GB SSD on Legit Reviews.
LITE-ON eNAU608 External USB Writer on TechwareLabs.
WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 on TechARP.

Graphics Cards:
AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB on TechSpot.
Sparkle Calibre GTX 580 1.5GB on Mad Shrimps.

ASUS RT-N56U Gigabit Router on TweakNews.
TRENDnet TEW-687GA Wi-Fi Adapter on TechwareLabs.

Power Supply:
Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W on Overclockers Club.
OCZ ZX Series 850W PSU on Hardware Heaven.
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 760W on TweakTown.

Portable Devices:
Apple iPad 2 (Wi-Fi + 3G) on TechReviewSource.
Google Nexus S on Business Computing World.
Toshiba Satellite L645D Notebook on AnandTech.

Koribo Leira Wireless Keyboard on TechReviews.
Mionix Propus 380 Surface on APH Networks.
NZXT Bunker USB Locking Device on FutureLooks.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 on TechReviewSource.
Samsung SyncMaster FX2490HD on TechReviewSource.
Startech InfoSafe 2.5 SATA Enclosure on FunkyKit.
Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 HDD Case on EverythingUSB.

Avalon Airshow Photography Roundup (2 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 10-March-2011  19:02:53 (GMT +10) - by DiGiTaL MoNkEY

Thursday Afternoon News (4 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 10-March-2011  15:44:36 (GMT +10) - by DiGiTaL MoNkEY

The ASIO have finally stepped into the 21st century creating a cyber espionage unit. The intelligence unit has been set up to monitor espionage attempts against Australian national security interests, and will release alerts to agencies and critical infrastructure owners in a manner similar to the tacit role of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Australia.

NASA's space shuttle Discovery has landed safely at Kennedy Space Center, completing its final mission. The shuttle touched down at 11:57:17am Eastern time after a 5.3-million mile mission. Wheel-stop occurred 12 days, 19 hours, 4 minutes, and 50 seconds after launch. In total, Discovery has had 27 years of service and traveled 148 million miles.

Apple's iOS 4.3 software update is now available to download. Apple's iPad 2 is coming, and that means iOS 4.3 is coming. Oh, wait. It's here already! Consider it an early gift from Apple, but those with iPhone 4s and newer iPod touch devices (as well as the first iPad) can now download iOS 4.3, the company's latest version of the highly popular iOS mobile operating system.

Mozilla after much delay released its first Firefox 4 release candidate. After eight months of beta testing on the latest version of its open source browser. The RC is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac in 79 different languages. You can download it here. If you're already testing the beta, you'll be automatically updated.

Meanwhile, Microsoft confirmed today that the full and final build of Internet Explorer 9 will be rolled out at the start of next week, on Monday March 14th. Among the new features in IE9 is a refreshed look with the browser taking up less space than previous versions of IE, as well as a way to pin sites to the Windows task bar. Sites can then program their pages to act more like desktop applications with things like notifications, and the Windows 7 Jump List feature.

NVIDIA's answer to the AMD's HD 6990 named the GeForce GTX 590 is due to launch March 22. Latest reports suggest that NVIDIA has chosen March 22 as the launch day of GeForce GTX 590. Incidentally, that is also the launch date of EA/Crytek's much-hyped, initially DirectX 9 action/shooter game, Crysis 2. GeForce GTX 590 uses two GF110, though the shader configuration and clock speeds are not known.

Logitech have finally replaced the ever-popular Logitech Z-5500's. It's not often we see a single product grace these pages and then remain "current" for half a dozen years, but the successor to Logitech's heralded Z-5500 speaker set is just now touching down. Logi's Surround Sound Speakers Z906 offer 5.1 channels of oomph, a 500-watt (RMS) amplifier, digital / analog inputs, yet another remote to add to your collection and a dedicated control console.

InsideHW compared ASUS' E35 M1-M PRO Fusion and GIGABYTE's GA-D525TUD Atom all-in-one motherboards. The hotly anticipated AMD Fusion, the first in the line of entirely integrated solutions, has finally reached us, in the form of ASUS E35 M1-M PRO model, carrying the currently strongest Zacate APU. So let's see what each integrated solutions has to offer!

Xbit Labs round-up a massive list of 26 popular thermal interface compounds. Our first massive roundup is going to talk about 26 different thermal grease choices that can be purchased individually, without the cooler itself. We are going to find out which ones rock and which ones fail.

For those of you that haven't seen it yet, here's that jaw-dropping Unreal Engine 3: Samaritan demo was shown at GDC 2011.

Today's flash based timewaster is Fragger: Lost City.

Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 10-March-2011  09:43:04 (GMT +10) - by DiGiTaL MoNkEY

GIGABYTE GA-E350N-USB3 (AMD Fusion) on TechReport.
ASUS P8P67 Deluxe (LGA1155) on HardOCP.
GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 (LGA1155) on TweakTown.
ASUS Crosshair IV Extreme (AM3) on HotHardware.
GIGABYTE GA-E350N-USB3 (AMD Fusion) on Legion Hardware.

Processors & Memory:
Intel's Core i7 990X Extreme Edition on HotHardware.
Gskill RipjawsX 4GB 17000 CL9D-4GBXMD on Madshrimps.

Evercool Buffalo CPU Cooler on TestFreaks.
NZXT Cryo LX Notebook Cooler on PureOverclock.
Corsair Hydro H70 CPU Cooler on OCIA.
Thermaltake Jing CPU Cooler on PureOverclock.

Graphics Cards:
AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB on Hardware Secrets.
ASUS ENGTS450 DirectCU OC on Benchmark Reviews.
Zotac Geforce GTX 570 on TweakNews.

Power Supply:
Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK PSU on Hardware Secrets.
HuntKey Jumper R90 300W 80Plus Gold on AnandTech.
Enermax Modu82+ II 625W PSU on Guru3D.
Kingwin LZP-550 550W PSU on HardOCP.
CM Silent Pro Gold 1000W on RealWorldLabs.

Media Players:
Western Digital WD TV Live Hub on TweakTown.
Nixeus Fusion HD Media Streamer on AnandTech.
Icy Box IB-MP3011 Media Player on Rbmods.

Portable Devices:
ViewSonic ViewPad 7 Tablet on T-Break.
Acer Aspire Timeline X 5820T on HardwareZone.
Alienware M17x Gaming Laptop on TechRadar.

Extreme Cooled Gallery Highlights (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 9-March-2011  20:04:08 (GMT +10) - by DiGiTaL MoNkEY

Some recent photos from our Extreme Cooling forum:

Want your water-cooled rig up on the front page? Then make sure you have it posted in the Xtreme Cooled Case Gallery thread :)

Wednesday Afternoon News (18 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 9-March-2011  13:15:16 (GMT +10) - by DiGiTaL MoNkEY

Apparently we're a nation of unrepentant pirates costing core content industries $900m last year. The research by Sphere Analysis was commissioned by the Australian Content Industry Group. It shows that in 2010 4.7 million Australians accessed online content illegally. That number would soar to 6.5 million people by 2016, ''taking into account the potential impact of the National Broadband Network''.

On the other hand, we seem more willing to hand over $1b a year to online fraudsters. Australians are continuing to fall victim to online scammers who promise instant wealth but then steal hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars from their target. Two surveys released today by the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce showed that the scams are being refined and in 2009 included inheritance scams, work-from-home scams and dating/romance scams.

Warner Bros is hoping to attract new fans by offering movies for viewing on Facebook. Facebook users in the US will soon be able to use Facebook Credits to rent The Dark Knight through the movie's official fan page on the social-networking site, Warner said in statement. The movie can be rented for 30 Facebook credits or US$3, and Facebook users will have access to the movie for 48 hours.

Google Chrome 10 stable is now official. The version brings in the Crankshaft JavaScript engine from the beta and is as much as two thirds faster than what was seen in Chrome 9. Web viewers also get protection from Flash crashes and security holes through sandboxing that prevents the preinstalled plugin from touching the rest of the operating system.

Samsung has announced that it reached a 1TB per disk platter milestone, and the company will most likely have 4TB hard drives out late 2011. When the 4TB HDDs will begin shipping wasn't revealed, but when they do, they will be part of the company's Spinpoint EcoGreen series. As such, they will have 5,400RPM rotational speeds, have 32MB of cache and a SATA 6Gbps interface.

Engadget reviewed Nintendo's latest portable the 3DS; available on the 31st of March in Australia. After spending about a week living with one of Nintendo's $250 consoles, working with one, gaming with one, and practicing kana with one, we've seen the light. The fancy-pants screen works, but it only does so with a lot of caveats.

GIGABYTE's E-Sports Championship is back on for 2011. The upcoming competition focuses on Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops, with the grand final being held at Respawn LAN in Victoria, April 16th. GESC, also known as the GIGABYTE E-Sports Championships is a national electronic sports tournament. The best of the best elite gamers from around Australia battle it out for their chance to take home more than $5000.00 AUD in cash and prizes.

Xbit-Labs is reporting AMD's FX-Series Bulldozer CPU's are to ship in June, while Llano is expected to land in Early July. Shipments of AMD FX-series high-end desktop microprocessors will commence on the week of June 20th, 2011; Supplies of A-series APUs will begin on the week of July 4th, 2011, according to industrial sources. As expected, AMD's Bulldozer central processing units for desktops will become available earlier than Llano APUs. As a result, AMD will be able to create a "halo" effect for its microprocessor lineup with a high-end offering that is projected to outperform existing Phenom II chips by 50%.

TestFreaks have compiled a Windows 7 Service Pack 1 performance analysis. We've taken quite a bit of time to run many test on three separate computers with Windows 7 installed, both 32bit and 64bit versions. From my experiences I’ve learned a bit and I thought I’d share that with you today, so read on to learn what I learned about how the new Service Pack affects your system.

For enthusiasts, HardwareHeaven reviewed a pair of AMD's latest Radeon HD 6990's in CrossFireX focusing on 1920x1080 and 5760x1080 resolutions. We have one of the first retail branded 6990s in our test system and have combined it with the reference 6990 model to look at performance when gaming on one and three screens. This includes Dragon Age 2, Crysis 2 and of course the customary run through 3DMark 2011.

Today's flash based timewaster is Robo Rampage.

Wednesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 9-March-2011  08:35:42 (GMT +10) - by DiGiTaL MoNkEY

ASRock Fatal1ty P67 Pro (LGA1155) on PureOverclock.
MSI Brazos E350IA-E45 (AMD Fusion) on TechReaction.
ASUS Rampage III Extreme (LGA1366) on NinjaLane.

BitFenix Survivor Mid Tower on eTeknix.
BitFenix Survivor Mid Tower on Madshrimps.
Lian Li PC-A04 Mid Tower on TweakNews.

Lite-On eNAU608 Ext. DVD Writer on Overclockers Online.
Plextor M2 Series 128GB SATA 6Gbps SSD on LegitReviews.
Areca 1880 SAS/SSD RAID Card on The SSD Review.
WD My Passport SE 1TB USB 3.0 on Think Computers.

Graphics Cards:
HIS Radeon HD 6870 and 6850 on Metku.
Sapphire Radeon HD 6990 4GB on TweakTown.
AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB on Overclockers.
AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB on TechGage.
MSI Radeon R6870 HAWK on Benchmark Reviews.

Input Devices:
CM Storm Spawn Gaming Mouse on NinjaLane.
QPAD 5K Gaming Mouse on NeoSeeker.
Koribo Mini Keyboard on TechReviews.

Corsair HS1A Gaming Headset on Metku.
Arctic Sound P531 Headphones on Pro-Clockers.

Portable Devices:
ASUS N52JT-XT1R Laptop on TechReviewSource.
ASUS G53SW 3D Gaming Notebook on T-Break.
ViewSonic ViewPad 10s Tablet on InsideHardware.

Vizo Master Panel II on TechReviews.
TeamViewer 6 Software on BusCompWorld.
MUKii TransImp X3 Hard Drive Enclosure on Pro-Clockers.

AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB Review Roundup (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 8-March-2011  17:37:56 (GMT +10) - by DiGiTaL MoNkEY

The NDA has been lifted on AMD's Radeon HD 6990 dual-GPU monster. Designed for the power gamer, AMD Radeon HD 6990 graphics cards include AMD’s second-generation, Microsoft DirectX 11-capable architecture, advanced image quality features for the best looking games, and AMD PowerTune intelligent technology to enable higher clock speeds and faster gaming. The AMD Radeon HD 6990 offers the ultimate in immersive HD gaming and computing with native support for up to five displays using AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology, with six display support possible via DisplayPort 1.2 components available for purchase later this year. The AMD Radeon HD 6990 graphics cards also feature a dual-BIOS toggle switch, allowing enthusiast gamers to unlock the card and rev up the clocks and voltages for even more performance.

Coverage on AnandTech, Benchmark Reviews, Bjorn3D, KitGuru, Guru3D, HardOCP, Hardware Canucks, Hardware Heaven, Hexus, Hot Hardware, Overclock3D #2, PC Perspective, TechPowerUp #2, TechReport, TechRadar and Tom's Hardware.

A more detailed list of reviews can be found here.

Click to join the forum discussion!

Tuesday Morning (3 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 8-March-2011  10:50:39 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Western Digital are apparently buying Hitachi's storage division. We believe this step will result in several key benefits-enhanced R&D capabilities, innovation and expansion of a rich product portfolio, comprehensive market coverage and scale that will enhance our cost structure and ability to compete in a dynamic marketplace. Press-release here and discussion here.

Ruslan Kogan reckons Apple will shut out retailers soon, and has bet $1M on it. That would mean no more Macs at shops like Myer. You'd have to go directly to an Apple Store. To make his point, Mr Kogan has challenged JB Hi-Fi boss Terry Smart to a wager that Apple products will disappear from his stores within three years. More here and Discussion here.

Here's a creepily-realistic robot. Okay, I admit it... I found myself wondering whether this was in fact a real robot, or actually a person pretending to be a robot or even a fake robot. It's not a fake. This is the latest iteration of Geminoid series of ultra-realistic androids, from Kokoro and Hiroshi Ishiguro.

Joanna sent in this article about ISPs possibly disconnecting pirates in Australia. Although the Federal Court last week dismissed an appeal case brought against ISP iiNet by major film studios, lawyers say the judgment paves the way for copyright holders to improve the copyright infringement notices they send to ISPs and therefore compel them to do something about unauthorised downloads.

Gigabyte P67A-UD7 Motherboard (3 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 8-March-2011  00:44:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg

DiGiTaL MoNkEY has taken a look at Gigabyte's P67A-UD7 Motherboard. It features eight SATA ports (four SATA 3.0, four SATA 2.0) with RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 support, a 24 power phase design, four DDR3 memory slots with support for XMP profiles and speeds up to 2133MHz, ten SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports (six rear, four front), GIGABYTE DualBIOS technology and dual Realtek Gigabit LAN connectivity. It also has three PCI-Express 2.0 x16/x8 slots, allowing for true 3-way CrossFireX and SLI configurations, all while conforming to an ATX Form Factor measuring in at 30.5cm x 24.4cm.

Click for the review!

Monday Morning (7 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 7-March-2011  01:58:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Brisbane has a new superhero, Captain Australia. A police spokeswoman said the public should leave crime fighting to the professionals. 'We would prefer that Captain Australia didn't intervene in incidents as we are unsure of the extent of his superpowers,'' she said.

If you purchased an original iPad recently, then were disappointed to see the iPad 2 come out with associated price drop for the original, you may be in luck. Although, I don't know if it applies to Australian consumers. Much like the company did when it suddenly dropped the price of its original iPhone, Apple is giving $100 back to those who purchased an iPad up to a fortnight before the March 2nd unveiling of the iPad 2. If our math is correct, that makes February 16th the cutoff date, and it's being reported that those in the US will see $100 placed back on their credit card, while those overseas will get GBP 100 / 100 Euro back in their pocket.

Meanwhile, mpot sent in this hilarious video review of the iPad 2.

FOTW sent word that NASA's Glory Satellite failed to reach orbit, or in other words, fell into the sea. NASA Launch Director Omar Baez said the countdown and launch went smoothly until the point at which they should have received data indicating that the fairing had separated from the vehicle. However, one NASA scientist thinks he may have found evidence of life in meteorites, thanks AirQ.

Intel have a new 510 Series SSD. This is the first SATA 6Gb/sec offering to come from Intel, and has been eagerly awaited by the industry. These units come in the standard 2.5" x 9.5mm form factor, in capacities of 120 and 250GB. TheSSDReview checked one out. Situated front and center was a Marvell 9174 SATA 3 controller soldered to the SSD circuit board (PCB) rather than the Intel controller that everyone had expected. Intel certainly treated this as the ‘Colonels Recipe’ and, outside of Intel, their wasn’t a person who had the information prior to opening the drive.

Somewhat worrying is this ruling allowing Sony to unmask geohot's visitors. A federal magistrate is granting Sony the right to acquire the internet IP addresses of anybody who has visited PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz’s website from January of 2009 to the present. I've probably visited his website in the course of my news gathering, and I have two PS3s, neither of which are hacked.

ASUS have a cool idea for re-using motherboard packaging. As the video from CeBIT above shows, the cardboard can be reconfigured to allow the Asus Mini-ITX motherboard to be seated inside. There’s then space for the other components you buy to be fitted, and the usual holes available for ventilation. Asus also state the cardboard case will last for at least a year, but we see no reason that it won’t last the lifetime of the components inside if it is just sitting under your desk all day.

Microsoft want IE6 to die, nearly as much as everyone else does. 10 years ago a browser was born. Its name was Internet Explorer 6. Now that we’re in 2011, in an era of modern web standards, it’s time to say goodbye.

Valve are working with Intel to create Steam Guard. IPT generates a new numerical password every 30 seconds, integrating into the processor functionality that previously required a separate card or key fob. Users will be notified by Steam Guard if any PCs other than those authorized by them attempt to log into or modify their account settings. The new feature is now available to third parties to incorporate into their own applications through Steamworks, Valve said.

We've seen fairly slow and boring self-driving cars before, but this video from Google shows one hooning around a test track, much to the excitement/terror of people inside it. At the TED Conference I had the chance to ride in one of Google's self driving cars. It requires no hands on the wheel at all. I expected a very chill 5-10 miles per hour. What happened was much different.

From csimpson: Kinda bland news, I know, but the TIO (that's Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman) is up for a bit of reform; the Dept of Broadband today launched a discussion paper and is asking for comment submissions from everyone - including the general public. So if anyone's had a good or bad experience with complaining about their telco or ISP, they should get on board and make a submission. These reforms could mean that everyone who's having problems with their phone or 'net would be told about the ombudsman and their rights in making a complaint.

Saturday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 5-March-2011  20:33:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
Zotac GeForce 560Ti OC on TechWareLabs.
Liquid Cooling and Overclocking GeForce GTX 580 with Danger Den on Guru3D.
PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 LCS on OCClub.
MSI Radeon HD 6950 2GB Twin Frozr II on Tweaktown.
Diamond All-In-Wonder HD Premium AIW5000 TV/capture card on BenchmarkReviews.
Zotac GTX 560 Ti on TechReaction.
ASUS Radeon HD 6950 2GB DirectCU II Overclocked on Tweaktown.
MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition on HotHardware.
MSI GeForce GTX 560 Twin Frozr II 1 GB on TechPowerUp.

Zalman Z9 Plus ATX Tower on SilentPCReview.
SilverStone Fortress FT03 Mini-Tower on Techgage.
Nexus Prominent 5 mid-tower on RBMods.

Thermaltake Max 5G External USB 3.0 Enclosure on OCIA.
Intel SSD 510 Series SATA 6Gbps Solid State Drive on HotHardware.
Patriot Xporter XT 32GB pen drive on XSReviews.
Kingston 64GB SSD (ssdNOW V Series) on BurnedIn.
Patriot XRB 64GB SSD on XSReviews.

Motherboard & CPU:
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 on TechPowerUp.
Foxconn AHD1S "AMD APU Onboard" Motherboard on MadShrimps.
AMD E-350 Accelerated Processor on iXBTLabs.
Gigabyte G1.Assassin X58 LGA1366 board on Bjorn3D.

Input Etc:
SteelSeries Xai Laser Gaming Mouse on Tech-Reviews.
Steelseries WoW:Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse on FunkyKit.

Audio Visual:
Razer Chimaera Wireless Gaming Headset on HWHeaven.
FyreTV BoXXX Review - A Media Player For Streaming Adult Content on LegitReviews.
Grace Digital Micro System Wi-Fi Stereo Shelf System on TestFreaks.
Arctic Sound P531 Surround Sound Gaming Headset on eTeknix.

Portable & Prebuilt:
MSI GX660R Laptop on OC3D.
Acer Veriton Z290G-UD525W prebuilt touchscreen desktop on TechReviewSource.
Hands-on with the iPad 2 on DigitalTrends.
Apple iPad 2 vs. Motorola Xoom on DigitalTrends.
Toshiba NB550D AMD Fusion Netbook w/ Harman Kardon Speakers on Tweaktown.
Evercool Battle Hero NP-611 laptop stand/cooler on OCOnline.
HP's Pavilion dm1z Fusion-powered ultraportable on Tech-Report.

NZXT Sentry LXE Touch Screen Fan Controller on Tweaknews.
Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.
Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler on HWSecrets.

Lexmark Genesis S815 All-in-One Printer on FutureLooks.

Misc Pics (26 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 4-March-2011  11:43:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to SKiB, Brodsta, Rob and von Stalhein today!

And if you're after more, check out this Wiki page which lists ALL "misc pics" news posts from the archive.

Friday Morning (5 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 4-March-2011  03:01:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

People are wondering if Paypal may have been compromised, due to suspicious emails they've recieved with what seems to be Paypal-specific info inside. So, beware bogus Adobe and Skype emails, and hopefully there'll be more info about the possible Paypal issue, or some other explanation, soon.

Lots of vendors are shipping motherboards with fixed Sandy Bridge chipsets - the thing to look for is "B3 Revision". Specific info is available from ASUS, ASRock, Gigabyte and MSI. Discussion continues here.

The Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo was released recently. All versions of the new demo will include two maps, “Skyline” and “Pier 17”, as well as two modes “Team Instant Action” and “Crash Site”. Lots of screenshots and gameplay videos in this discussion thread.

Tech Report meanwhile consider Bulletstorm. TR's Cyril Kowaliski talks about his impressions playing Bulletstorm, the new futuristic shooter from Epic Games and People Can Fly. Cyril gives the game a thumbs up, saying it owes its success to a key ingredient usually missing from popular single-player shooters: genuinely fun combat. Techspot looked at CPU & GPU Performance in Bulletstorm.

While we're talking games, there's a new Battlefield 3 teaser which looks pretty impressive. Powered by Frostbite 2, the next generation of DICE’s cutting-edge gaming engine, Battlefield 3 delivers spectacular visuals, earth-shattering destruction and real as hell combat gameplay providing a dramatic immersive First Person Shooter experience. More info and discussion here.

Tzortst spotted what has to be one of the most cringe-worthy tech videos out there. Found this in the back room of my old job. It was titled "YO MS Raps!" MS-DOS 5.0 was the first version available in a retail package. Looks like MS spent a few $$$ to produce the effects in this video to promote it. I can see where Steve Ballmer got some of his moves from now!

From John: After complaining about “unfair” competition from international online sellers last year, Myer have opened a new online site - set up to ship in from overseas and avoid GST on items under $1000.I checked out the site tonight and the first big offer is an emachine Notebook for $498. It must be an extremely extremely fast notebook, as according to the specs it not only has Intel Pentium Dual Core P6200 processor but also AMD A50 Fusion APU on board! The best of both worlds all on one machine...

HWSecrets have a thermal paste roundup. We added five new thermal compounds to our previous roundup, for a total of 10 thermal compounds from Cooler Master, Coolink, Deepcool, Evercool, Gelid, Noctua, Prolimatech, Spire, Thermalright, and Zalman.

From Rod: I thought this was pretty funny, someone got Linus Torvalds an invite to a celebrity party before the Oscars. From the article: So me and the wife were completely out of our depth, and knew absolutely nobody. We go out for a date night every week, so we a fair number of movies, but we really aren't movie people - the kinds of movies we go to don't make a huge impression. So there we were, cram-packed with celebrities, not remembering names or faces.

Breech spotted a project from Google and MYOB to get Australian small businesses online with free websites. More here. Google and MYOB have announced Getting Aussie Business Online, and plan to sign up 50,000 businesses this year. The companies noted that while Australians regularly turn to the internet to research local shops and services, two-thirds of Australian small businesses are invisible online because they don’t have a website.

Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 4-March-2011  02:53:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
MSI E350IA-E45 AMD Brazos Fusion APU Platform Review on PCPerspective.
Sapphire Fusion Mini E350 Motherboard on iXBTLabs.
Gigabyte Fusion E350N USB3 Motherboard on NinjaLane.
ECS H67H2-M Black Edition Motherboard on LegitReviews.
ECS H57H-MUS (V1.0A) LGA1156 Motherboard on MadShrimps.

Antec P193 on XSReviews.
In Win Track on Tweaknews.

Exceleram EP3001A PC3-10666 2x2GB on MadShrimps.
Kingston HyperX Grey Series 2133MHz 4GB DDR3 on TechReaction.
Patriot Gamer 2 8GB DDR3-1600 on PureOC.
Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer 6GB (3x2GB) PC3-12800 Kit on BigBruin.

Patriot SuperSonic USB 3.0 Flash Drive on NeoSeeker.
Apacer TurboII Series-AS602 120GB Solid State Drive on Tweaktown.

Power Supply:
Logisys PS600A12 Power Supply on HWSecrets.
OCZ ZX Series 850W on APHNetworks.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Lenovo Thinkpad U260 Core i3 12.5-in Notebook on PCPerspective.
Hands on with Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play gaming smartphone on DigitalTrends.
Lenovo ThinkPad T510 laptop on BusinessComputingWorld.

Input Etc:
Cooler Master Storm Spawn Gaming Mouse on Pro-Clockers.
Smartfish Whirl Laser Mouse w/ Anti-Gravity Comfort Pivot on TestFreaks.
SteelSeries QcK Mass Pro Gaming Mouse Pad on Tech-Reviews.
Zowie G-TF Mouse Mat on TechPowerUp.
Cooler Master Storm Spawn Gaming Mouse on Pro-Clockers.

Video Cards:
HIS Radeon HD 6850 IceQ X Turbo on eTeknix.
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 on Modders-Inc.

OvisLink AirLive N.MINI 300Mbps Wireless-N Mini-AP on MadShrimps.
Dell 1250c LED Printer on TechReviewSource.
iHome iP1 Studio Series Audio System for iPhone/iPod on MadShrimps.
Corsair H60 Liquid CPU Cooler on HWHeaven.

Thursday Morning (9 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 3-March-2011  11:48:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Sooo, the iPad 2 has arrived, with more info here. Contrary to the rumours, the new iPad 2 has been improved a lot internally. Faster processor, faster graphics, HDMI full HD output, the 720p HD camera on the back, the frontal VGA camera… it’s quite a new beast. Most people don't seem all that excited about it, though. Discussion here.

AMD's 6990 dual-GPU card is on display at CeBIT, but not officially launched yet - USA date is March 8th. The details regarding the clocks might change but for now the card works at 830MHz for the GPU and 1250MHz (5.0Gbps) for a total of 4GB of memory (2GB for each GPU) paired up with a 2x256-bit memory interface. The press kit has been leaked too. Sweclockers have a non-English video. Discussion continues here.

I'm not normally into unboxing videos but here's one from ASUS, showing off a new Mini-ITX AMD Fusion/Brazos board which looks fairly tasty.

Meanwhile Gigabyte announced their X58-OC "overclocking motherboard". Youngpro actually checked it out in some detail in the forums here a few days ago. From the pictures already released you can see this board means business, with an IO panel that looks like it lost a leg in the war to features such as OC-VRM and OC-Touch it's clear this board has potential to be a serious contender.

Shaun spotted this video showing what happens when you upgrade through every version of Windows. An experiment to see the effects of installing every major upgrade version of windows, in order, on the same machine. The voicever is fairly amusing too.

Google has pulled the malware-infected apps we mentioned yesterday. "We should point out that this vulnerability was patched with Gingerbread, meaning any device running Android 2.3+ should be fine," Aaron Gingrich of the Android Police, wrote in a blog post. "The hole was fixed by Google, but it's relatively useless since many phones aren't yet running a version of Android that is protected."

AMD have previewed Llano and Sandy Bridge in a side-by-side video. The three-minute clip shows the screens of two laptops as they run a graphics-heavy benchmark. One laptop is running a Core i7-2630QM processor (a.k.a. Sandy Bridge in its quad-core incarnation), while the other sports Llano, AMD's upcoming mainstream accelerated processing unit.

Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 3-March-2011  00:21:22 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
GIGABYTE P67A-UD4 Motherboard Performance Review on LegitReviews.
Intel Core i5-2400S and BH67GD Micro-ATX Motherboard on MissingRemote.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Samsung Nexus S with Gingerbread smartphone on HotHardware.
HP Mini 210-2180 netbook on TechReviewSource.

Audio Visual:
Corsair HS1A Stereo Gaming Headset on Tweaktown.
Canon Vixia HF M40 camcorder on DigitalTrends.
Antec SoundScience Rockus 3D Speaker System on BenchmarkReviews.
Diamond All-in-Wonder HD Premium 5000 tv/capture card on OCClub.
MEElectronics M9 Earphones on ThinkComputers.
Samsung PN58C6400 58" Plasma HDTV on SilentPCReview.
Anthem MRX-700 amplifier on DigitalTrends.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1: Hands On on TechReviewSource.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 on BusinessComputingWorld.
My Movies 4.0 on MissingRemote.

Akasa DuoDock 2S USB 3.0 Docking Station on eTeknix.
Zalman ZM-VE200 External HDD Case and Virtual Drive on MegaTechNews.
Corsair Force F90 90GB Solid-State Drive on Techgage.
Olympus SP-800UZ digicam on TechReviewSource.

Input Etc:
Nexus 7000B Silent Mouse on TechReaction.
Cooler Master Storm Spawn Gaming Mouse on Pro-Clockers.
SteelSeries Shift MMO Gaming Keyboard on LegitReviews.

Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600MHz Dual Memory DDR3 on Pro-Clockers.
Kingston HyperX Max 3.0 64GB on LegionHW.

Thermaltake V9 BlacX on OCClub.
Thermaltake V9 BlacX on PureOC.
In Win Dragon Slayer mATX on eTeknix.
Enermax Hoplite on HWSecrets.
Fractal Design Define XL system enclosure on Metku.

Brother MFC-J6710DW All-in-One Printer on HWSecrets.
PC Power and Cooling Silencer 760W PSU on HWHeaven.
Coolit Vantage A.L.C. CPU Cooler on BenchmarkReviews.

Wednesday Afternoon (2 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 2-March-2011  15:25:48 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Congrats to IC3, Fallen Dragon and HairyMerkin who won our Armageddon Expo Superhero contest. IC3 posted some photos from the Expo, mostly of him scampering about in Black Spiderman mode. :) There's a heap of photos of people in costumes here on Facebook, too. Update: More here, thanks d00dz!

Another upcoming event is NRG Hardcore Gamer in Sydney. NRG™ Hardcore Gamer is THE main Australian gaming event, bringing you the true hardcore gaming experience. Go head to head with the best Australian gamers. Registration now open and lots of prizes etc, apparently.

Mpot spotted that the FAA has approved iPads as an alternative to paper charts for pilots. The authorization follows three months of rigorous testing and evaluation of the iPad and Mobile TC, a map app developed by aviation chartmaker Jeppesen. The latest decision applies only to Executive Jet Management, but it has implications for all of aviation. By allowing the company's pilots to use the Apple iPad as a primary source of information, the FAA is acknowledging the potential for consumer tablets to become avionics instruments.

HWHeaven walk us through building an XXX Eyefinity system. Today we will be looking at one of the first custom versions of the 6950 1GB, the XFX XXX and in the process we will take a detailed look at 1920x1080 performance as well as 5760x1080 (Eyefinity) and CrossFire. As always that will be combined with our GPU computing and HD media playback tests (including Blu-Ray 3D) but to spice things up a little we are adding in a detailed look at building an Eyefinity system for high end gaming, high end wheel and stick controllers... video of the system running... the works.

Vodafone UK are a little red-faced after a burgulary disconnected hundreds of thousands of customers. Vodafone confirmed that "specialist network equipment and IT hardware" was stolen from a technical facility in Basingstoke between 1am and 2am on Monday. Hampshire police are investigating. Vodafone insists "several hundred thousand customers may have been affected" but rumoured numbers in the millions are "grossly exaggerated".

HardCoreWare wondered if onboard graphics still suck for games. We take a look at the latest integrated graphics solutions from Intel and AMD, and see how they perform in today's hardcore games. Considering how much this console generation has held things back in terms of 3D graphics, we were wondering: Does either one have what it takes to play games with reasonable visual settings?

Warner Brothers will be appealing the Mortal Kombat ban in Australia. Regardless, perhaps we'll be able to see the live-action series in the works. Coming Spring to digital distributors; Mortal Kombat is an anthology of ten live-action episodes, expected to run approximately seven to ten minutes each. They are the genesis of director Kevin Tancharoen's efforts to reinvigorate the celluloid image of the MK franchise, famously established on screen by Paul Anderson, with his 1995 feature release of the same name.

Nick sends word that some dodgy Android apps are on the market. Someone just ripped off 21 popular free apps from the market, injected root exploits into them and republished. 50k-200k downloads combined in 4 days.

Wednesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 2-March-2011  14:58:14 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
HIS Radeon HD 6970 Turbo FAN 2GB Guru3D.
PowerColor HD 6970 PCS+ 2 GB on TechPowerUp.
EVGA GTX 560 Ti SC on PureOC.
Gigabyte GTX 560 Ti Super Overclock on HWHeaven.

Arctic Freezer 13 Cpu Cooler on RBMods.
Be Quiet Silent Wings USC 12cm fan on XSReviews.
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro CPU Cooler on LegitReviews.
Antec KÜHLER H2O 620 Liquid Cooling CPU Cooler on Tweaktown.
Enermax Aeolus Premium CP003 laptop cooler on DVHardware.

Intel 510 Series 250GB SATA 6G Solid State Drive on PCPerspective.
OCZ RevoDrive 80 GB PCI Express Solid State Drive on TechARP.
Hitachi LifeStudio Plus Hard Drive on TBreak.
Seagate Momentus 750GB, 3Gb/s Hard Drive on Bjorn3D.
OCZ RevoDrive 50GB PCIe Solid State Drive on Pro-Clockers.

Motherboard & CPU:
ECS Sandy Bridge Motherboard Roundup on NeoSeeker.
Intel's Core i7-990X Extreme processor on Tech Report.
Intel I7-2600K Sandybridge Processor on Tweaknews.
ASRock P67 Extreme 6 Motherboard on Overclockers.com.
Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 Motherboard on APHNetworks.

Wednesday Midday (3 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 2-March-2011  12:00:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Right, due for a bit of news catchup today. So stay tuned..

If you're missing some Gmail, count yourself among the unlucky 0.02% of users. But Google are restoring the lost data, oldschool style, from tapes. I know what some of you are thinking: how could this happen if we have multiple copies of your data, in multiple data centers? Well, in some rare instances software bugs can affect several copies of the data. That’s what happened here. Some copies of mail were deleted, and we’ve been hard at work over the last 30 hours getting it back for the people affected by this issue.

Speaking of glitches, if an ATM spat out lots of money at you recently, and you kept it, you might be in trouble. Hundreds of people at dozens of CommBank branches around Sydney and Melbourne queued up to 30-deep after social media sites went haywire with reports the bank's ATMs were giving out "free" money. Customers with a few dollars in their accounts were suddenly able to withdraw hundreds and, as they texted and Tweeted their unexpected windfalls, the crowds quickly grew.

TheSSDReview have an SSD extravaganza. This article displays the Gigabyte P67A-UD7 motherboard running 3 RAID 0 configurations, these being the OCZ Revo x2, OCZ Revo and LSI 9260-8i MegaRAID card running 8 x Micron C300 SSDs. In total, there are 18 SSDs and one hard drive active in the system, two of which are mPCIe cards and one even being a USB 3 SSD. Meanwhile TechReaction checked out five OCZ Vortex 2's in RAID.

Sniper sent in this one about a 3D printer printing out a car. IT didn't jam the printer but there's no guarantee it won't get stuck in traffic. Two companies in the US have partnered to design and create Urbee - the car built entirely by a 3D printer. Sounds like it was only the body, not the fiddly engine bits, but still. Made me think of "The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson, one of my all-time favourite books.

HardOCP have a sneak peek at AMD's Radeon HD 6990 "Antilles". Our video card came to us in this stealthy and shiny briefcase. Upon opening it we were pleased to see the Radeon HD 6990. At this time, all we can show you is this single photograph of the reverse side of the video card, proving it has two GPUs on board. There will be more photographs to come later.

Gaming legend Lord British wants to take you to space, report ArsTechnica. He says that there is no ground on the International Space Station, nor is there a ceiling. There are instruments and items and all sorts of things connected to the walls, and you can tell the people who are new to space flight by how they bump into things, which sends them spinning in zero gravity. They zoom around, followed by a mess of items and benign, space-faring shrapnel. It collects by the air vents if no one picks it up. Sleeping bodies find their way there as well. Meanwhile there's a cool photostream from a current ISS resident on Flickr.


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