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September 2007
Sunday Afternoon (11 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 30-September-2007  14:05:58 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Intel is set to rebrand processors in 2008. We just heard from an anonymous source that Intel will be rebranding their processors in 2008. From the Centrino mobile platform to the Itanium 2 server processors, Intel will revamp and consolidate their product lines under these new brands. These new brand names will come into effect on the first day of 2008. Intel hopes that these new brands will not only leverage the strong Core 2 brand but also make it less confusing for the consumer. Are they doing it right? You be the judge.

Techgage have continued their coverage of Digital Life 2007 and Ageia. We caught up with AGEIA at DigitalLife to see what's new and were surprised to see that some big announcements have been made, including inclusion of their PhysX PPU in Dell's latest XPS M1730 notebooks. We also take UT3 and Warmonger for a spin and give our thoughts.

Phoronix have looked at the progress of the Linux Radeon HD driver. It's going on two weeks since the RadeonHD driver was made available, which is AMD's sanctioned open-source driver for the Radeon X1000 (R500) and Radeon HD 2000 (R600) series (as well as future generations of AMD GPUs). In this time, we have seen some great progress made with this open-source driver and have a few additional remarks to share about its status and the first bits of this driver's roadmap."

Earlier this month it was reported that the distributor Jackar was having financial trouble, and at near collapse and finally gone bust. Simon has pointed out that this could be what is affecting Alienware Australia. I've been tracking 2 Alienware notebooks for my bosses for the last 3 months now with contact getting worse and worse. in the last 3 weeks I've had no email contact and their phone numbers go to an answering service. After some Googling I now know why. It turns out the aussie distributor, Jackar, has gone into voluntary administration owing $10mil, about $7000 of that to my company.

Earlier it was reported that the torrent site Demonoid was taken offline by authorities, since then it seems that this is not the case and their trackers are back online althrough their site is still not. Demonoid.com mysteriously disappeared earlier this week, but there is hope. The website is still down but the trackers are now fully operational again, perhaps a sign that Demonoid is crawling back up? The demonoid downtime caused quite some controversy, especially after the popular Dutch news site nu.nl reported that the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) was responsible for the downtime.

InformationWeek have made some speculations of the upcoming Google gPhone. In the absence of perfection, the technology community awaits the Google (NSDQ: GOOG) phone, or gPhone. Though unlikely to be as aesthetically pleasing as Apple's first foray into phone design, the gPhone is expected to be more widely available and more affordable than the iPhone. It will probably be built using some version of the open-source Linux operating system, a J2ME middleware layer, and a Flash/Ajax presentation layer or something similar based on the vector graphic technology developed by Skia, which Google acquired. That particular software stack is what venture capitalist Simeon Simeonov described in his blog as the ideal mobile phone stack.

And finally, check out this optical illusion, amazingly that image is totally static but appears to move.

Science and Tech News (1 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 30-September-2007  12:59:43 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Astronomers have detected a short lived radio blast originating 3 billion light years away, thanks Deeana. A new and intense type of radio burst has been discovered in archived views of the cosmos, astronomers revealed today. The single, short-lived blast of radio waves likely occurred some 3 billion light-years from Earth, and it may signal a cosmic car crash of two neutron stars, the death throes of a black hole—or something else.

NASA has teamed up with Imax for the use of a 3D camera accompanying Astronauts into space. Thanks to cooperation between NASA, IMAX Corporation, and Warner Bros. Pictures, the IMAX 3D camera is scheduled for a journey to the Hubble Space Telescope in 2008. The camera will accompany astronauts on mission STS-125 and capture film for a new production that will chronicle the telescope's life story. The film is set for release in early 2010 and marks Warner Bros. Pictures' first venture into space. "We are thrilled that people from around the world will experience this vital servicing mission from a front-row seat," said NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale. "Audiences will be mesmerized as they are transported to the distant galaxies of the universe."

India is set to launch an unmanned mission to the moon next April. India will launch a locally built rocket on the country's first unmanned mission to the moon next April, the head of the project said on Friday. "We have decided on April 9, but if there's any problem then we have launch windows in the following couple of days," M. Annadurai told Reuters. Despite limited funding, India operates an extensive space programme consisting of launch vehicles, satellites and data-processing centres.

Astronauts have reparked the Soyuz module attached to the International Space Station. Three astronauts living aboard the International Space Station (ISS) took a short trip Thursday to move their Russian-built lifeboat to a new parking spot. ISS Expedition 15 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineers Oleg Kotov and Clayton Anderson spent only 20 minutes flying their Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft between docking ports, but the successful move primed the station for the October arrival of its next crew.

Australia may join the US military satellite network. Australian involvement would enhance two-way wartime communications with the United States and increase the system's coverage and capacity worldwide, said a source familiar with the technology. The source said Australia would be the only US partner in the network. Russia and China have voiced concern over what they regard as tightening military ties among the United States, Japan and Australia, including for defence against ballistic missiles.

And finally, Deeana spotted this toilet flushing Lego robot. Using only parts from a standard NXT Mindstorms kit, Will Gorman rigged up a contraption that employs the ultrasonic sensor module to detect the presence and then absence of a bathroom-goer, and also features a dedicated button to perform a Rube Goldberg-esque manual flush. Keep on reading for a thankfully-SFW demo vid of the so-called "RoboFlush".

Thanks to Deeana who linked me to most of the articles here.

Casey Stoner, MotoGP Champ (and Japan F1 this arvo!) (7 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 30-September-2007  00:36:48 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Just a quick note of congratulations to Australia's Casey Stoner for taking out the MotoGP World Championship last weekend:

Casey is the first Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix World Champion since Mick Doohan in 1998. It's also good to see Ducati win, as they are a relatively small manufacturer and have broken the Honda/Yamaha (and to a lesser extent Suzuki) domination since the mid 1970's. Next year should be very interesting indeed.

Also, if you're a fan of motorsport or just want a break from those other sports everyone's going on and on about this weekend, take note that today (Sunday) on Ch10 at 2pm (Sydney time, anyway) the Japanese F1 Grand Prix is being shown live for a change, instead of the usual very early morning timeslot. Chainbolt is on the ground at the circuit and has been putting photos and interesting info into this thread in our Motoring Forum:

click for the thread

Saturday Evening (5 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 29-September-2007  18:59:49 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Novell is crediting Microsoft with their increasing Linux sales due to the deal between the two companies. Novell says its Linux business has grown by 243 percent over the last three quarters, and it largely credits its deal with Microsoft. Novell has reached $100 million in revenue from Linux over the nine-month period, thanks to the close working relationship it has had with Microsoft since the two companies signed their collaborative deal in November. As part of the deal, Microsoft offers support for Novell's Suse Linux, and the two companies are working on making their respective software interoperable.

Bjorn3D have tested various thermal pastes. Advances have been made in many fields of computer technology from displays to video cards and hard drive capacities to thermal pastes. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that no self-respecting enthusiast would ever be caught using generic white paste to help cool their expensive computer equipment. Thermal interface material or TIM is something that anyone with a bit of patience and a few dollars can use to help lower the temperatures of their computer's CPU, video card and even their Northbridge.

TechGage have been covering the DigitalLife 2007 show. In our first part, we take a look at Polk Audio's new I-Sonic ES 2, R2-D2 projector and webcam, Dell's latest XPS notebooks with AGEIA's PhysX physics processor and Xyber's high-end and totally silent HTPC. There are also a slew of various photos from around the show-floor, including triple Alyx Vance's!

TechARP have updated their x264 benchmark results. We have updated the x264 benchmark results for both AMD and Intel processors including the results of the upcoming 45nm Yorkfield ES quad-core processor. The x264 benchmark measures how fast your machine can encode a short, DVD quality MPEG-2 video clip into a high-quality x264 video clip. It will give you results in FPS that can be used to compare the performance of different CPUs and different CPU settings.

ATI have released the Catalyst 7.9 HotFix resolving a number of issues with various games and improving performance. This hotfix resolves the following issues: Enemy Territory Quake Wars: Crossfire flickering issues are resolved. Performance is improved, Bioshock: Resolved intermittent hangs for the Radeon HD 2400 and Radeon HD 2600, Call of Juarez: Texture corruption is fixed, World In Conflict: Performance is improved, Team Fortress 2: Facial morphing corruption is fixed, Time Shift: Resolved random crashes for Radeon 9xxx and Radeon X8xx series of products

Technibble have posted about deploying software with Winget. Imagine downloading and installing Firefox, AVG Antivirus, Ad-Aware and Spybot by typing only four commands in DOS. If you know the basics of BAT scripting you can make it so all you have to do is press a button. In this article we’ll show you some ways to use this awesome program to download and install the latest versions of software.

Gateway has revealed an all in one PC similar to the Apple iMac. After months of speculation, Gateway finally unveiled their One "all-in-one" PC. Once out of the box, all that's required to get up and running is a single power cord. We had an opportunity to take a good look at the machine today and relay our thoughts here.

As a followup to the previous Chernobyl news, Mitch01 has sent in a few interesting articles related to it. Firstly, a French company has been contracted to build a steel cover over the failing concrete sarcophagus. Also, here are some pictures from within the zone.

And finally, here is a set of pictures depicting tangled messes of cable. Most network and system administrators like a nice tidy cabled cabinet of servers and network equipment. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. The following are some of my favorite images of nasty cable messes.

Saturday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 29-September-2007  18:05:15 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Akasa Power Max 1000W at TechPowerup
Asus EN8600 GTS 256MB Video Card at LegitReviews
Diamond Viper HD 2900 XT 1GB CrossFire at HotHardware
Silent Lightning 400W at DriverHeaven
Zonbu at ViaArena

Cases and Cooling:
Apack ZEROtherm BTF90 cooler at HardwareOC
SilverStone KL02 Case at 3DGameMan
OCZ XTC Heatspreader at BTXFormFactor
Scythe Ninja Mini CPU Cooler at Pro-Clockers

NSK 535 R Keyboard at HardwareLogic
Microsoft SideWinder Mouse at I4U
World in Conflict (PC) at YouGamers

Misc Pics (10 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 29-September-2007  14:54:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg



Friday Evening (4 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 28-September-2007  23:02:01 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Trevor68 sent in word of Strike Force, a total conversion mod based on Star Wars for Battlefield 2142. Some server details can be found here. A direct link to the download can be found here on GamingSA and here on Internode. It is almost 900Mb. First Strike is a Star Wars based mod for Battlefield 2142. Within this mod you'll find yourself as a soldier of the Galactic Empire or as a freedom fighter for the Rebel Alliance. You'll fight at various Star Wars locations and with all sorts of weapons and vehicles. One side will have to strike first, for that team will have the greatest advantage... or will it? The goal of First Strike is to immerse the players of Battlefield 2142 into the amazing universe of Star Wars. First Strike will feature an extremely authentic atmosphere.

Halo 3 has broken the Australian entertainment sales record by selling 50,000 units in the first 24 hours. Also included is some funny pictures of John Howard playing an Xbox and with Master Chief. Microsoft announced today it had sold over 50,000 copies of Halo 3 in the first 24 hours of sales, making it the biggest Australian entertainment launch of all time. The long-awaited third instalment of the hit Xbox 360 video game series earned $6 million for Microsoft in Australia alone, smashing the previous first-day sales record held by the third film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Microsoft has decided to continue selling Windows XP until June 2008. Bowing to what it calls customer feedback, Microsoft Corp. yesterday said it would sell Windows XP to large computer makers and at retail through the end of June 2008, five months later than the deadline it set when Vista shipped to the public earlier this year. The decision will keep Windows XP on new PCs and store shelves until June 30, 2008. The original stop-sale date to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and at retail was Jan. 31, 2008. Smaller computer sellers, dubbed "system builders," will still be able to pre-install Windows XP on machines until Jan. 31, 2009

Rivatuner 2.05 has been released. RivaTuner is a complete powerful tweaking environment, providing you everything you may need to tune NVIDIA GPU based display adapters. The widest driver-level Direct3D / OpenGL and system tuning options, flexible profiling system allowing to make custom settings on per-application basis, both driver-level and low-level hardware access modes, unique diagnostic and realtime hardware monitoring features and exclusive power user oriented tools like built-in registry editor and patch script engine make RivaTuner's feature set absolutely unmatched.

Bit-Tech have posted their mod of the month for September. It's that time again - the month of September is drawing to a close, so we've been digging through the bit-tech community forums like pigs looking for truffles. Or something like that...but, hey, we found some good ones! Yet again we've had a clear showing of talent from the community in the Project Logs - it seems the start of school and uni has just encouraged people to get even busier than before.

Apparently, some fungi is thriving around the former Chernobyl reactor in an area which is highly radioactive. More info can be found here. There has been an exciting new biological discovery inside the tomb of the Chernobyl reactor. Like out of some B-grade sci fi movie, a robot sent into the reactor discovered a thick coat of black slime growing on the walls. Since it is highly radioactive in there, scientists didn’t expect to find anything living, let alone thriving. The robot was instructed to obtain samples of the slime, which it did, and upon examination…the slime was even more amazing than was thought at first glance.

Apple has actually bricked some hacked iPhones after threatening to do so. Apple released its second iPhone software update yesterday -- iPhone 1.1.1 -- to fix bugs and plug some serious security holes, while also adding new features. However, "Users are reporting that [the update] is making previously unlocked iPhones unusable," reports IDG News.

And finally, here is a funny article which lists some of the most needlessly detailed Wikipedia articles. They say "knowledge is power," but "they" seem to forget that most of our knowledge is devoted to subjects that are completely useless and retarded. If you could somehow harness just the brain power that's currently being spent on, say, memorizing fantasy football stats, you could probably cure cancer. Nowhere is humanity's obsession with the inconsequential more obvious than on Wikipedia, where even the most obscure topics get propped up on enormous blocks of text. Here are the most depressing--and somewhat frightening--examples.

Friday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 28-September-2007  16:51:58 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Ultra X3 600W Modular Power Supply at ThinkComputers
MSI P35 Platinum Motherboard at OZHardware
ASUS P5E3 Deluxe WIFI-AP edition at OCWorkBench

Cases and Cooling:
Tagan CS-EL Diablo Mid Tower ATX Case at BenchmarkReviews
Cooler Master Hyper 212 universal PC cooler at Bjorn3D
OCZ Vendetta Exposed HDT CPU Cooler at BenchmarkReviews
Vantec EZ Swap EX at DriverHeaven

Dice Electronics iTPA-220 at DigitalTrends
Marantz CR201 Clock Radio at DigitalTrends
iPhone Case Shootout at TechwareLabs

Microsoft Mobile Memory Mouse 8000 at I4U
Logitech Harmony 890 Pro Remote Control at OverclockersClub
OCZ ATV Flash Drive at OverclockersCafe
Logitech G9 Laser Mouse at 3DXtreme
A.C. Ryan AluBoxDuo LAN at 3DGameMan

Friday Afternoon (2 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 28-September-2007  16:24:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

PenStarSys have an article about AMD's Integrated Gambit. Last year when AMD acquired ATI, they inherited a very solid chipset division that was working on what they hoped would be a class leading integrated graphics chip with competitive features and outstanding performance.

eBay have a new protect yourself online section which covers a few principles that apply elsewhere on the internet too. Might be good to send on to your less net-savvy friends and relatives. :)

Here's an amusing video about how Halo 3 changed the future.

Speaking of which, the BBC have an article in defence of computer games, with a focus on Halo 3. There's evidence that playing video games can have a positive effect on social life, says Dr Mark Griffiths, a professor in the Psychology Division at Nottingham Trent University.

Foxmulder881 spotted this interview with a convicted hacker on InformationWeek. Convicted hacker Robert Moore, who is set to go to federal prison this week, says breaking into 15 telecommunications companies and hundreds of businesses worldwide was incredibly easy because simple IT mistakes left gaping technical holes.

HWSecrets cover all CPU sockets. A table containing all sockets and slots used by all PC processors released to date, with examples of compatible CPUs and pinouts. Updated to include Socket AM2+.

HardOCP have some multiplayer Crysis screenshots from the new beta.

NordicHW have been playing with a QX9650 Extreme Edition CPU. After benching the night away, Kinc not only smashed the SuperPi 1M world record with the QX9650 running at 5600 MHz, he also completely rewrote the book on good 3DMark 05 and 06 results.

Slashdot are reporting on a user info hack on eBay recently.

Phoronix consider NVIDIA's SLI on Linux and Windows. Linux SLI is still far from perfect, but in this article we've used two GeForce 8600GT graphics cards in an SLI configuration under both Linux and Windows to compare the single and dual GPU performance under both operating systems.

Press Releases (3 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 28-September-2007  02:20:47 (GMT +10) - by Agg

AMD have a new AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Black Edition processor 5000+. A customizable clock multiplier helps you tackle multiple demanding applications like never before. Tunable performance means you can be as bold as you dare.

IBM say that their free Lotus Symphony has attracted 100,000 registered users in its first week. Lotus Symphony is comprised of three core applications: Lotus Symphony Documents, Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets and Lotus Symphony Presentations. The software, which support Windows and Linux desktops, is designed to handle the majority of office productivity tasks that workers typically perform.

Intel announced a new open source project to maximise power savings in Linux systems. The LessWatts.org initiative encompasses several key projects including Linux kernel enhancements (such as the "tickless idle" feature that takes better advantage of power saving hardware technologies), the PowerTOP tool that helps tune Linux applications to be power aware and the Linux Battery Life Toolkit to measure and instrument the impact of Linux code changes on power savings.

Microsoft annouced that Halo 3 has experienced the biggest launch day in entertainment history, with $170M USD in sales in the USA alone in the first 24h. The Xbox 360™ title beat previous records set by blockbuster theatrical releases like Spider-Man 3 and novels such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has launched on its mission to the asteroid belt. Dawn is scheduled to begin its exploration of Vesta in 2011 and Ceres in 2015. The two icons of the asteroid belt are located in orbit between Mars and Jupiter and have been witness to so much of our solar system's history.

Sapphire announced MICROLOOPS as a strategic partner. SAPPHIRE will incorporate MICROLOOPS© Vapor Chamber Technology into its high-end and upper-middle product lines to enhance thermal efficiency. The co-development will be carried out by both R&D Teams and the module solutions will be incorporated into Sapphire’s forthcoming product lines. More info in the .DOC file here.

Thursday Morning News + Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 27-September-2007  07:52:29 (GMT +10) - by Rational

IGN have interviewed the guys behind Good Game. Many have tried, few have succeeded. In the hazard-filled world of videogaming TV shows in Australia (and around the world), no single TV show has managed to crack a large enough fanbase to justify ongoing network support from a TV station. Until now. Good Game, once a small-time venture from journalist and producer Janet Carr, has just kicked off its third series with a gutsy review of Halo 3, led by Jeremy 'Junglist' Ray and Steven 'Baja' O'Donnell.

Driver Sweeper 1.0 has been released. Driver Sweeper is a fast tool to remove driver leftovers from your system. It's very important to remove your drivers on a proper way, because driver leftovers can cause problems like stability and startup problems. You can use it if you want to update/remove drivers from your system. The current supported drivers are NVIDIA (Display and Chipset), ATI (Display), Creative (Sound) Realtek (Sound), Ageia (PhysX) and Microsoft (Mouse).

LegionHardware have posted a guide to overclocking the Nvidia GeForce 8000 series. Today we are going to provide you with a basic step-by-step guide on how to overclock the shader clock of a GeForce 8000 series graphics card. The GeForce 8600 GT and 8800 GTS have been selected to be the test subjects. In the past we have found that simple GPU and memory tweaks can help these graphics cards produce around 20% more performance. So can overclocking the shader clock independently help improve performance even more?

LegitReviews have interviewed John Beekley from Corsair. It has been a over a year since we sat down and did an interview John Beekley from Corsair Memory, but all that changes today. We talk about Corsair's ever popular power supply series and dive into some DDR3 memory questions. John Beekley even breaks the news on a new product line called the NANOMATOR right here on Legit Reviews! Be sure to check it out!

Phoronix have posted some Linux DDR3 benchmarks. We have several DDR3 related articles in the works, but in this article we will be looking just at the DDR3 system memory performance in the RAMspeed synthetic benchmark under Linux. The DDR3 memory we'll be using is the OCZ DDR3-1333 2GB Gold Kit with a part number of OCZ3G13332GK.

Nvidia have launched some of their new integrated graphics chipsets. It is about time NVIDIA started shipping integrated graphics solutions for the Intel LGA775 platform. After a noticeable absence in the Intel market, NVIDIA has finally release three new motherboard GPUs and two new nForce chipsets for the Intel platform. Today, we take a look at the new NVIDIA GeForce 7150, 7100 and 7050 GPUs, as well as the new NVIDIA nForce 630i and nForce 610i chipsets. NVIDIA promises that these new chipsets and GPUs will offer far better performance than Intel's new G33 and G35 chipsets at lower costs.

Core PC Components:
Twin 8800 Ultras in SLI at XSReviews

Cases and Cooling:
Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 at HardwareZone
Coolermaster M520 at BurnoutPC
CoolerMaster Hyper 212 heatpipe cooler at Guru3D

Logitech AudioHub at I4U

Systemax Venture VX2 at DigitalTrends
World in Conflict at TrustedReviews
Team Fortress 2 at TCMagazine
Hellgate: London preview at YouGamers
Otaku Software's TopDesk at PCApex

Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 27-September-2007  07:38:13 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
OCZ Technology PC2-8500 Reaper HPC CrossFire Edition at BigBruin
Corsair DOMINATOR TWIN3X2048-1800C7 DDR3 at Bjorn3D
Seasonic X900 SS-900HP 900w PSU at Overclock3D
XFX GeForce 8600 GT Fatal1ty at HotHardware
Hiper HPU-5K770 770W PSU at PCApex
Zotac's GeForce 8600 GT ZONE Edition at Bit-Tech
Be Quiet DarkPower 1000W PSU at DriverHeaven

Cases and Cooling:
CoolerMaster CM690 Case at NinjaLane
Thermaltake Armor Extreme Edition Quad FX Case at OverclockersClub
Xigmatek XP-S964 Copper Heatpipe 92mm CPU Cooler at BenchmarkReviews
Coolermaster Notepal Infinite Notebook Cooler at RBMods
Vantec NexStar SX SATA & IDE 2.5" External HDD Enclosures at OCIA
Silverstone Kublai Series KL01B Mid-Tower ATX Case at Pro-Clockers
Cooler Master CM 690 Case at HardwareLogic

ASUS BC-1205PT Blu-ray ROM Drive at TweakTown
Apple iPod nano 8GB (3rd gen) at TrustedReviews
Gigabyte GP-S6500 and GP-S7500 at InsideHW
Samsung YP-K5 MP3 Player at ThinkComputers

Logitech G9 Laser Mouse at Modders-Inc
Apple iMac 20in at TrustedReviews
skate AU at IGN
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 at Tweak
Killer Notebooks Executioner-SR Ultimate Gaming Laptop at TechwareLabs

Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 26-September-2007  20:48:10 (GMT +10) - by Agg

TMM's CarPC Project in Modding.
TJ07 Madness! in Extreme Cooling.
Intel's 45nm roadmap revealed in Intel Hardware.
HD2900Pro out tomorrow? in Video Cards.
Share your Vista Experience Score in Windows Operating Systems.
Team Fortress 2 BETA in Games.
The differences between openoffice and msword? in General Software.
FIFA vs Pro Evolution Soccer in Game Consoles.
Transistor as a switch in Electronics.
Growing your vegies hydroponically in Lifestyle.
OCAU's Strongest Man! in Sport, Fitness and Health.
Which order would you watch all 6 Star Wars Movies? in TV, Movies, Music & Books.
Cloverfield (working title) movie in TV, Movies, Music & Books.
What are you reading? in TV, Movies, Music & Books.
The F1 'Silly Season' 2008 thread in Motoring.
$185 Ticket for U-turn in Motoring.
2008 Lancer Australian Details revealed in Motoring.
BWM and the "axis of white power" in Motoring.
Bugatti Veyron toppled from the top in Motoring.
Coonan seeks to censor the web in Current Events.
Is our Flag going to change? If debate is re-opened, where do you stand? in The Pub.

Wednesday Evening (3 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 26-September-2007  18:51:40 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Note: This seems dubious. The popular torrent site and tracker Demonoid, has been shut down by the Canadian Recording Industry Association. Demonoid.com, one of the most popular BitTorrent trackers has allegedly been taken offline by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). Both the tracker and the website have been unresponsive for nearly 24 hours now. Demonoid Shut Down by the CRIAAs of now it is still unsure what exactly happened, but the popular Dutch news site nu.nl reports that the CRIA is responsible for the downtime.

There is a bug in Excel 2007 resulting in incorrect multiplications in some circumstances, thanks tumb_sc. There is some more discussion happening over on Slashdot and on the forums. tibbar66 writes with news of a serious multiplication bug in Excel 2007, which has been reported to the company. The example that first came to light is =850*77.1 — which gives a result of 100,000 instead of the correct 65,535. It seems that any formula that should evaluate to 65,535 will act strangely. One poster in the forum noted these behaviors: "Suppose the formula is in A1. =A1+1 returns 100,001, which appears to show the formula is in fact 100,000... =A1*2 returns 131,070, as if A1 had 65,535 (which it should have been). =A1*1 keeps it at 100,000. =A1-1 returns 65,534. =A1/1 is still 100,000. =A1/2 returns 32767.5."

As a continuation from the previous story, Jani came up with this interesting situation where this bug may work to your advantage. Wouldn't it be nice to work 850 hours rather than 849 when getting paid $77.1 per hour and your employer was relying on MS Excel 2007 to work out your salary? that would be an extra $34,465 for that last hour of work.

HotHardware have compared SLI in Vista and XP. We thought it might be interesting to see what the numbers looked like for the extreme performance junkies in our midst, running dual-graphics SLI setups with high-end DX10 capable GeForce 8800 graphics cards. Is SLI mode on Vista still two steps behind in performance in comparison to XP? In this article we offer a quick-take assessment of NVIDIA's latest ForceWare driver release, running on Windows XP and Windows Vista installations in SLI mode.

Bit-Tech have posted their thoughts about the Crysis multiplayer beta. So, is Crysis the next best thing or a just a very pretty but still dead fish floating in the vast and ever-changing ocean of PC games? The chances are you’ve already made up your mind on the issue, but you still came here and read this far in order to hear my thoughts so you’ll still have to sit down and listen. Or read. Whatever. The problem with Crysis as far as I can see is that it may be perilously close to falling into the same trap as Far Cry – ending up a gorgeous game with some very interesting gameplay elements, but still marred on a few basic issues.

OCModShop have posted about the Halo 3 release in the USA. More than 10,000 retailers have planned events to open their doors at midnight to celebrate the third installment in the billion-dollar Halo franchise. The Best Buy in Bellevue, Washington (just a stone's throw from the Microsoft campus) hosted one of the biggest parties, featuring contests, and appearances by various celebrities fanatical about the Halo franchise, and OCModShop was there.

Security vulnerabilities have been found in Google's Gmail. Yesterday, we reported on an unholy trinity of Google vulnerabilities that put emails, private photos and website security at risk. Today came word of a new weakness that makes it easy for bad guys to silently put a backdoor in Gmail accounts. The technique comes courtesy of Petko D. Petkov, a researcher at GNU Citizen, who writes in a blog post that the backdoor is installed simply by luring a victim to a specially crafted website while logged in to Gmail.

Some motherboards are having EMI issues. Ever wonder what that big FCC logo on your computer means? Most people would tell you the U.S. Federal Communications Commission operates like an all-seeing, all-knowing electronic shield; protecting America from harmful radiation and interference. The reality, of course, is quite different. To better illustrate this, we've traveled the history of one motherboard. This motherboard, while rather unimportant in the scope of all things silicon, became rather important when a few engineers started asking the right question.

And finally, here is a a neat little video of how to make a little stove out of drink cans and some other household ingredients. But be careful, I tried to make one out of improvised materials and made a lovely big singe mark in my desk.

Myer Hobart Aftermath (26 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 26-September-2007  13:56:27 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Koopz sent along these pics that are doing the rounds. Nasty, and right as the lead-up to Christmas begins, too.




Wednesday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 26-September-2007  08:24:22 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Bit-Tech have posted a preview of the highly anticipated game, Portal. That said, there are a handful of things which concern us. The first is replayability, which looks like it may be incredibly limited. After all, when you ignore the cool factor of the portal gun we’re essentially left with a simple, short puzzle game which some suspect may have been added on merely to bulk up the value-for-money appeal of The Orange Box.

Amazon has launched a DRM free music store which undercuts the popular iTunes store. Amazon MP3 has begun offering over two million songs in the DRM-free MP3 format, at the same time undercutting Apple's iTunes Store. The catalogue includes material from EMI and Universal, plus more than 20,000 smaller labels. Artists include 50 Cent, Alison Krauss, Amy Winehouse, Coldplay, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ella Fitzgerald, Keith Urban, Lily Allen, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, Nelly, Nirvana, Norah Jones, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, and The Rolling Stones.

DriverHeaven have taken a look at the performance of Bioshock. The moment Bioshock was released it was abundantly clear that it would mark the face of gaming forever. The spiritual successor of the famous System Shock 2 delivered an equally amazing experience in the underwater city of Rapture. And the gameplay is not the only good quality Bioshock has. Using the Unreal 3.0 engine the game is a technical marvel, pushing the Xbox360 to its limits. On personal computers the game looks just as good, and with a high end computer system even better. With the help of higher resolutions and DX10 effects nothing less should be expected.

Dell are set to sell PC's in China. Dell has announced today that it will partner with Chinese retailer Gome. The company plans to deploy Dell products and services in 50 Gome major metropolitan locations, followed by significant expansion early next year. With nearly 1,000 stores across China, Gome is one of the company's largest retailers.

DriverHeaven also have interviewed the CEO of Crytek, Cevat Yeril. Gaming Heaven: With all the recent DX10 games released gamers can't help but be a bit disappointed with the overall situation. Is this due to limitations of the DX10 architecture or were the developers simply lazy, not putting enough emphasis on DX10?

A commercial MagLev railway is set to be built in Germany. Germany has come up with the funds to launch its first magnetic levitation - or maglev - rail service. The state of Bavaria is to build the high-speed railway line from Munich city centre to its airport, making it Europe's first commercial track. Maglev trains use electric-powered magnets that enable them to float above their tracks, allowing for much faster speeds than traditional rail services. The 1.85bn-euro ($2.6bn; £1.3bn) project had faced financing problems.

OCModShop have posted about using checkboxes to select files in Windows Vista. Have you ever been confused about which files you're selecting in Windows Explorer? Has your mouse been so sensitive that you accidentally select more files than you meant to? What about moving files to the wrong directory? The intuitive drag-and-dropability in today's User Interfaces can make it very easy to manage your files, and can just as easily wreak havoc on your hard drive!

A group has dismissed Apple's claim that unlocking the iPhone damages it. A distributor of software that lets Apple Inc.'s ( AAPL) iPhone use an array of cellphone networks on Tuesday rebutted Apple's recent warning that so-called "unlocking software" damages the device. The entity, known as the iPhone Dev Team, said in a statement issued Tuesday that its freely available software "does not cause 'damage' as they (Apple) wants us to believe."

Due to tight privacy laws in Canada, Google Street View photographs may be blurred. Google is considering a Canadian launch of its Street View map feature, which offers street-level close-ups of city centres, but would blur people's faces and vehicle licence plates to respect tougher Canadian privacy laws, the web search firm said on Monday. Canada's privacy commissioner told Google in August that the feature - which offers a series of panoramic, 360-degree images of nine US cities - could violate Canadian laws if it were introduced without alterations.

Wednesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 26-September-2007  08:04:04 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
2x1GB OCZ Platinum PC3-10666 at OverclockersOnline
HIS Radeon HD 2900 PRO 512MB Early Test at TweakTown
ASUS P5E3 Mobo – X38 and DDR3 at TweakTown

Cases and Cooling:
Hiper Anubis ATX Case at PCApex
Silverstone Kublai Series KL01B Mid-Tower ATX Case at Pro-Clockers
Spire Verticool III CPU Cooler at LegitReviews
Cooler Master CMedia 282 Case at OverclockersClub
Xclio Propeller ATX Case at FutureLooks
Antec Fusion Black 430 at DriverHeaven

NEC PlasmaSync 50XR6 50in plasma at TrustedReviews
Canon PowerShot S5 IS at TrustedReviews

Momento i-mate 100 at TrustedReviews
Madden NFL 08 at DriverHeaven

Tuesday Afternoon (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 25-September-2007  17:15:17 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Microsoft are talking about buying a stake in Facebook potentially valuing it at upwards of US$10 billion, thanks Ashley. Microsoft is in talks to buy a minority stake in the popular social-networking Web site Facebook Inc., a sign of a new urgency by the software giant to jump-start its online business at a time when Google is widening its lead in the fast-growing Internet-advertising business. As part of its catch-up program, Microsoft also has quietly granted broad powers to an executive recently hired from outside the company, who is expected to help shake up the software giant's online business.

He also spotted this article about a speed boost for Telstra's Next G to 7.2Mbps. As of 10.30am this morning, Telstra have finally made 7.2Mbps wireless broadband Next-G datacards available to Telstra’s business and Bigpond customers, with firmware updates to come for most existing Next-G cards delivering ‘up to’ 7.2Mbps download speeds without having to purchase new hardware.

IGN have reviewed Halo 3. I'm a firm believer, you see, in the Theory of Entertainment Relativity - the idea that if you think something's going to be great, and it's merely great (as opposed to awesomely awesome), you'll be disappointed, whereas if you're convinced something's going to be crap and it turns out to be great, you'll enjoy it much more. So, to test the theory, I've been telling anyone who'll listen about how shithouse the Halo series is - how Master Chief is a big girl, how I'd prefer to be forced to play every Army Men game in succession than Halo 2 and how any company that promotes its products via elaborate dioramas should be shot on sight. Unfortunately, it didn't really work. Halo 3 is, in fact, merely great, and after several days out at Microsoft playing it, I've still come away disappointed. A penny for your thoughts Mr Ring.

John noted that Speedfan 4.33 has been released. A changelog and description can be found here. If you need a tool that can change your computer's fan speeds, read the temperatures of your motherboard and your hard disk, read voltages and fan speeds and check the status of your hard disk using S.M.A.R.T. or SCSI attributes, then you came to the right place. SpeedFan is the software to go. It is fully configurable and you can create custom events to handle every situation in an automated way. SpeedFan works under Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, 2003, XP and Vista. SpeedFan works fine on Vista 64 bit too. The relevant driver is now signed with my digital certificate. And this all costs you absolutely nothing!

Office 2008 for the Macintosh will ship in January coming in three versions. Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac comprises Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage, and includes support for Automator and Exchange Server. How fully Exchange is supported remains to be seen, as Entourage 2004's performance in this regard has been a bone of contention among corporate users. Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac Special Media Edition adds Expression Media to the above package. Expression Media handles over 120 file formats (including RAW files from popular cameras) and creates a visual catalogue. Format conversion and basic image editing are also supported.

Apple has threatened to kill hacked iPhones during the next software update for the device. Apple has warned iPhone owners who have used unauthorised programs to unlock the cellular service feature of their handsets that they may end up with a phone that doesn't work after the company's next software update for it. Since the iPhone debuted in June, hackers have posted a number of methods online to make it possible to use the iPhone on cellular networks other than AT&T, which is the exclusive official carrier for the iPhone.

The death of Moore's law is coming within 15 years. Moore's Law -- actually more of a conjecture -- essentially states the number of transistors placed on an integrated circuit doubles every two years. His observation helped outline trends the semiconductor industry for more than 40 years. "We have another decade, a decade and a half, before we hit something that is fairly fundamental," Moore said during the session. That something "fundamental" is material science. Even the most advanced lithography conceivable today can't eliminate the brick wall that is the nanoscale.

Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 25-September-2007  16:40:03 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 (Intel X38) at HardwareZone
Gigabyte X38-DQ6 at OCWorkBench
Crucial Ballistix DDR3 PC3-12800 Memory at 3DGameMan
Super Talent DDR3-1866 at NeoSeeker
AMD Radeon HD 2900Pro at OCWorkBench

Cases and Cooling:
Thermaltake Bigwater 760i at TechPowerup

Geeks Royal PF70 7'' LCD Digital Frame & MP3 Player at RBMods
Binatone Carrera X350 Sat-Nav at TrustedReviews
JVC LT-37DG8BJ 37in LCD TV at TrustedReviews
Panasonic DMC-L10 Digital SLR at TrustedReviews
Canon PowerShot SD870 IS at DigitalTrends

Logitech G9 Laser Mouse at Metku
Panasonic Toughbook W5 Notebook at XYZComputing
Alone in the Dark at YouGamers
World In Conflict (PC) at DriverHeaven
Motorola MOTORAZR2 V8 at TrustedReviews
Xbox 360 Xmas Showcase at TrustedReviews
Corsair Survivor GT USB Flash Drive at TweakNews

Tuesday Morning (4 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 25-September-2007  07:54:17 (GMT +10) - by Rational

JadeMonkey is doing some research into Australia's trade deficit and running a survey. As well as being a long-time OCAU member, I am a student in the Australian National University's Bachelor of Commerce Honours Program in the school of Accounting and Business Information Systems. As part of my honours research, I am conducting a short experiment, which aims to provide a better understanding of Information & Communications Technology (ICT) investment decisions. I hope to shed light on Australia's growing ICT trade deficit - a record $21 billion in 2006. To put this in perspective, Australia imported more ICT products and services than exports of iron ore, beef and wheat combined. Accordingly, I believe this is one of the largest issues facing Australian business.

Iroquois noted that on the 27th and 28th of October at the Gold Coast the Oz Flight Simulator Expo is taking place. Come and see the latest and greatest Flight Simulation hardware, software and accessories! Take advantage of some great discounts and offers for all your flight sim needs! Enjoy some flight simulation presentations and get the low down on how to get more out of your flight sim hobby!

Bit-Tech have posted a guide to making a modular PSU. Some days, it's hard to be a modder in the current technology boom. It seems that everywhere you look, the great ideas that once only existed in top end mods can now be bought for a tenner on some site. Fan controllers, LCD displays, coloured and sleeved power supplies - you name it, there's now a commercial product for it.

The Crysis demo has been delayed to October 26th. We have some news to announce. First, I am sorry for the bad news - the Crysis single player demo will now be available everywhere on October 26th, 2007. We are taking some extra time to make sure you that you have an amazing experience but also we did not want to risk the release date of Crysis at this stage. To get the game into your hands by November the 16th, we had to make this call.

David spotted this amazing Xbox 360 case mod which is set to be sold on Ebay. Our mailbox was greeted with pictures of the following truly limited edition Halo Xbox 360. The creator is mentioned to be from the UK and is called 'Craget' with the following unit taking him 2 months to complete in his spare time. There are no internal modifications apart from the base cooler that he fitted with some LED's used to light up the case. The creator will soon put his creation up on eBay too.

TrustedReviews have checked out the best camcorder settings and when to use them. Rob Tucker explains what camcorder auto-exposure modes and other manual controls do and when to use them

Tweakguides have posted a tweakguide for the game Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. I've prepared an Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Tweak Guide as a compilation of all the important information players of the game will need to maximize their gameplay advantage. From full coverage of the in-game settings through to all the major advanced tweaking required both to optimize and customize the game, it's well worth checking out whether you're a new or experienced player.

NGOHQ have found a way to force a 1000Hz USB sample rate in Windows Vista. Microsoft Windows default USB sample rate (125Hz - 8ms response time) is surely not enough for today's end-users. There are too many 1000Hz (1ms) patches out there, but most of them aren't supporting Windows Vista due to the new security features, especially in Vista x64. However, I found a way to do it, but I'm not taking any responsibilities for any damage, so use it at your own risk! If you're still interested - just follow these instructions."

Tuesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 25-September-2007  07:24:49 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
OCZ ProXstream 1000W PSU at OCModShop
Tagan ITZ Series 1300W Power Supply at ThinkComputers
Western Digital's RE2 750GB hard drive at TechReport
Mushkin HP2-6400 2GB DDR2 Dual Pack at ExtremeOverclocking
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad CF PSU at PCApex
MSI's P35 Diamond motherboard at Bit-Tech

Cases and Cooling:
Lian Li EX-33 Internal HDD Kit at TechARP
Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU Cooler at OCIA
Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound at OCIA
ZEROtherm ZT-100 Thermal Grease at Virtual-Hideout
NZXT Lexa Blackline Mid-Tower ATX PC Case at Pro-Clockers
Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 Case at MikhailTech
Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 High End Computer Enclosure at PCPer

Logitech AudioHub at DigitalTrends
Logitech G51 Surround Sound Speaker System at OverclockersClub
Macally BTCUP Bluetooth iPod Transmitter at DigitalTrends
Toshiba Regza 42X3000P 42 inch 1080p HDTV at I4U
Apple 3G iPod nano 8GB at EverythingUSB
HP w2207 22-inch LCD Monitor at I4U

Galactic Assault: Prisoner of Power at YouGamers
World in Conflict (PC) graphics card performance at Guru3D
Xoxide.com Caffeine Shootout at ThinkComputers
Bioshock Gameplay Review (PC) at Bjorn3D
Left-Click MicroPwn System at HardwareLogic
SMC TigerStore SMCNAS24 at TrustedReviews

Projects (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 24-September-2007  16:34:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Quite a few interesting things in the Extreme Cooling and Modding forums at the moment:

T_M checks out some GPU tubes for dry ice or LN2 cooling

He also reports on a big overclocking competition in China

Mo-Girks shows us how he made a waterblock from scratch

ojk007 walks us through his watercooled PC build

Onthax has a detailed build worklog too

AnotherAndyM did a neat job installing a radiator into his SilverStone case

GAM is building a tiny little PC

2cats has another neat radiator conversion

faceboy88 has pursued a more budget option :)

PC Authority Survey - Reminder (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 24-September-2007  14:37:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg

PC Authority are once again running their Reliability and Service Awards Survey. Every vote counts: we need your feedback on the companies you’ve bought products from in the past two years so we can continue to provide Australia's most trusted results. The survey should take just a few minutes to complete, depending on how much you’ve bought! When you’ve finished, you’ll be automatically entered into our competition.

We’ve rounded up 60 prizes worth $40,000 that you could win after filling in this survey including two stunning $3000 laptops from Fujitsu, 18 Nvidia graphics cards and motherboards from Albatron, a $3000 state-of-the-art Dell XPS PC, Adobe's entire range of software (the $4500 Master Collection) and much much more!

I particularly encourage you to remember and report on your experiences with OCAU's Sponsors. Last year the awards were dominated by our sponsors and it would be great to see them well represented again.

Monday Afternoon (2 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 24-September-2007  13:41:26 (GMT +10) - by Agg

In the wake of the recent Media Defender email leak, ThePirateBay are filing charges against many media companies. Thanks to the email-leakage from MediaDefender-Defenders we now have proof of the things we've been suspecting for a long time; the big record and movie labels are paying professional hackers, saboteurs and ddosers to destroy our trackers. Discussion here in our forums.

NordicHW have a Radeon HD 2900XT Crossfire overclocking guide. Per request we've compiled this guide that shows you how to overclock Radeon HD 2900 XT when running two of them in CrossFire mode. Usually you would need BIOSes and a flash tool to do this, but we've got a way to work around this.

Halo 3 is receiving rave reviews. The game, the final chapter of a trilogy that began in 2001 with the launch of Microsoft's original Xbox, is set to go on sale at midnight Tuesday. It already received over one million pre-orders by Aug. 9, according to media reports.

Meanwhile the PS3 gets its rumble back soon. The PlayStation 2 controller came with a vibration feature but when it came to the PS3 Sony dropped it in favour of the tilt-sensing Sixaxis controller.

PCMech have been somewhat bewildered by Linux distro options. The problem is that I am not much of a Linux guy. Rich is more the Linux guy around here. I know just enough to be dangerous. There's a lot of Linux discussion in our Other Operating Systems forum, of course.

HardOCP have published some thoughts on AMD's triple-core technology. While there are exceptions to the rule, the Intel Core 2 Quad has not been sought out by the enthusiast since on average it brings with it a very low overclocking ceiling. Hmm, not sure I agree with that, we've seen a lot of people jumping on the Q6600 (2.4GHz) bandwagon lately due to easy 3GHz+ overclocks. Maybe Q6600 (and in particular G0 stepping) is the exception he mentions, which would be fair enough, the other quads have been less popular.

NASA is discussing its moon base plans. On Thursday, NASA officials outlined what kind of equipment, living facilities and vehicles astronauts would use for an extended lunar mission, such as that planned for near the year 2020.

Phoronix have been opening beer with PC hardware. Interested in finding out how you can open a beer bottle (or most any glass bottle for that matter) using a range of computer parts from a motherboard to RAM and even a USB mouse? We documented these steps with plenty of pictures as well as sharing which hardware doesn't convert into a bottle opener so easily.

If you're building a workstation, this page might be handy for working out measurements etc. Follow the three steps below when planning your workstation. The values displayed will help you place your equipment for optimum ergonomic comfort.

TechReport have a system guide posted for September 2007. Remember there's a regularly-updated guide here in our Wiki too.

Sunday Evening (3 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 23-September-2007  21:54:55 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Happy One Web Day OCAU! For those unfamiliar, September 22 has been dubbed One Web Day (OWD for short), and this year will be the second annual "celebration" of the event. The mission of OWD is simple and optimistic: "to create, maintain, advance and promote a global day to celebrate online life." People around the world are encouraged to think of themselves as responsible for the existence and the quality of the Internet (does that mean we get to ban all trolls worldwide for a day?), and highlight both the positive impact of the 'Net as well as problems with access and flow of information.

A bill introducted into parliament would give internet censorship control to police. Users of the social news website Digg.com asked if "Australia was becoming the new China". There is a thread discussing this here. A bill introduced this week by Australia's Parliament would give the Australian federal police the power to control which sites can and cannot be viewed by Australian Web surfers. Introduced on Thursday, the bill--titled the Communications Legislation Amendment (Crime or Terrorism Related Internet Content) Bill 2007--would empower the federal police to alter the "blacklist" of sites that are currently prohibited by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. The list currently includes pornography and "offensive material." However, under the amendment, federal police would be able to add other sites to the list, including content that the AFP Commissioner "has reason to believe...is crime- or terrorism-related content."

With the help of the PS3, Folding at Home has hit one petaflop. Who would have thought that game console could help contribute to a worldwide distributed computer that could handle a quadrillion mathematical computations per second? But that's just what some Sony PlayStation 3s hooked up to a Stanford University project have done. Owners who have linked the third-generation videogame console to the University's distributed computing project have driven the medial research system to a peak of one petaflop, Sony said Friday.

The latest release of Ubuntu is more polished and feature laden than ever before. First of all, let me start by saying that lately bug reports seem to be resolved at a faster pace. Most of the bugs I filed back in March/April, are resolved. This is a great point for the Canonical guys and the community. They fixed the ethernet timeout after a laptop sleep, the laptop brightness applet support, the Bluetooth initialization bug, etc etc.

Some people are saying that laser printers could be harmful. A lot of computer users today (including myself) have a laser printer. Laser printers offer good quality and are very fast printers. So, it is a good technology. That said, might it be that it is a technology that has side effects on our health? Some Say Yes

Bit-Tech have covered Microsofts PC hardware day in London. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the Hardware Day and it was honestly quite fascinating to see how a team of designers can continue to progress on a tool which many of us take for advantage each and every day. Sure, it wasn’t the most interesting thing I’ve ever done and when I was playing Portal later in the day (watch the front page for an upcoming preview) I can’t honestly say that I was left thinking about how much I wanted to go back in time by a few hours and get another look at that keyboard, but I still enjoyed my time at the Hardware Day

Games are shipping for the new iPods. Apple's iTunes Store now has games available for purchase and download that work with the third-generation iPod nano (with video), iPod classic and fifth-generation iPod (with video). Three games have been released: Tetris, Ms. Pac-Man, and Sudoku. Apple CEO Steve Jobs first indicated that the new iPods would be able to play games at Apple's "The Beat Goes On" special event held in San Francisco, and said that the games would be available in a few weeks.

Saturday Evening (1 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 22-September-2007  22:12:16 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Rumors are flying of a possible Google plan to lay Pacific fibre optic cable. Google would plan to be part of a project called Unity that would also include several telecommunications companies. Unity hopes to have a cable in service by 2009, the publication wrote. It would own a dedicated portion of the multi-terabit cable, giving it a significant cost advantage for trans-Pacific data transmission over rival Internet companies.

The smiley emoticon has turned 25, :-). Twenty-five years ago, Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman says, he was the first to use three keystrokes - a colon followed by a hyphen and a parenthesis - as a horizontal "smiley face" in a computer message.

802.11n, a new super fast WiFi standard currently at draft stage has encountered serious patent conflict with the CSIRO. The IEEE working group developing the 802.11n Wi-Fi is holding urgent meetings this week to discuss a significant threat to the standard from patents held by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Despite requests from the IEEE, CSIRO has failed to promise not to sue anyone for infringement.

Apple may be at risk in the EU in a similar fashion to Microsoft due to their market dominance. The best example of this is Apple, which managed to get acres of coverage for the UK launch of the iPhone, despite the many ways in which the device is closed, locked down and restricted. Of course the iPhone is a new product with a tiny market share, so there are no issues of dominance, but when it comes to music players and music downloads the situation is very different, and yet it is rarely commented on.

The advent of the Google Lunar X-Prize has prompted some to wonder if permission is required for a Moon landing by private industry. You don't need anyone to sign off on a lunar landing, but you do need a permit to launch anything into space from Earth. Governments oversee private space activity through the framework provided by the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which has been signed by 91 nations, including all the major space-faring countries.

Digital care packages known part of the Travelling Terabyte Project have been created by an American network engineer for military personel stationed in other counries. A New Jersey network engineer is on a mission to send some love and care – of the digital kind – to Americans stationed overseas. Going by his hacker handle ‘Deviant Ollam’, he’s been sending out hard drives filled with popular movies, television shows and music for over a year. Dubbed the Traveling Terabyte Project (TTB), the drives have seen action in war-torn countries and one set is now making a small contingent of Marines very happy in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan.

Although military robots are made tough, it seems that they can be easily destroyed by small blasts (video included). Still, it is better having the robot blown up than a soldier. Noah over at Wired's Danger room shows us how much damage those little roadside bombs can do in Iraq, even to the cold, metal exo-skel of a mil-bot. The best part of the video is when the soliders laugh. This wouldn't be the case if it had been private Smith.

Sat Night (24 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 22-September-2007  21:58:06 (GMT +10) - by Lowgoz

First up, everybody should get down to Myer in Hobart as they are having fire sale.

In other news, the Chinese have invented a Haptic Radar. The system is composed of an array of "optical-hair modules", each of which senses range information and transduces it as an appropriate vibro-tactile cue on the skin directly beneath it. Might have been useful for the soviets to have one of these to detect a passenger aircraft before they shot it down.

For those who recently upgraded their Ipod, think about engraving it to increase the bling factor - or you could just destroy your macbook with ebay logos and such. While you're into all that ugly fashion, why not get some weird speakers?

But anyway, if you are one of the smart ones who use your phone as a mp3 player then cry when the batteries die, it seems that the manufacturers have finally decided on a standard for chargers. The Koreans celebrated accordingly. In completely unrelated news, heres an indestructible glowing keyboard - bit like uncle chuck

Finally a quick trip around the forums:

More people are needed at the upcoming Brisbane Brisbane meet

Hsvguy needs help with his outlook

Web design geeks - help out Phalanx with his web comic archive page issues.

Saturday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 22-September-2007  10:20:48 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Microsoft are offering a Vista downgrade option for buyers of PCs which come with it. While Microsoft is still pushing Vista hard, the company is quietly allowing PC makers to offer a "downgrade" option to buyers that get machines with the new operating system but want to switch to Windows XP.

TechARP have posted about the triple core Phenom processor. According to AMD, these new processors represent a "multi-core triple threat" to Intel's current hemogeny in the multi-core desktop segment. They claim that current quad-core desktop processors (the Intel quad-core Core 2 processors, in other words) only represent less than 2% of the market. Hence, AMD believes their triple-core Phenom processors will fill the market's need for more powerful processors without paying for more expensive quad-core processors.

Orange is going to carry the iPhone in France. France Telecom has become the latest European operator to announce it has clinched a deal with Apple to sell the million-selling iPhone, marketing it via its mobile arm Orange. The iPhone, a combined mobile phone-iPod media player that also can wirelessly access the internet, will go on sale in France in November, France Telecom CEO Didier Lombard announced during a conference in Hanoi, according to Orange spokeswoman Beatrice Mandrine.

HardwareZone have continued their coverage of IDF with Part 2 and Part 3 of the article. In our last update, we look at Intel's vision of the next internet. We also have a photo gallery of all the cool gadgets and displays that caught our eye.

PCPer have checked out Intel's terascale chips at IDF. The graphs below the die detail shots show the relationships that Intel's designers have created between power usage and peak performance numbers. Most interesting is the power that is required to run the chip - at only 0.95v the terascale processor generates only 62 watts of heat and is capable of 1 teraflop of pure horsepower.

VIA Arena have looked at diagnosing PC problems using event IDs. PC problems can be investigated by looking to the Event Viewer for what explicitly went wrong. The Event Viewer catalogs the entire communication of a PC. For instance, when you log in to your computer, the Event View captures that occurrence and states it in the log. The result is an extensive log through which users can flip through to identify possible problems and their origins.

Google is considering a move on the 900Mhz spectrum in England as it is set to be opened up. UK regulator Ofcom shook up the wireless market yesterday by announcing that it wanted to take some spectrum back from Vodafone and O2 in order to auction it off. The goal, as in the upcoming US spectrum auction, is to jumpstart competition and offer access to a prime, low-frequency band. That in itself is big news for the UK market, but you know what make this story even better? That's right, a dash of fresh-ground Google.

Saturday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 22-September-2007  09:58:37 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
MSI X38 Diamond (Intel X38) at HardwareZone
Inno3D iChiLL 8600 GT XStriker3 at LegionHardware
INTEL E6850 Dual Core Processor at HardwareLogic
Asus X38 Motherboard at HotHardware
Intel DX38BT 'BoneTrail' Motherboard Preview at LegitReviews
Intel Penryn, Skulltrail performance revealed at TechReport
OWC 2GB Apple MacBook SODIMM DDR2 RAM Kit at I4U

Cases and Cooling:
NZXT Apollo case at XSReviews

LG GGC-H20N HD DVD/BD ROM + DVD/CD Writer at OCWorkBench
Motorola Razr2 V8 Mobile Phone at HardwareZone
Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital Edition at VelocityReviews

Ultra Products 7 Port USB Buddy Hub at BigBruin
Unreal Battlefield: Enemy Territory Quake Wars Performance at XBitLabs
XtracPads Ripper at OverclockersOnline

NASA Space Happenings (4 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 21-September-2007  22:09:23 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Just for a bit of a change, here is some various pieces of news from NASA about things that they are involved with and news about their projects.

NASA is opening applications for new astronauts as part of their class of 2009. NASA is accepting applications for the 2009 Astronaut Candidate Class. Those selected could fly to space for long-duration stays on the International Space Station and missions to the moon. "We look forward to gathering applications and then being able to select from the largest pool possible," said Ellen Ochoa, NASA's chief of Flight Crew Operations at the Johnson Space Center. "Continuing our impressive record in successfully carrying out challenging human spaceflight missions depends on maintaining a talented and diverse astronaut corps." To be considered, a bachelor's degree in engineering, science or math and three years of relevant professional experience are required. Typically, successful applicants have significant qualifications in engineering or science, or extensive experience flying high-performance jet aircraft.

They are also doing some interesing imaging projects including partnering with the Internet Archive. NASA and Internet Archive of San Francisco are partnering to scan, archive and manage the agency's vast collection of photographs, historic film and video. The imagery will be available through the Internet and free to the public, historians, scholars, students, and researchers. Currently, NASA has more than 20 major imagery collections online. With this partnership, those collections will be made available through a single, searchable "one-stop-shop" archive of NASA imagery.

Google Moon is getting some more interactive content from NASA. New higher-resolution lunar imagery and maps that include NASA multimedia content now are available on the Google Moon Web site. Updates include new content from the Apollo missions, including dozens of embedded panoramic images, links to audio clips and videos, and descriptions of the astronauts' activities during the missions. The new content is overlaid on updated, higher-resolution lunar maps. Also added are detailed charts of different regions of the moon suitable for use by anyone simulating a lunar mission.

NASA's Mars rovers have managed to survive severe dust storms threatening their solar power source. Two months after sky-darkening dust from severe storms nearly killed NASA's Mars exploration rovers, the solar-powered robots are awake and ready to continue their mission. Opportunity's planned descent into the giant Victoria Crater was delayed, but now the rover is preparing to drive into the half-mile diameter crater as early as Sept. 11. Spirit, Opportunity's rover twin, also survived the global dust storm. The rovers are 43 months into missions originally planned to last three months. On Sept. 5, Spirit climbed onto its long-term destination called Home Plate, a plateau of layered bedrock bearing clues to an explosive mixture of lava and water. "These rovers are tough. They faced dusty winds, power starvation and other challenges -- and survived.

Amazingly, the Voyager spacecraft are still sending back information even after 30 years of flight. Voyager 2 launched on Aug. 20, 1977, and Voyager 1 launched on Sept. 5, 1977. They continue to return information from distances more than three times farther away than Pluto. "The Voyager mission is a legend in the annals of space exploration. It opened our eyes to the scientific richness of the outer solar system, and it has pioneered the deepest exploration of the sun's domain ever conducted," said Alan Stern, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. "It's a testament to Voyager's designers, builders and operators that both spacecraft continue to deliver important findings more than 25 years after their primary mission to Jupiter and Saturn concluded."

They are also working on super heat resistant microprocessors. In the past, integrated circuit chips could not withstand more than a few hours of high temperatures before degrading or failing. This chip exceeded 1,700 hours of continuous operation at 500 degrees Celsius - a breakthrough that represents a 100-fold increase in what has previously been achieved. The new silicon carbide differential amplifier integrated circuit chip may provide benefits to anything requiring long-lasting electronic circuits in very hot environments.

Friday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 21-September-2007  20:43:52 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
BFG 8600 GTS OC ThermoIntelligence at Tweaktown
OCZ ProXStream 1000W Power Supply at ThinkComputers
VisionTek Radeon HD 2400 Pro at Bjorn3D
ASUS Blitz Formula Special Edition at HardwareZone
Asus Maximus Extreme X38 at TCMagazine
All Celeron Models at HardwareSecrets

Cases and Cooling:
Antazone AS-C1000 INTEL/AMD Heatpipe CPU Cooler at TweakNews
Coollaboratory Liquid Pro at BurnoutPC
Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 64 at OverclockersClub
Zaward VIVO PCJ004 Exposed Copper Heatpipe CPU Cooler at BenchmarkReviews

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1080 at DigitalTrends
Matrox DualHead2Go Digital Edition at OCModShop

Apevia X-QPack 2 at XSReviews
Viva Pinata Xbox 360 at GamePyre
Vinagre GNOME VNC Client at Phoronix
A-DATA PD 17 1GB USB Flash Drive at AphNetworks
Kolobags Loopbag Vanguard Laptop Backpack at DigitalTrends

Reloaded Festival (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 21-September-2007  18:00:11 (GMT +10) - by Rational

TheWedgie sent in information about the upcoming Reloaded LAN of which tickets are now available:

Tickets are now available for The Adam Internet Reloaded Festival, which will be held at the Adelaide Showground, on Saturday January 26th from 11am until 7pm on Sunday the 27th.

Reloaded will be the biggest gaming event in Australian history and the largest LAN Party event ever held in the southern hemisphere. Reloaded Festival 2008 will feature PC and console gaming tournaments, anime displays and competitions, a digital art competition, tabletop war gaming, card gaming and role playing games.

Approximately 1200 to 1500 people are expected to attend Reloaded which will feature Australia’s largest CounterStrike: Source competition, with more than 200 people competing for glory, honour and cold hard cash.

Reloaded continues to build on the success of previous years, including the sell-out Reloaded 2 event of 2007, which attracted over 500 people to the St Clair Recreation Centre. (Pictures and a report of that event can be found at salanning.org).

Tickets to the event will cost $30 for competititors, and $10 for spectators.

The Reloaded Festival 2008 is backed by Adam Internet, a South Australian ISP (www.adam.com.au), with major infrastructure support provided by Valhalla LAN Parties (www.valhalla.net.au).

For more information, please visit www.reloadedlan.com.

There is a discussion thread about this here on the forums.

Friday Evening (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 21-September-2007  17:47:24 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Real time raytracing on the PC is almost a reality. All of this leads us to one thought: we want this now. Unfortunately, that's not quite possible as the hardware isn't fast enough to get high resolution and high frame rates at the same time. But it turns out we aren't far from that convergence. The team at Intel estimates that within 2 years or so, the hardware will exist that will allow "game quality" ray tracing on a desktop machine.

Unusual pain inducing weaponry have been developed which uses electromagnetic radiation to stimulate pain sensors. I was told people can take it for a second, maximum. No way, not for a wimp like me. I try it again. It is a bit like touching a red-hot wire, but there is no heat, only the sensation of heat. There is no burn mark or blister. Its makers claim this infernal machine is the modern face of warfare. It has a nice, friendly sounding name, Silent Guardian.

Tech-Hounds have taken a look at Vistas IO performance. Originally, we set out to compare various RAID and AHCI SATA controllers and what kind of performance we can expect with Vista. But problems during testing lead us elsewhere - this article. These preliminary testing clearly shows that kind of comparison is just not possible right now - something is still definitely broken with Vista's I/O performance.

On a similar topic, Neoseeker have checked out Vistas multi GPU performance. For starters, it seems that the belated age of multi-GPU performance in Vista has begun -- but it's still in its infancy. But is the current situation better for the NVIDIA camp, or the ATI/AMD camp?

DigitalTrends have written a buyers guide for 1080P HD projectors. With all of the high-def projectors cropping up at this year’s CEDIA expo, it’s easy for even the most die-hard home theater buffs to get blinded by the light. And with prices starting to plunge below $4,000 USD, 1080p projectors are starting to catch the attention of more mainstream buyers as well. If your home cinema is a little short on screen acreage, an HD projector is an ideal way to make the jump to the big time, but you’ll need to familiarize yourself with all the new options first.

HardwareLogic have posted about Microsofts uninvited Windows updating. The guys and gals over in Redmond have been busy little beavers for the last few weeks. It has apparently been confirmed that Microsoft has been "stealth patching" some NT based computers without the knowledge or consent of the user (this includes computers with XP and Vista on them) even if the user asked to be notified of updates. Basically, Microsoft has been placing software components on user systems (yours likely included) remotely and secretly (ok - "not very transparently") - regardless of whether you want the update or not.

InsideHW have done a LCD monitor roundup. None of these monitors merits a stand-alone article, but they do merit your attention. From low-on-budget film fans over business users to “brand name” elitists, every single of these can choose between these five models.

OCIA have posted a performance PC buyers guide. When it comes to sheer price vs. performance value, there is no better chip on the market than Intel's Q6600. With four cores operating at a default speed of 2.4 GHz, you are all set for a crazy fast system. Those who do video editing, gaming or just a lot of multi-tasking will find this processor a dream come true. And, if you are lucky enough to get the G0 stepping, get ready for some insane overclocking and great temperatures.

IGN have posted some pictures of Master Chief wandering around Sydney. On a break from his mission to save all of humanity from extinction (hey, even a hero needs some time out), Master Chief was surprised and dismayed to find that he wasn't welcome down at the Opera House in Sydney today.

Intel Developer Forum Happenings (3 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 21-September-2007  07:22:52 (GMT +10) - by Rational

A lot of review sites have managed to get hold of early previews and reviews of the new Intel processors due to IDF. Also, many sites have checked out the various keynotes going on at the event.

The mobile X7900 is reviewed at TechwareLabs. We have some early pictures of the new Mobile X7900 as well as some benchmarks. From the looks of things the X7900 has some good potential for gamers and high end laptops. Could the x7900 end up as the new ultimate laptop cpu? Check out our pictures and decide for yourself.

Yorkfield and Skulltrail has been reviewed/previewed at XBitLabs, LegitReviews, HotHardware (as well as Penryn), Techgage and PCPer.

Also, there have been articles going up describing the general goings on at IDF.
IDF Day 1 Coverage: More Keynotes, X38 Skulltrail at HotHardware
IDF Showcase: NVIDIA, Corsair, X38 Systems, 3XS Isotope And More at HotHardware
IDF Fall 2007 Update (Part 1) at HardwareZone
IDF 07 SF: Paul Otellini Keynote at TechGage
IDF 07 SF: PCI-Express 3.0 and USB 3.0 at TechGage
IDF Fall 2007: Day 3 at Phoronix
IDF Fall 2007: Showcase at Phoronix
Project Indiana Details Emerge At IDF at Phoronix
Intel Developer Forum 2007: Day 2 at XBitLabs
Intel Developer Forum 2007 Report at TechARP
IDF Day 2 coverage at Bit-Tech

And finally for discussion about Penryn and Nehalem there is a thread going on here, thanks Chainbolt.

Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 21-September-2007  07:03:52 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Jetway 966PDAG at Bjorn3D
Ultra X3 600w ATX Power Supply at Virtual-Hideout
ASUS P5KR Motherboard at OZHardware
NVIDIA 100.14.19 + 8800GTS 640MB at Phoronix

Cases and Cooling:
Antec Fusion Black 430 Media Center Case at OverclockersClub
Xigmatek HDT-S1283 CPU Cooler at Modders-Inc
Gigabyte iSolo 210 Computer Chassis at TweakNews
cRadia Flex at XSReviews

Supetalent VIDEGO28 MP4 Series at RBMods
Blackberry 8300 Curve at HardwareZone

Gears of War PC at Bit-Tech
Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 at I4U
Tabula Rasa at Tweaktown
Team Fortress 2 preview at Yougamers
Assassin's Creed preview at Yougamers
Stranglehold AU at IGN
Sony VAIO CR Notebook at HardwareZone

Thursday Morning (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 20-September-2007  07:39:14 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Bit-Tech have reviewed World in Conflict, Internode Games have been running a whole bunch of gameplay articles in their "Week in Conflict". I love World in Conflict, love it to bits, but something about it makes me hold back from giving it the golden seal of praise which is 10/10. To use Tim’s words, “if we marked out of 20, I’d give it 19/20” – a statement which belies the fact that although World in Conflict comes close to RTS perfection, it still falls short by the smallest of slithers. It’s an awesome game and you should definitely go out and buy it.

PCMech have taken a look at things that slow down your computer. Computing habits often have an effect on how well your computer runs. If you’re aware of what can hurt your computer’s performance, you can save yourself some aggravation by cutting down the time you have to wait for software to load or for Windows to boot. Here are ten ways to get your computer to run slower than molasses on a cold day in September.

DansData has posted some more letters. In this edition: Wireless USB, toaster earthing, communications speakers, Mac memory holes, a funny-looking subwoofer, audiophile balderdash, bug repellers that don't, and vaporising crowbars.

Craig spotted this article which lists some open source methods of seam carving which allows you to resize images focusing on the more important areas and removing unimportant areas. For those of you who didn't catch our previous post about seam carving, it's a smart image resizing algorithm, invented by Dr. Ariel Shamir and Dr. Shai Avidan. Where you would normally have to choose between cropping or squeezing/stretching an image to change its aspect ratio, the seam carving method will attempt to find horizontal or vertical paths within the image that can be removed without altering "important" parts of the image, such as people or other objects that would look funny if squished.

LegitReviews have checked out a refrigerated cooling unit for hot laptops. The Dell M1710 always got warm while gaming, but now that Intel has released the Core 2 Extreme Mobile Processor X7800 Processor and has embraced overclocking on notebooks, things have gotten a bit too hot when overclocked. With processors 'throttling' while overclocked, something needed to be done, so Intel and Embarco teamed up to come up with a cooling solution that would prevent throttling and allow for even higher clock frequencies.

Super fast USB 3.0 is on the way with multi gigabit speeds. The "SuperSpeed" USB Promotions Group was announced Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum. The promotions group will get together with contributors over the next year to finalize a USB 3.0 spec that will, they hope, take care of our wired peripheral and syncing needs for another five years or more. USB 3.0 is built upon, and is backwards-compatible with, the USB 2.0 "High Speed" spec.

BonafideReviews have taken a humorous look at gaming stereotypes. A half-serious,half-humorous look into four gamer stereotypes. Here's a snip: "Because Hardcore gamers have such a wealth of info on gaming and how games operate, they are keener on figuring out game imbalance. Though this might make new gamers angry when presented with evidence that their favorite character is either "unfair" on one extreme or "low tier" on the other.

And finally, Lil spotted these cute little aquatic animals.

Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 20-September-2007  07:10:38 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Gigabyte Odin GT 800 Watt PSU at Guru3D
OCZ PC2-9200 FlexXLC 2GB Dual Channel Memory at PCStats
INTEL QX6850 Quad Core Extreme Processor at HardwareLogic
Nvidia GeForce 8600 vs. ATI Radeon HD 2600 at LegionHardware
MSI RX2600XT Diamond at HardwareZone
OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 Vista Performance at 3DXtreme
Aeneon Xtune PC2-8500 CL5 1066MHz DDR2 at BenchmarkReviews

Cases and Cooling:
Aerocool AE-Plus Mid Tower Case at Pro-Clockers
Ai Technology Cool Silver Thermal Grease at TweakNews
Acousti Products AcoustiCase 340 Quiet Computer Case at BigBruin
GMC R-2 Toast PC Case at ThinkComputers
Akasa Integral - External Enclosures at DriverHeaven

Archos 605 WiFi 30GB at TrustedReviews
Jabra BT8010 Bluetooth Stereo Headset at TBreak
HTC TyTN II at HardwareZone
Genius HS-03U Bass Vibration Headset at TechwareLabs
Logitech Quick Cam Pro for Notebooks at OverclockersClub
Mvix Wireless Hi-Definition Media Player at TweakTown
Plantronics .audio 480 PC Headset at DigitalTrends

Metroid Prime 3 - Corruption at GamePyre
Sony VAIO VGN-SZ61VN at TrustedReviews
Corsair Flash Padlock 2GB USB Drive at OCModShop
Heavenly Sword at TrustedReviews

Wednesday Arrrrrrrvo (6 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 19-September-2007  15:50:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Avast, mateys! The sirens sing of a previous news-post by a mutinous dog that lacked the piratey goodness befittin' today's newsposting, but fear not, tis I, the Dread Pirate Agg, here to deliver the goods despite a case of knock-kneed bellywobbles that'd knock the fleas right off a ship's cat.

Firstly, Intel is in the piratey swing of things with their new skulltrail platform. I be not makin' it up, yarr. The interesting thing about this machine wasn't just that it had 45nm quad-core CPUs in its sockets and PCI Express 2.0 capable slots but also that it was running a pair of NVIDIA graphics cards in SLI. That's right, SLI on an Intel chipset. More here.

But, tis just one in a case of Intel dubloons today, with IDF 2007 coverage on Xbit, Bit-Tech, PC Perspective, Phoronix and HotHardware.

Baste me blisterin' barnacles, there be new 45nm Xeons on TechReport and 2CPU, and even some overclocked ones, by blazes!

Closer to our fair shores, Whirlpool have responded to claims the 2clix suit has been withdrawn. Still seems to be on the books at the courthouse for now, but p'raps good news blowing in soon, yarr.

But not in Peru, where a firey ball of death rained down upon them! Well, a fiery ball of not feeling quite right in the tummy, which I can well relate to. Shipmates blathering about it in this thread hyarrr, thanks ikonz0rbeard.

Arr, how do ye avoid being forced to walk the plank when protestin' a paycut? Why, hold your strike in Second Life, like these Italian IBM workers.

Time for this old sea dog to sink back beneath the waves again, or at least, to set sail to the nearest chemist. Till next year, ye scurvy dogs, may your sails be as full as your bellies are fat, hurrah!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day 2007 (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 19-September-2007  06:36:16 (GMT +10) - by Rational

International Talk Like a Pirate day 2007 is upon us, you lilly livered land loving fiends! There is a thread of Pirate talk and discussion in The Pub and Wikipedia has some useful information on the nature and history of the day. Also, you can check out the official site which has Pirate advice among a lot of other interesting and funny content.

Wednesday Morning (7 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 19-September-2007  06:31:47 (GMT +10) - by Rational

SCO is blaming Linux for their bankruptcy, thanks Fester. SCO Group CEO Darl McBride says competition from the open source Linux operating system was a major reason why the company was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday. In a court filing in support of SCO's bankruptcy petition, McBride noted that SCO's sales of Unix-based products "have been declining over the past several years."

Sciby spotted this article about a urine powered battery made by a Japanese company. Before you flush the toilet, you might want to check the power level in your batteries. You could be flushing away a free source of energy. In 2005, Scientists in Singapore developed a battery powered by urine. The Scientists were able to produce electric power using liquid as a catalyst thanks to a special mixture of magnesium and carbon inside the batteries.

The inventor of the Killacycle, the high performance electric motorcycle which appeared on the newspage a while ago, has crashed, almost killing himself, thanks Alex. The inventor of the “KillaCycle” electric motorcycle almost killed himself during a demonstration at the Wired NextFest conference. Bill Dube, a government scientist during the day and electric bike builder at night, did a “burn out” in front of the Los Angeles Convention Center, but accidentally accelerated too much and crashed into a Minivan.

Techreport have posted of Intel's upcoming Nehalem and Penryn processor technologies from IDF. Intel has revealed that its next-generation "Nehalem" CPU microarchitecture is complete and that it's on track for delivery in the second half of 2008. Nehalem will pack as many as eight CPU cores onto a single die, each of which will be capable of executing two threads, allowing up to 16 threads to be executed simultaneously on a single chip.

Phoronix have checked out the new Linux Radeon HD driver. Not only is AMD providing the open-source community with their ATI GPU specifications, but they have also been partnering with Novell on the development of a new open-source display driver. We've been telling you about AMD's open-source work all month, and today the new driver is finally available for download. It is still very much a work in progress and isn't much further along than the open-source R500 Avivo driver.

PCPer have also posted an article about Penryn and Nehalem as well as Larrabee, Intel's upcoming graphics project. The chip architecture is well into development and will be showcased for the first time working in 2008 -- though when in 2008 they didn't say. My guess would be about this time next year. Intel plans to make in-roads at the high performance visual computing space by bringing teraflops of raw processing power to the hands of developers

They also considered if DDR3 is ready for the enthusiast? First, we know now that both Corsair's and Super Talent's high speed memory kits are able to outpace the latest DDR2 memory setups when they are run at the 1800 MHz+ speeds they are rated at. The deficit that is accepted by increasing the latencies on the modules to reach these speeds was less than we expected and allowed the memory to run at such high speeds.

And finally, PCMech have posted about the zombie like cult of Apple created by their skilled marketing. First of all, this is going to be an opinion piece. It may rile a few feathers of people who just adore Apple. And, that fact is only proof that the title of this piece is 100% accurate. However, YES, this is subjective opinion. And what is that opinion? That Apple’s marketing is so damn good that it makes wide eyed, unthinking zombies out of good, smart people. Let me explain.

Wednesday Morning Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 19-September-2007  06:14:16 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Super Talent W1866UX2G8 DDR3-1866 Memory at PCStats
Intel P35 Chipset Motherboard Round-Up at LegitReviews
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W PSU at Bit-Tech
OCZ 2x1GB PC3-12800 1600MHz Memory Kit at Virtual-Hideout
Asus Blitz Extreme P35 motherboard at Neoseeker
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P at PenstarSys
Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 Introductory at OCWorkbench

Cases and Cooling:
Thermalright HR-05 SLI/IFX Chipset Cooler at ExtremeOverclocking

LG BH100 HD Combi player at TrustedReviews
Casio Exilim EX-Z1200 at TrustedReviews

Logitech G15 Keyboard at Motherboards
Netgear RangeMax NEXT 802.11n at 3DGameMan
Logitech Cordless Desktop S 530 Laser for Mac at I4U
Medal of Honor: Airborne at YouGamers
Razer Pro|Solutions Pro|Click Mobile at TechPowerup
Mass Effect Preview at TrustedReviews

Projects and Reviews (7 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 18-September-2007  20:18:11 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Quite a number of users have been undertaking interesting projects on the forums, here are some currently going on. Click on each of the pictures to go to the corresponding worklog or review thread.



Tuesday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 18-September-2007  18:22:33 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
GIGABYTE X38-DQ6 Mobo at Tweaktown
Leadtek WinFast PX8400 GS TDH Silent at Ninjalane
Kingwin 600W Mach 1 PSU at PCApex
Tagan ITZ 700W Power Supply at AphNetworks

Cases and Cooling:
CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000 at OverclockersOnline
Sigma Atlantis Case at OverclockersClub
Thermaltake SopranoFx at TBreak
Thermaltake MaxOrb CPU Cooler at ThinkComputers
Tagan CS-Monolith Case at OCIA

Geeks Lite-On DVD Recorder at RBMods
Apple iPod Touch at HardwareZone

HP Pavilion HDX 20-inch Laptop at DigitalTrends
LapWorks Futura Laptop Stand at TheTechZone
SteelSeries SteelPad S&S at PCApex
MainNav Innovator MW-705 multifunctional BT GPS at DigitalReviews

Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 18-September-2007  15:48:04 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Best way to backup/store ~100 full DVD's? in Storage & Backup.
Why is Halo so great? in Game Consoles.
Its 2007 - does a Ghetto Blaster solution exist? in Audio Visual.
The DIY Sub Woofer in Audio Visual.
Team Fortress 2 BETA in Games.
Fortress-Forever in Games.
New ATI/AMD Driver Sept 2007 - Massive Performance Increases in Other Operating Systems.
Sun servers now available with Windows pre-installed in Other Operating Systems.
To Slay a King, Finale in Photography Gallery.
The "post cool pictures of space" thread in Science.
The Pale Blue Dot in Science.
Microsoft suffers decisive EU antitrust defeat - 700 million $ fine in Current Events.
What do you call those knives with 2 handles? in Geek Food.
3dFishTank.exe alpha/beta testers in Pets & Animals.
Doggy Day Out - 23 Sept Newcastle NSW in Pets & Animals.
Crazy collections you didn't mean to start up in The Pub.

Tuesday Morning (14 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 18-September-2007  07:07:25 (GMT +10) - by Rational

James noted that Robert Jordan passed away, the author of the unfinished Wheel of Time series. It is with great sadness that I tell you that the Dragon is gone. RJ left us today at 2:45 PM. He fought a valiant fight against this most horrid disease. In the end, he left peacefully and in no pain. In the years he had fought this, he taught me much about living and about facing death. He never waivered in his faith, nor questioned our God’s timing. I could not possibly be more proud of anyone. I am eternally grateful for the time that I had with him on this earth and look forward to our reunion, though as I told him this afternoon, not yet. I love you bubba.

Iran has subsequently blocked then unblocked Google and Gmail citing an error as the reason. IRAN has unblocked access to the Google search engine and its Gmail email service after briefly filtering them owing to an "error", the Fars news agency reported. "Due to an error, the Google site was filtered on Sunday evening but the error was corrected and now Google and its different sites like Gmail can be used," said an official from the state-run communications company.

It didn't take long for the hash on the new iPods to be cracked allowing use on alternative media players and on Linux. Here is a quick howto on using wtbw’s code in linux to use a new generation iPod. I was answering this question repeatedly in IRC, so i decided to post this up

The EU court has rejected the Microsoft appeal awarding them with a $AU820 million fine, the largest ever awarded by the EU, thanks Paul. Ars Technica have a bit of background in this matter. A European Union court today dismissed Microsoft Corp's appeal against an EU antitrust order that ordered it to share communications code with rivals and sell a copy of Windows without Media Player. It also upheld a 497 million euros ($A820.61 million) fine - the largest ever levied by EU regulators. Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said the software giant would study the ruling before deciding to appeal, and would take "additional steps" to comply with decision.

Bit-Tech have posted an article about making good project worklogs. We've all been there - a great mod, great ideas...and no posts. What's missing? Well, mod-god Pete Dickison of Orac fame is here to tell you: ideas are only as good as how you present them. And he's here to teach you about how to write the project log of your dreams

They also toured the MSI factory in Kunshan, China. If you've never been to ShangHai, then be prepared to find a rather mixed city to say the least. There are, as you'd expect, traditional elements that are very typically Chinese, but because of the gradual shift in the last 15-20 years by the Socialist government into society that is weighted into capitalism, the east coast has literally burst at the seams.

Web ad blocking may not be entirely legal. Advertising-supported companies have long turned to the courts to squelch products that let consumers block or skip ads: it happened in the famous lawsuit against the VCR in 1979 and again with ReplayTV in 2001. Tomorrow's legal fight may be over Web browser add-ons that let people avoid advertisements. These add-ons are growing in functionality and popularity, which has led legal experts surveyed this week by CNET News.com to speculate about when the first lawsuit will be filed.

Tuesday Morning Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 18-September-2007  06:30:55 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
OCZ PC2-9200 FlexXLC Edition 2GB Kit at PCModdingMy
ASUS Blitz Extreme & Formula at LegionHardware
INTEL Q6600 Quad Core Processor at HardwareLogic
Chaintech GAE85GT at OCWorkbench
Ultra Products X3 1000 Watt Modular Power Supply at BigBruin
ASUS EN8600GTS Silent Graphics Card at OverclockersClub

Cases and Cooling:
Thermalright V2 VGA Cooler at TweakNews
Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Exposed Copper Heatpipe CPU Cooler at BenchmarkReviews

Panasonic HDC-SX5 at DigitalTrends
MSI Digi Vox mini II v3.0 at XSReviews
Samsung PS-50P96FD 50in Plasma TV at TrustedReviews
Asus P526 GPS-Enabled Smartphone at TrustedReviews
V-Moda's Vibe Duo - iPod & iPhone Headphones at LegitReviews

Logitech G9 Laser Gaming Mouse at I4U
AVM Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7170 at TrustedReviews
Frogpad Bluetooth One-Handed Keyboard at Pro-Clockers

Tuesday Morning Reviews (4 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 18-September-2007  00:19:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Urgh, I've been asleep for 19 of the last 24 hours. Some kind of hardcore gastro thing. Kill me now..

DDR3 Memory Round-Up, Corsair, OCZ, Kingston and SuperTalent on HotHardware.
OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 Reaper HPC Edition on Modders-Inc.

SilverStone Kublai KL02 tower on Phoronix.
Thermaltake SwingRS 100 on Bjorn3D.
Silverstone TEMJIN TJ10 full tower on Virtual-Hideout.
Thermaltake SwordM on HWZone.

Vizo Luxeon External Hard Drive Enclosure on TechWareLabs.
Vantec EZ-Swap EX 2.5" HDD Enclosure on OCIA.
Lite-On SHM-165S6S SATA DVDR on Monster-Hardware.
PQI Intelligent Flash Drive i810 on ExtremeMHz.

Sponsor Specials (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 17-September-2007  23:14:09 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Remember to keep an eye on our Sponsor Specials Forum if you're shopping around for a good deal. In there our many sponsors have threads, currently covering sound cards, mice, music players, notebooks, cases, LCD monitors and various other components. Check 'em out!

Sunday Evening (3 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 16-September-2007  21:19:42 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Phoronix have looked at some opinions of AMD's GPU specifications for open source developers. AMD started delivering on their word of providing GPU specifications to the open-source community without a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and now with the 2007 X Developer Summit having come to a close, we asked several key members of the X.Org community on how they judge AMD's recent move. They were also asked if they believe NVIDIA will follow suit in helping the open-source community.

A PC superstore refused to fix a broken hinge on a laptop after Linux was installed on it, since then they have changed their decision after public pressure, thanks Fester. For all you car aficionados out there, how's this for an operating system analogy from PC World? Installing Linux onto a laptop sold by the computer retail behemoth is like putting a Ford engine into a BMW, apparently.Earlier this week a mysterious PC World customer, known only by the name of Tikka, posted a story to Slashdot about the store's refusal to repair a hardware fault on a five-month-old Acer laptop. The store's IT support "Tech Guys" told Tikka that, because Linux had been installed, the machine's warranty had been voided.

Agg sent in a couple of aircraft related things. Here is an amazing video of the worlds largest RC aircraft which requires two people to control. And the unmanned flight record has been broken by a solar powered craft. A new, ultralight aircraft made from carbon fiber has beaten the standing world record for longest unmanned flight, according to its manufacturer. It has a 60-foot (18-meter) wingspan, weighs 66 pounds (30 kilograms) and is launched by hand.

IGN have posted a wrapup of GC Asia 2007. With GC Leipzig gaining importance each year, the organisers are aiming to do for Asia what Leipzig has done for Europe - to give the region its own game convention where publishers from around the region can meet and do business, while the public can come in and get their hands on the latest games.

GPGPU is set to improve antivirus performance as well as give you the ability to fold on the GPU and play games. A LOT HAS BEEN said and written about GPGPU and all the great things that this concept will bring, from faster Folding@Home to earth-moving simulations and other complex problems. This is mostly due to the fact that regular CPU has its doors closed when it comes to the fearsome operation divide, yet alone programs that including SIN/COS instructions

PCWorld have reviewed the iPod touch. I'm an iPhone fan who can't get an AT&T signal at home, so I was hoping the iPod Touch would be the perfect compromise. Based on its specs (Wi-Fi, mobile Safari, the Multi-touch interface, and twice the iPhone's storage capacity at 16GB), it sure looks like it would be. But I've been testing a $399 16GB iPod Touch for a couple of days now, and based on a number of hardware and software issues I've encountered, it looks like Apple still has some work to do.

Australian politicians are continuing to embrace the internet. This includes things like Youtube channels and the interesting Google maps overlays. John Howard says the internet is "not some sort of gimmick" and has invited voters to have a conversation with him on YouTube. Peter Garrett believes the web will play a "really really critical role" in the upcoming election, which Joe Hockey has dubbed the "e-election campaign". The Prime Minister, opposition environment spokesman and Workplace Relations Minister broadcasted the comments over YouTube this morning in glowing endorsements of Google's new federal election website.

The first Optimus Maximus keyboard has arrived in Moscow, I wonder how mass production of these devices is going?

Drayzen sent in this interesting site about the Subhuman Project which aims to build a human powered underwater vehicle.

Sunday Morning (8 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 16-September-2007  09:26:07 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Mediadefender, a notorious anti-piracy company has accidentally leaked 700Mb of company emails which details many things about the internal workings of the company, thanks Enigma. Over 700mb of their own internal emails, dating back over 6 months have been leaked to the internet in what will be a devastating blow to the company. Many are very recent, having September 2007 dates and the majority involve the most senior people in the company. Apparently this is not the first time that a MediaDefender email leaked onto the Internet.

Here is another article following up to the iPod restrictions being implemented by Apple. The latest iPods have a cryptographic "checksum" in their song databases that prevents third-party applications from synching with the portable music players. This means that iPods can no longer be used with operating systems where iTunes doesn't exist -- like Linux, where gtkpod and Amarok are common free tools used by iPod owners to load their players.

SCO has filed for bankruptcy, for those who don't know SCO legally pursued many Linux vendors and users, thanks Gary. Here's the title of the press release: "The SCO Group Files Chapter 11 to Protect Assets as It Addresses Potential Financial and Legal Challenges", which you can find here. They say reorganization "ensures business as usual." You can find information on Chapter 11 bankruptcy here.

Microsoft are relaunching their discounted Office program for college students after it was trialled in Australia some time ago. For college students who want Office 2007, but don't want to pay Microsoft a fortune, the software maker is offering another option: Steal it. Well, actually Microsoft isn't encouraging piracy. Rather it is launching a promotion, dubbed "Ultimate Steal," in which college students can get the ultra high-end Ultimate edition of Office for just $60.

Bit-Tech have checked out homebrew Nintendo DS to see what it is all about. It’s weird then that the DS homebrew scene is still avoided by many, who fear that homebrew is blatantly illegal and tough to get working. With the hardware we’ve detailed above it’s merely a case of drag-and-drop and the homebrew community is just about large and friendly enough to help people with real problems through any problems crop up.

XBitLabs have unanalyzed the performance of graphics accelerators during media playback. High-definition video on PC has become very widely spread over the past couple of months: full-HD monitors are currently available for $500, Blu-Ray optical drives sell at about $250, and the leading graphics processor developers are already offering inexpensive chips that are promised to free the CPUs completely from video-data decoding. But is it all as simple as it seems? Let’s try to find out together!

TechARP have considered if surround sound is really necessary for gaming. Speaker manufacturers have always expounded the benefits of a 5.1 speaker system for gamers - more accurate audio positioning, better spatial effects, larger soundstage, etc. But are surround sound systems really necessary for better gaming?

Andrew spotted this article for people who are having network slowdown issues in Vista. A few weeks ago a poster with the handle dloneranger reported in the 2CPU forums that he experienced reduced network throughput on his Vista system when he played audio or video. Other posters chimed in with similar results, and in the last week attention has been drawn to the behavior by other sites, including Slashdot and Zdnet blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes.

A Soviet doomsday device may seem like something out of Dr Strangelove but apparently it exists, and is still active. The Soviet doomsday device -- a giant cobalt bomb rigged to explode were Russia ever nuked, rendering the earth's surface uninhabitable -- gained fictional fame in Dr. Strangelove. However, P.D. Smith's Doomsday Men, available in the UK and due for stateside publication in December, tells the story of the real Doomsday device -- and it's still armed.

Colin McRae feared dead in chopper crash (1 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 16-September-2007  07:52:57 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

THE former rally driving champion Colin McRae was killed and his five year-old son feared dead in a helicopter crash yesterday afternoon. The aircraft came down in Jerviswood, Lanarkshire, half a mile from the family's home and burst into flames just after 4pm. More information here.

There is a discussion in our forums here.

Sunday Morning Reviews (5 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 16-September-2007  07:19:31 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
DDR3 Memory Round-Up at HotHardware
Corsair vs. Super Talent – 1800MHz+ RAM at TweakTown
Antec TruePower Quattro 850w at HardOCP
EVGA GeForce 8600 GTS 512MB Superclocked at HardOCP
TEAM Xtreem Dark PC2-6400 C4 at AtomicMPC

Cases and Cooling:
Thermaltake Bigwater 760i Water Cooling System at 3DGameMan
Coolermaster Cosmos Case at RBMods
Apevia X-Telstar at OverclockersOnline

Philips DCP850 iPod Docking Entertainment System at HardwareZone
Matrox TripleHead2Go Analog Edition at TechPowerup
Turtle Beach Video Advantage PCI at OverclockersClub
Creative Web-Cameras Roundup at XbitLabs
Creative X-Fi Notebook at AtomicMPC

Wolf King Trooper Mouse at Gamepyre
Sam & Max Season 2 Preview at OCModShop
BioShock DX10 Performance and Image Quality at HardOCP
Dell XPS 720 at AtomicMPC

Saturday Morning (11 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 15-September-2007  07:09:48 (GMT +10) - by Rational

For the Steam users who have not noticed, it has gone through a number of changes lately namely with the introduction of the Steam Community and a better interface for friend communication in game. The Steam Community is comprised of people who play all sorts of PC games. Now it's easy to find someone to play with, meet up with friends, connect with groups with similar interests, and host and join chats, matches, and tournaments. Best of all, it's all free.

The German Environment ministry has warned its citizens not to use WiFi due to health risks, thanks Philip. People should avoid using Wi-Fi wherever possible because of the risks it may pose to health, the German government has said. Its surprise ruling – the most damning made by any government on the fast-growing technology – will shake the industry and British ministers, and vindicates the questions that The Independent on Sunday has been raising over the past four months.

DigitalTrends have looked the advantages of an all in one desktop. With Apple refreshing their market leading iMac line, Sony their wonderful LT and LS lines, and HP their revolutionary Touchsmart (not to mention others coming to market shortly), is it finally time to consider an all-in-one desktop? I’m not going to focus much on the differences between products, and instead focus on the benefits of the form factor and why you may want to start considering it for a home or small office PC.

According to this posting new iPods will not work with Linux. This affects Linux users - there's no iTunes for Linux, so popular Linux iPod management tools like gtkpod and Rhythmbox will not work with the new range of iPods. Windows users who just plain don't like iTunes and perfer an alternative like Winamp, Ephpod or many of the other iPod management applications out there.

TrustedReviews have posted a DDR2 and DDR3 memory roundup. The new Intel P35 chipset is an intriguing piece of silicon as it supports both DDR2 and DDR3 system memory. The slots for these two types of memory are mechanically and electrically different to each other so most P35 motherboards support either DDR2 or DDR3. The Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R does things differently as it supports four DDR2 slots and two DDR3 slots so you can use DDR2 today with the prospect of an upgrade to DDR3 tomorrow.

Five recent claims of cyber attack are said to have come from China. It's not exactly the wind-up to World War III, but a curious war of words has erupted recently over alleged "cyber attacks" between China and several other nations. First, a wave of attacks in the UK, Germany, and the United States from Chinese-based computers had the Chinese foreign ministry issuing an official denial that their government had been involved.

HardwareAnalysis have written an editorial on the Intel 45nm process and if it is actually a true mark of innovation. These past few months all eyes were fixed on AMD to provide innovation in terms of a new CPU architecture. When they managed to miss deadline after deadline the initial excitement turned into doubt whether AMD could deliver, and gradually into doubt whether their new architecture would be innovative enough to make a difference.

Tokelau, a small island in the Pacific is reaping the benefits of the sale of .tk domains. An atoll in the South Pacific has come up with a novel way of making money via its domain name .TK. Tokelau may only have 1,500 inhabitants and be a two-day boat trip from its nearest neighbor but selling its .TK domain is reaping benefits. The Dutch entrepreneur who bought the address now offers a free domain name service in return for targeted ads. The deal has allowed Tokelau to add 10% to its GDP as well as gain PCs and net access for residents.

Saturday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 15-September-2007  06:35:03 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Asus Blitz Formula Intel P35 Motherboard at PCPer
OCZ Technology 4GB PC2-6400 Platinum Edition RAM at ProClockers
OCZ ModXStream 780W Modular Power Supply at BonafideReviews
Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L at Phoronix
BFGTech GeForce 8600 GTS OC2 at Bit-Tech
Seasonic S12II 500W Power Supply at ThinkComputers
MSI's X38 Diamond motherboard at Bit-Tech
Tagan ITZ 1300 Watt Power Supply at Bjorn3D

Cases and Cooling:
Vantec EZ-Swap EX portable hard drive enclosure at Modders-Inc
Cooler Master Cosmos RC-1000 Mid-Tower Case at BenchmarkReviews
CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000 Case at Motherboards

Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1 at Guru3D
Kyocera Mita FS-1116MFP at TrustedReviews
Olympus MJU 760 at TrustedReviews

Wolfking Trooper Gaming Mouse at TechwareLabs
WolfKing Warrior Gamepad at TweakNews
Ship Simulator 2008 at YouGamers

Team OCAU Racing! (28 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 14-September-2007  17:44:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I just spent way too long working on an OCAU skin for my rFactor car. It looks way better in-game of course, but I think it turned out OK for someone with no artistic talent at all:



As you can see it features our Major Sponsors Computer Alliance, Plus Corporation, BroNet and EYO as well as our hosts AusGamers. I hope to run it in the upcoming V8 Supercar championship held by OMR soon.

Our rFactor thread is here if you'd like to see what all the fuss is about.

Friday Afternoon (6 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 14-September-2007  15:36:00 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Making headlines this afternoon is Microsoft, and how they have been patching files on Windows systems without the user's knowledge, even with auto updates turned off. More info here, and here.

Xphilz has brought this article to our attention, which states Germany is warning it citizens to avoid using Wi-Fi, because of the risks it may pose to health. Nothing tinfoil hats can't fix! ;)

I saw this on Digg earlier, which is simply a heap of creative and amusing 404 pages.

Here is a collection of photos where the photographers have captured some great images that 'occur between the seconds'.

Telstra has upgraded its cable speeds in Sydney and Melbourne, offering users a bump to 30Mbps. Optus are also considering their upgrade options as well.

Japanese carmaker Nissan is taking a futuristic, all-electric mini car to the upcoming Frankfurt motor show in the hope of wooing tomorrow's drivers. The company says the hatchback Mixim with its rakish styling and gull-wing doors should appeal to gamers and other young people who spend more time on their computers than they do thinking about cars. More info here, on TheAge.

The Nintendo Wii has defeated the Xbox and Playstation 3 in worldwide sales, topping a total of a massive 9 million.

Hardware secrets explain to us in this new article how memory cache works. The memory cache is a high-speed memory available inside the CPU in order to speed up access to data and instructions stored in RAM memory. In this tutorial we will explain how this circuit work in an easy to follow language.

Hardware Zone have been playing with the new Sony Ericsson K770i. We managed to get some hands on time with Sony Ericsson's upcoming 3G Cyber-shot phone and we have to say that the K770i is a sexy beast in a slim, compact body. Check out our little preview right here and find out more.

Today sees the launch of the 'PSP Slim & Lite' across Australia, a fact that we'd forgotten until we rocked up at work this morning and found our local Sony rep sleeping outside the office, brand new box clutched tight to his chest, waiting, like some kind of homeless Santa, to present us with a machine hot off the production lines. Full article here.

Friday Morning (5 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 14-September-2007  07:20:48 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Daryl spotted a thread going on in the Pub about the future of computer swap meets. Max and Dorothea have been receiving a significant amount of harassment by lawyers acting in relation to the sale of counterfeit goods at the swapmeets and by Computer Trader. They have found the allegations and threats of legal action against them to be very stressful and detrimental to their health and general well being. The allegations are untrue and the threats are without foundation.

If you thought the Optimus Keyboard was expensive, wait until you see this one which costs $US28,000, thanks Justin. So you thought the $1,536 Optimus Maximus keyboard was a tad expensive? Peep this: the €20,000 (about $28,000) XYNERGI programmable controller from Fairlight. To be fair, you get a hell of a lot more than just a keyboard for your 28-grand as the kit includes Fairlight's CC-1 digital media engine as well. While it's targeted at media professionals, it also integrates like a peach with Microsoft Office and all your other Windows applications.

Nick spotted this unusual project where a guy is trying to put a 300m banana 50km above Texas. Their project is called "Geostationary Banana Over Texas". Montreal artist Cesar Saez is making a giant, helium filled banana that he intends to launch in Texas, sending it 20-30 miles up. The title of the project is "Geostationary Banana Over Texas." The BBC says it will be "between 15-20% of the size of the full moon" when viewed from Earth.

Google has announced the Google Lunar X Prize which will award US$20 million to the people who can get a probe to the moon and do various tasks. Hot on the heels of the success of the Ansari X PRIZE, which was designed to spur on the development of a commercial spacecraft able to reach low earth orbit, the Google Lunar X PRIZE will be awarded to "the team that can soft land a craft on the Moon that roams for at least 500 meters and transmits a Mooncast back to Earth. The Grand Prize is $20M until December 31, 2012; thereafter it will drop to $15M until December 31, 2014, at which point the competition will be terminated unless extended by Google and the X PRIZE Foundation."

DigitalTrends have posted a guide to avoiding phishing scams. Like most people in the Western world, or so it seems, you’ve probably received an e-mail from a bank (or eBay or Paypal) about security concerns on your account. It offers a link for you to click on in order to login and warns of dire consequences, like the closing of your account, if you don’t comply.

Techgage went down to the GDC in Austin and interviewed some people, including Monty Sharma of Vivox and Bill2Phone. The first is with Vivox, a company that's creating some really cool technologies for online game voice chat. The second is with Bill2Phone, a service that allows gamers to charge subscriptions and other online purchases to their phone bill, instead of a credit card.

IGN have conducted an interview with Brian Matt about Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. He talks about the challenges of delivering a perfect port of the PC game, while simplifying the controls to suit the 360's pad. Matt also discusses Xbox Live demos, addresses the lack of cross-platform play and hints at community content and expansions.

Tech-Arp have reported on AMD Barcelona technology. Although we have been critical of AMD's less-than-stellar PR and marketing actions in the recent weeks, we do believe in good competition. We are certainly looking forward to the new quad-core Opteron processors to provide just that. Looking at the most recent SPEC CPU2006 results, the new Opteron processors seem to be more than capable of matching the Intel Xeon processors clock for clock. This will make it most enticing for current AMD users, especially since the upgrade process will be relatively painless.

Linux.com have posted a guide on giving low end Canon cameras RAW support, thanks Bernard. If you have a point-and-click digital camera made by Canon, you may be able to turn on all sorts of features usually reserved for more expensive SLRs. That includes live histograms, depth-of-field calculation, under and overexposure highlighting, and -- best of all -- shooting your pictures in RAW. The secret is CHDK, an enhanced, free software replacement firmware.

Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 14-September-2007  06:53:06 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Gigabyte GV-RX26T256H Radeon HD 2600 XT at HardwareZone
Western Digital Scorpio 250GB 2.5" SATA Hard Drive at BigBruin
Seasonic S12 II 500W at OverclockersOnline
Kingwin ABT-800MA1S Mach 1 800 Watt Power Supply at OCIA
Gigabyte Odin GT 800w at LegionHardware
Gigabyte GA-G31MX-S2 Micro-ATX at TrustedReviews
Intel's X3210 Xeon Core 2 Quad CPU at Neoseeker

Cases and Cooling:
Silverstone FN122 and FM83 fans at XSReviews
CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000 Case at Motherboards
Microcool T441/T412 Thermal Pads and Chip Protectors at Madshrimps
Gigabyte Triton 180 PC Case at ThinkComputers
Ultra ChillTec Thermo-Electric CPU Cooler at HotHardware
Sunbeamtech Freezing Storm Case at GideonTech

Apple iPod Classic (160GB) at DigitalTrends
Logitech Premium Notebook Headset at I4U
Western Digital My Book Passport 250GB at OZHardware

SteelSeries Steelpad S&S at Tweak
Toshiba Qosmio G40-10E at TrustedReviews
1GB IronKey USB Flash Drive With Hardware Encryption at LegitReviews
Vadim's Fusion LQX Intel-775G2 PC at Bit-Tech
Fedora 8 Test 2 at Phoronix
Uniblue SpeedUpMyPC 3 at OverclockersClub
Corsair Flash Padlock Pen Drive at TweakTown
VeryPC GreenPC at TrustedReviews

Browser Bits (32 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 13-September-2007  18:19:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Note we now have a little icon thingy for our news page RSS feed! We've had the RSS for ages but not many people knew about it. Now you have no excuse! Let me know in the comments thread for this news post if you think we should do other stuff with the RSS feed or submit it to your favourite places etc. Yes I know we should have a teaser of content in there, I'm working on it. :) So yeah, the orange icon is down on the left navigation menu of the site, or in Firefox (or similar) you can click the orange button next to the address bar:

There's a zillion things you can grab RSS with of course, some people like Google Reader and there's an introductory video about that. Personally I tend to just make RSS feeds "Live Bookmarks" on Firefox, thusly:

Also, I've just now added an OpenSearch-compatible search function to our forums. So while you're in the forums, if you have an OpenSearch-compatible browser like FireFox or IE7, you should see an "Add OCAU Forums" option in the drop-down box of the search bar of your browser. Once added you can search our forums directly from your browser search bar:

Note you need to be in the forums to set this up initially, but then you can search while your browser is displaying any page.

Let me know if there's any other cool browser tricks out there we should be looking into. :)

Thursday Morning (8 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 13-September-2007  07:39:28 (GMT +10) - by Rational

DansData has checked out the long awaited cheap wattmeter for Australia. It is, finally, possible to buy a cheap power consumption meter here in 230-volt-nominal Australia. In the USA, the P3 Kill-A-Watt meter is deservedly popular; it's only $US21 from Amazon and is more than accurate enough for domestic purposes. But the Kill-A-Watt, and other cheap American meters, are useless for people in countries that have a different mains voltage.

Microsoft have announced some upcoming changes to Vista desktop search. Microsoft on Wednesday outlined the changes it plans to make to the desktop search feature in Windows Vista to satisfy antitrust concerns. The software maker agreed in June to make the alterations to the way desktop search operates in response to concerns from rivals, particularly Google.

TechARP have taken a look at the leaked Windows XP SP3. Those who are still hanging onto Windows XP (32-bit) will be heartened to know that the Service Pack 3 programme is chugging along nicely. In fact, Microsoft is scheduled to wrap up the Technical Beta and release Service Pack 3 for public beta testing within the next two weeks

AMD is still clawing away at Intels market share albeit Intel having the polular C2D platform. During Q2, Intel accounted for 78.8 per cent of global CPU sales by revenue, down from 80.8 per cent in Q1. AMD's share was up from Q1's 10.9 per cent to 13.4 per cent. That's half a percentage point more than Intel's dip - the remainder was taken from all the other vendors, such as VIA and ARM's licensees. Together, VIA and co. took 7.8 per cent of the market.

Bit-Tech have published an article about how to get the most out of your PC audio. This guide walks you through the basics of setting up your PC to get the best performance without spending any cash, and the best ways to spend a bit of dosh if you’re so inclined. One thing to remember throughout the course of this guide – good sound is highly subjective. One person may find one setup unlistenable whereas another may find it fantastic.

Bigpond is now offering 30Mbps "extreme" cable internet. The SMH also has coverage on this article. Telstra BigPond has launched its 30Mbps cable broadband service, BigPond Cable Extreme, in Sydney and Melbourne. The service, with upload speeds up to 1Mbps, is available to more than 1.8 million Sydney and Melbourne homes and businesses. User on other parts of Telstra's HFC network can get speeds up to 17Mbps downstream, 256kbps upstream.

Yougamers have posted an article about cross platform gaming. If you want to play the latest and greatest games, you'll have to invest in a system that can run them. The cutting edge of gaming technology is still wielded by the PC platform, but despite falling PC prices, the barrier of entry to cutting edge gaming can be high.

Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 13-September-2007  07:11:52 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Jetway M2A692-GDG 690G mainboard at Guru3D
abit IP35 Pro Off Limits Motherboard at Virtual-Hideout
Seagate Momentus ST9160823ASG 7200.2 160GB SATA at I4U
ATI Radeon HD 2600XT vs Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS at Techspot
ASUS P5E3 Deluxe X38 at NordicHardware
Intel X6800 Core 2 Extreme Dual Core Processor at TweakNews
Gigabyte's GA-X38T-DQ6 motherboard at Bit-Tech

Cases and Cooling:
Thermaltake SopranoRS 100 at PCModdingMy
CoolIT Freezone CPU Cooler at OCModShop

Razer Barracuda AC-1 With ALSA at Phoronix
Cowon D2 DMB 4GB MP3/Media Player at TrustedReviews
TwinMOS BooM System 2.1 Speaker for iPod at TrustedReviews
Rogue Galaxy at TrustedReviews
Medieval II Kingdoms at YouGamers
Mask of the Betrayer at YouGamers
Medal of Honor: Airborne at TrustedReviews

Steganos Safe 2008 at Bios
Logitech VX Nano Mouse at SpicyGadget
Linksys USB Wireless-Ready Print Server at RBMods
Corsair Flash Padlock USB Drive at Bjorn3D

Wednesday Night (20 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 12-September-2007  20:50:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Whirlpool's legal drama has made the mainstream news, with SMH and news.com.au reporting on it. "I don't think you could actually prove that for a web operator, that they personally intended the damage because of their malicious intention, especially when it's posted by a third party that they've got no relationship to," Stickley said.

People with pirated copies of Vista may be seeing a black screen of darkness soon. Good afternoon, as of this week, Microsoft has activated a function in Vista called 'Reduced Functionality.' This is a specific function in Vista that effectively disables nongenuine copies of Windows. Although, it now seems this was a hoax.

Possibly another hoax is this claim that google was hacked and the logo replaced with a World Trade Centre attack related image. I've just been contacted by Tom in Australia who said he also noticed the logo and captured this screenshot.

TechReport checked out Super Talent's 128GB solid-state drive. Now a new wave of SSDs is upon us, led into our labs by Super Talent's SATA25. This 2.5" drive packs a stunning 128GB of total capacity and claims sustained read and write speeds of 60MB/s and 40MB/s, respectively - huge improvements over previous solid-state drives. But how does it hold up in the wild?

One`` spotted this cool demo which is only 170KB or so. Download link is here. Reminds me of the oldschool Amiga demo days, but with much better graphics. :)

ThinkGaming point out that geeks could rock out long before Guitar Hero came along. Well, do any of you actually own GuitarFreaks? How about Drummania? Keyboardmania? Anybody? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Here's a cool icecream machine that can measure stress levels in your voice. Employing voice stress analysis of the user’s answers to specific questions, varying degrees of unhappiness are measured and the counteractive quantity of ice cream is dispensed: The more unhappy you are, the more ice cream you need. I need one of those in my office. And I need it to dispense beer.

Interesting Forum Threads:
Gecube 512Mb Radeon HD 2900XT Mini Review in Video Cards & Monitors.
Nvidia finally released driver to fix game slowdowns in Video Cards & Monitors.
Frequency vs timings in Memory.
Crysis Multiplayer Beta now on Fileplanet in Games.
A broadband future for Australia in Networking & Internet.
Free Guitar Lessons in Musicians.
RC Attack Blimp construction in Other Toys.
Top Gear guys coming to Oz? in Motoring.
How to give your low-end Canon digital camera RAW support in Photography.
A few tips as the election approaches in The Pub.

Modding Projects (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 12-September-2007  17:03:13 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Here are some of the various modding project worklogs happening on the forums.

G15 LED and Paint Job

Project Creeping Death

Cooling attachment for external HDD case

PC in a DVD player

Worklog Media Center

Wednesday Afternoon (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 12-September-2007  16:14:59 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Craig spotted this alarming news about a worm spreading through the Windows version of Skype. Skype has learned that a computer virus called “w32/Ramex.A” is affecting users of Skype for Windows. Users whose computers are infected with this virus will send a chat message to other Skype users asking them to click on a web link that can infect the computer of the person who receives the message.

PCMech have posted an article about ditching desktops for laptops and some of the risks involved. Laptop usage has definitely been on the increase lately. I cannot find any actual numbers, so that observation is subjective. However, I think it is totally accurate. Laptop prices have reduced dramatically. Today, you can buy a very nice laptop for under $1,000 without even having to work that hard.

They have also checked out some things that they would like to see from Google. They do a lot of things right, and they have made the internet a much better and more useful place than it was before they existed. Now, that said, there are things that I really wish Google would do. They aren’t perfect. So, here is my Google wish list.

HardwareZone have taken a look at Intel Caneland adding a new dimension in the high performance server market. While AMD just had its fanfare debut of the Barcelona, elsewhere Intel is busy ushering in their latest 4-way "Caneland" platform which also encompasses the new Xeon MP "Tigerton" processors. We take a look at what's in store for the high performance computing crowd.

Neoseeker have posted some of their thoughts on Barcelona from AMD. A few select sites on the net were fortunate enough to receive Barcelona's to test before the launch, and after looking at those reviews, it has become apparent that while Barcelona is a nice upgrade from dual core Opteron's, it is not yet up to trying to take the performance crown back from Intel.

Bennet spotted an article about a retail copy of Halo 3 spotted on Ebay. But an enterprising (or should that be thieving) Aussie has somehow managed to get his mitts on two retail PAL copies of the game, which he promptly placed on eBay. It's obvious they're the Australian versions, thanks to the whopping big OFLC rating on the front cover (it's an M by the way - doh, no high-level MA15+ violence this time around!)

OCIA have updated their mainstream system buyers guide for this month. Our guides are designed with overclocking in mind, so we often select lower-end processors / memory / video cards to save money, because we know these can be overclocked to equal or outperform higher priced hardware. All of our guides exclude common components such as a mouse, keyboard, monitor, OS, etc., under the assumption that you already own these items.

The Apple iPhone has been fully unlocked with a free open source tool, all before its release in Australia. But instead of just swiping the iPhone Dev Team's method, hackers started looking for different ways to achieve the same results now they knew a baseband flash could be done, and a certain Zappaz finally struck gold after working on it all Monday night and well into Tuesday. But that was only the beginning.

Even now, Vista's sales are still not as popular as Windows XP. Sales of boxed copies of Windows Vista continue to significantly trail those of Windows XP during its early days, according to a soon-to-be-released report. Standalone unit sales of Vista at U.S. retail stores were down 59.7 percent compared with Windows XP, during each product's first six months on store shelves, according to NPD Group.

Let todays timewaster be these three articles from Damn Interesting. The first one is about the building of the BAM - a Soviet railine in Siberia, high altitude spying and finally rocket mail.

Wednesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 12-September-2007  15:47:55 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P at Phoronix
ASRock 4Core 1333-eSATA2 R5.0 Intel P31 Motherboard at Madshrimps
Sparkle Action 700 Power Supply at 3DGameMan
Kingston HyperX PC3-11000 CL7 DDR3 2gb Kit at Overclock3D
Foxconn X38A (Intel X38 Chipset) at HardwareZone

Cases and Cooling:
Cooler Master CM 690 at TechGage
Be Quiet!'s PC Noise Absorber Kit at Bit-Tech

SOYO 24-Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor at BenchmarkReviews
Pioneer BDP-LX70 Blu-ray Player at TrustedReviews
Apacer Audio Steno AU581 2GB MP3 Player at OzHardware
Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 at OverclockersClub
Zalman ZM-DS4F Headphones at MadboxPC

Buffalo Nfiniti WZR-AG300NH at TrustedReviews
Killer NIC from Bigfoot at XSReviews
Medal of Honor: Airborne Performance at LegionHardware
World In Conflict AU at IGN
Logitech G9 Gaming Laser Mouse at OverclockersClub
Netgear Powerline Network Extender at BIOS
Madden NFL 08 PC at Tweaktown
Madden NFL '08 PC at Gamepyre

Find Steve Fossett! (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 12-September-2007  14:39:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Just wandered across this in the forums, and it's one of the oddest technological ideas I've ever seen, but it's also pretty cool. Adventurer Steve Fossett has been missing for several days after a plane he was flying over Nevada failed to return. Where technology comes in is that Google Earth have taken up-to-date photos of the region and, via Amazon's Mechanical Turk, people are being asked to volunteer some time to scan through images looking for possible crash sites. Apparently 6 other lost aircraft have been found already, but not Steve's. Discussion here in the forums. Here's hoping we can find Steve before this becomes his last adventure.

Wednesday Morning Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 12-September-2007  11:29:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A+ Case Monolize ATX Full Tower on OC3D.
Silverstone Kublai KL01 Hot-Plug Tower Chassis on ExtremeMHz.
Thermaltake Kandalf LCS tower case with watercooling on InsideHW.

Portable / Prebuilt:
Lenovo ThinkPad T61p Laptop on DigitalTrends.
Dell Inspiron 530 prebuilt PC on TrustedReviews.
Dell Latitude D531 laptop on TrustedReviews.

Video Cards:
Sapphire Radeon HD 2600Pro OC, 2600XT, and 2400XT on HotHardware.
ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 1GB CrossFire on XbitLabs.
Gainward 8800 Ultra on XSReviews.
Biostar 8600 GTS 512 MB GDDR3 on TechPowerUp.
Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital Edition monitor adapter on OCModShop.

Wednesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 12-September-2007  11:10:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Power Supply:
Tagan ITZ 1300w PSU (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Antec TruePower Quattro 850W Modular PSU on BenchMarkReviews.
Targan TurboJet 1100W on Modders-Inc.
SilverStone ST1000 1000W Modular on ThinkComputers.
Kingwin Mach 1 ABT-800MA1S 800 Watt Modular on Tweaknews.
Seasonic S12 II 500W on PCPerspective.

Super Talent Exelerator 2GB Ready Boost USB flash drive on Virtual-Hideout.
Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini 80GB External Hard Drive on BigBruin.
Hitachi Deskstar 7k1000 1TB Hard Drive on HWLogic.
Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 1TB Hard Drive on Tweaktown.
Kingston 8GB DataTraveler II Plus on TheTechZone.

Arctic Cooling Accelero S1/S2 Turbo Module video cooler upgrade on OCIA.
CoolIT Systems Freezone Thermoelectric CPU Cooler on BigBruin.
XSPC X2O Delta CPU waterblock on OC3D.

2Clix sues Whirlpool founder (192 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 12-September-2007  02:44:39 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Hot off the presses over at fellow Australian tech-enthusiast website Whirlpool:

Whirlpool founder Simon Wright is being sued by accounting software firm 2Clix Australia Pty Ltd (ACN 118 044 198) for alleged "injurious falsehood".

The Statement of Claim from the company alleges that Simon Wright allowed statements "relating to the Plaintiff and its software product that are both false and malicious" to be published on the Whirlpool forums.

2Clix is suing for at least $150,000 (plus costs), and is demanding that two forum threads be removed from the site.

Whirlpool believes the action has no merit and will defend the matter vigorously, despite being a community website with little resources.

Simon Wright, the moderators and Whirlpool's legal team ask that users respect Simon's right to a fair trial and not prejudice his case. Users should refrain from doing anything that might expose Simon to contempt of court such as making statements that prejudge the outcome of the case. Please keep any comments polite and factual.

That goes for comments here too. Anyway, I obviously don't have any more idea about the specifics of the case than you do, but I imagine every forum operator in Australia is paying close attention to this one. I've already emailed Simon to express my support.

Edit: there's a digg link here.

Tuesday Afternoon (4 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 11-September-2007  16:23:16 (GMT +10) - by Agg

BFM sent in this tetris PC mod over on Bit-Tech. It would be based in a retro style, with very bright colours. It also had to be of huge proportions, as it would need to hold the gaming rigs of each of our clan.

TheInq have an interesting article on Barcelona's power consumption figures. The key factor that AMD is placing its bets on is its low power consumption. Well, in a bid to change the way we think about power, AMD has unveiled a new metric it is hoping we analysts will buy into - average power consumption.

Ospi spotted this free BMW M3 driving game which is apparently based on the same game engine as rFactor (our rFactor thread is here). Thanks to the BMW M3 Challenge, the Nürburgring Grand Prix circuit is all yours.

Seems the iPhone can rack up your phone bill while it's turned off, thanks mpot. While Levy, his wife and his daughter were enjoying the trip, and even while they were sleeping, their three iPhones were racking up a bill for data charges. The iPhone regularly updates e-mail, even while it's off, so that all the messages will be available when the user turns it on.

If you're in a net cafe in Mumbai, India, beware the keylogger. Indian journalist Amit Varma reports that Mumbai's police are requiring the city's 500 Internet cafes to install keystroke loggers, which will capture every keystroke by users and turn that information over to the government — nearly in realtime by the sound of it.

Google SketchUp is having a competition for higher education students in Australia and New Zealand to design their campus in SketchUp. You may enter this competition if you are a higher education student in Australia or New Zealand. Team up with other students, or take the project on yourself. We suggest you have a faculty advisor in order to do the best work possible. Good luck and happy sketching! Damn, I can't find that story where a kid got accused of being a terrorist because he made a game level of his school.

Here's a cool DIY projects page where a guy makes his own CNC mill, then does some cool "lost-foam casting" to make things out of aluminium. Somewhere in Texas there lives a college student/weldor with a huge love for electronics and engineering, a lot of free time, a very small budget, and an even smaller social life.

LegitReviews looked at folding on Intel's V8 platform. Remember, OCAU's Folding team is team 24!

From Darkness: The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Open Day will this year take place on Saturday, the 15th of September. Local volunteer firefighters will welcome the community to brigade stations or displays all the way from Bourke to Llandilo! This article contains information as well as a list of all stations that will open for the day.

From Dass Booty: Avast ye scurvy wenches! Talk Like a Pirate Day is comen up on the port bow! Thar be more reeden about it here for all you scooled land lubbers.

From James: I added this as a post to the 'OCAU free games' thread. Dunno if it's been posted before on the news page. "it's a bit like Asteroids hyperactive, drug crazed brother displayed in blur-o-vision© and viewed through psychedelic sunglasses in a cheap nightclub". We have mentioned it before but it's worth another look.

Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 11-September-2007  14:06:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

NZXT Lexa Blackline Case (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Nexus Caterpillar Silent System on Metku.
Thermaltake LANBOX Lite on Virtual-Hideout.
Danger Den Water Box Plus on OCClub.
Cooler Master COSMOS 1000 on Tweaktown.
Cooler Master CM Media 282 Hybrid Desktop/HTPC on Tweaknews.
Revoltec Rhodium on Bjorn3D.

Audio / Visual:
Audioengine A2 speakers on DigitalTrends.
Motorola H9 Mini Bluetooth Headset on BlueTomorrow.
Fujifilm FinePix S6500FD Digital Camera on MadShrimps.
Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 webcam on OCClub.

Input Etc:
Logitech MX Air Mouse on HWZone.
Sandio 3D Game O' Mouse on TheTechLounge.
A4Tech X7 G100 Gaming Keyboard Pro on ThinkComputers.
SteelSeries 5L, QcK heavy and S&S mousepads on TBreak.
VidaBox Premium Wireless Keyboard oN TechPowerUp.
SteelSeries S&S mousepad on DVHardware.

Monday Night (9 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 10-September-2007  21:56:11 (GMT +10) - by skootyloops

Firstly, as most people know the new AMD Barcelona has finally been released. We have reviews from; Hot Hardware, PC Perspective, Techware Labs and TechReport.

Chile Hardware has sent news that Tuniq is entering the PSU market. However a warning, this page is in what I believe is spanish.

As pictures of the highly anticipated Intel X38 chipset surface, OC Workbench have pictures of the Abit IX38. IX38 MAX is based on Intel X38+ICH9R chipset. It supports the highest 1333FSB processors e.g. Intel Core 2 Duo/Quad/Extreme series. It has 4 DIMM slots supporting 4 x DDR3-1066/1333. Max capacity is 8GB. The difference between this and IX38 Quad is that IX38 Quad supports DDR2 while this supports DDR3.

Dailytech has posted an article about a hack discovered for the iPhone. This hack allows free ringtones to work on your iPhone. It seems as though the good news continues to roll in for iPhone users. On Wednesday, Apple announced a $200US price cut for the 8GB iPhone and dropped the price on the 4GB model to $299US until supplies run out. Yesterday, Steve Jobs announced to the Apple faithful that those that purchased iPhones before the price drop would be given $100US of in-store credit to the Apple Store.

And lastly, XbitLabs have an article about VIA's future in the chipset market. Via Technologies, a struggling designer of chipsets and developer of central processing units (CPUs), has reportedly lost an executive who was in charge of the company’s chipset business along with a group of core-logic developers. The resignation of an exec spurred further rumours regarding the chipset business of Via.

Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 10-September-2007  15:08:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Just a snapshot of what people are up to in the forums today:

How do you teach someone who knows little about PC's to use them? in Newbie Lounge.
New motherboard require format/reinstall OS? in Newbie Lounge.
Vista Sleep, not completely dormant in Troubleshooting Help.
Ever seen a fan fail like this? in Overclocking & Hardware.
15 cd drives in Modding.
Making a Nixie clock in Electronics.
'Switching' on a USB device with 3.3v in Electronics.
Are high end PC speakers 5.1 viable for Hi-Fi home theatre? in PC Audio.
Rad: Aluminium vs copper ?? in Extreme Cooling.
How much airflow does a radiator require? in Extreme Cooling.
Who has experienced LCD dead pixels? in Video Cards & Monitors.
2900XT + E6850 + P5K Vanilla on Dry Ice in Video Cards & Monitors.
QX6850 and 8800GTS in Intel Hardware.
DDR3 is VERY strong > Corsair 4GB DDR3 + E6700 + Gigabyte P35T-DQ6 in Intel Hardware.
E6850 L723A347 @4704+ Mhz + Asus Commando 1501 in Intel Hardware.
Home made soft box in Photography Gallery.
Bums not bombs! in Photography Gallery.
In today's BS junk science news in Science.
True financial freedom: aka The Self Sustaining Pile of Cash in Career, Education and Finance.
New footage released of diggers fighting in Afghanistan in Current Events.
NZ man finds police tracking device on daughter's car, sells online in Current Events.
Porsche GT2 race spec drifting in Motoring.
How the hell do you catch a mouse? in The Pub.

Monday Morning (4 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 10-September-2007  11:32:17 (GMT +10) - by Agg

AMD is launching its quad-core opteron later today in a live webcast. A replay of the webcast can be accessed at this site approximately one hour after the conclusion of the live event and will be available for 10 days after the event.

There's been a bit more info uncovered about the asteroid collision that killed the dinosaurs. About 65 million years ago, a 10km piece crunched into Earth, unleashing a firestorm that filtered out sunlight.

NordicHW ponder how much L2 cache affects C2D CPUs. In our latest article Robert 'crotale' Kihlberg investigates how much the L2 cache of the Core 2 Duo series really affects the overall performance by comparing three different processors with 1, 2 & 4 MB of L2 cache running at the exact same speed.

Here's a cool matrix goggles idea, that can "ASCII-fy" your vision. Russian artists from Moscow presented in London the totally useless but somehow cool device - goggles that you can put on and feel yourself like a robot from a Terminator movie or like somebody else from "the cyberspace".

Dan wonders about laptop CPUs in desktop PCs. Laptop chips look like a great option for quiet computing. And they make desktop motherboards that accept them. Why's it so hard to actually bleeding FIND one, then?

Here's an impressively tidy PC in a new PCDB entry. Wish I could get my cabling that neat!

The iDrink is a fairly neat iPod-inspired bottle opener. There's also a NSFW and completely unrelated (but very easy on the eyes) video on that page. Eh, the haterz will hold out for the Zune model, which will be twice as big, four times as heavy, and puzzlingly difficult to use.

ComputerWorld report on yet another supercomputer for the rest of us technology on the way. The Explicit Multi-Threading (XMT) computer combines the decades-old philosophy of using parallel computing algorithms with the huge number of transistors in modern processors.

There's a long preview look at Far Cry 2 on GameTrailers, discussion here. Mmm, burny.

Phoronix cover some developments in the linux graphics driver world. If everything turns out as promised by AMD, as Linux reaches a point of critical mass it will be inevitable that NVIDIA revise their Linux software strategy if they wish to remain competitive in the open-source world.

Sunday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 9-September-2007  06:47:08 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Tech arp has posted a new article on their site, The AMD NDA Scandal. "Just two weeks ago, we reported that a Thai journalist walked out of the hush-hush (AMD event in Singapore over a controversial NDA that required him to "send any stories to the vendor before his newspaper can publish it".AMD categorically denied it happened, but today, we not only have proof that it happened, we also have the sordid details of the entire affair."

Phoronix have yet another article about the 8.41 ATI drivers for linux, this time they are looking exclusively at the image quality while gaming with the ATI Radeon HD 2900XP 512MB under Linux.

Copyright measures are increasingly becoming bothersome to some gamers. A recent example of this was the recently launched game, BioShock. Tech arp have an article posted about this ever increasing inconvenience.

It seems as though hardware manufacturers finally got tired of being forced into AMD products if they bought an AMD motherboard, or NVIDIA products if they bought an NVIDIA board. And so, Voodoo PC (owned by HP) decided to fix that. Using an unknown method, Voodoo is giving customers the option to get either CrossFire or SLI in a computer built around an NVIDIA SLI platform. Full read here, on Custom PC

Intel issued marching orders today that several Core Solo, Core Duo, Celeron and one Core 2 Quad chip will be discontinued shortly. As Intel prepares the upcoming 45nm, these older processors will no longer be available after the dates shown in this table on TGDaily.

On the topic of new Intel CPUs, ZDNet have an article here about the new Tigerton quad-core chip. "Codename Caneland, its much-awaited Xeon MP 7300 server platform comprises the new "Tigerton" quad-core Xeon 7300 series chip, as well as the "Clarksboro" 7300 chipset."

"Telstra has been ordered to hand over thousands of secret emails and documents belonging to chief executive Sol Trujillo and the executive team to government lawyers as part of a bitter court battle between the two parties." - From this article over on AustralianIT.

Xbit Labs has a roundup of thirteen 20" LCD Monitors from Asus, BenQ, Dell, HP, LG, NEC, Philips, Samsung and Viewsonic posted here.

Bit-tech have a feature posted on Linux CLI 101, which, I just discovered, means Linux Command Line Interface 101. The whole linux thing still looks way too confusing for me. :(

From Jason over at Big-Bruin: In between trips to the bar and stops with the hors d’oeuvre waiters, I spent some time checking out each item on display at the Seagate NYC Blogger Event held on September 05, 2007, and compiled this summary of what the present and near future at Seagate looks like. With items such as the D.A.V.E., Momentus and Barracuda FDE drives, and the brand new OneTouch 4 series of external hard drives from Maxtor on hand, there were plenty of interesting items to check out.

Now, time to get some beauty sleep...

Saturday Morning (5 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 8-September-2007  08:02:13 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Sony has rewarded this 9 year old kid, with a brand new PS3, for saving his Dad in a runaway truck.

TechwareLabs has published a guide to saving files in Office 2007. Some of you who have new machines or who have upgraded to Office 2007 have already discovered that Office 2007 saves documents in a new format that is unreadable by those with the older Office 2003. If you want to save files created by the Office 2007 suite of programs in a compatible format then this short and simple guide is for you.

This fancy switch may be handy for some of you that have limited HDMI connectors on your TV. Featuring simple installation and two way connectivity are the fine points of this product that allows two HDMI devices to be connected to a single source by way of the Ultra AV switch. This is a niche product at the moment and I have started to see all the new TVs coming out having multiple HDMI connections, but for those limited by only one HDMI connector and two HDMI devices, the Accell Ultra AV 2/Way HDMI switch is a viable solution for your needs.

Gathering together the present and previous generations of graphics cards from both ATI and NVIDIA that have ruled much of the retail scene in 2007, Hardware Zone have the benchmark numbers for more than 20 cards in their comparison chart. Which is the best performer and which gives the best bang for your buck? Answers inside!

OCIA has posted their Budget System Buying Guide for September 2007.

Mark Shuttleworth, the self-made millionaire and leader of the Ubuntu project, has been very vocal about the adoption of free software and that "the free software approach is a better device driver development model." But what does Mark think about AMD's announcements this week with the 8.41 display driver and the just-announced program where AMD will be handing out specifications under NDA and helping out the open-source community? Mark Shuttleworth has provided Phoronix some of his initial thoughts on ATI/AMD's new Linux push. Full article here.

Phoronix has a new article explaining AMD's new open-source strategy as well, read it here.

PCMech have a guide showing you how to use Google to best potential, using special search functions and methods.

As high as the clock speeds on ATI's Radeon HD 2900 and NVIDIA's 8800 series are, can they be pushed higher? YouGames' answers this question with this new article published on their site.

Also from the guys at Yougamers: Just a quick heads-up to let you know that NVIDIA's Roy Taylor hasresumed his blogging ways and has started up his new blog at YouGamers. Read the latest blog here.

A lot of today's reviews fresh off the press just below too, enjoy. :)

Saturday Morning Reviews #3 (4 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 8-September-2007  07:41:06 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Ideazon Merc Stealth Keyboard on Ideazon Merc Stealth Keyboard
OCZ Equalizer Laser Gaming Mouse on Modders Inc

Spire Fourier IV SP607B3C Heatsink on FrostyTech
FluidXP Ultra - Non-Conductive Coolant on PC Apex
Zalman Reserator XT Water Cooling System on 3DGameMan
Jetart X Cool NP8000 Laptop Cooler on XS Reviews
ZeroTherm ZT-100 Thermal Grease on Hardware Logic

Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 Case on Pc Perspective
Cooler Master Cosmos on TweakPC
Aerocool AE-Plus CaseReview on 3DXtreme
Antec P190 + 1200 on PC Freaks & Geeks
Antec Sonata III on PCFrags
Coolermaster CM 690 ATX Case on Madshrimps
Lian Li PC-A58 Case on Overclockers Club
Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 Black High-End Mid-Tower ATX Gaming Case on Benchmark Reviews

Abit IP35 Pro and IP35-E on InsideHW
ASRock 4Core1333-eSATA2 Intel P31 Mainboard on OCWorkBench
Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H Motherboard on Motherboards.org

Saturday Morning Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 8-September-2007  07:40:48 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Creative Zen Stone Plus on t-break
T-Mobile Wing on Digital Trends
Sony A810 Walkman Video MP3 Player on Techarp
Sony S610 Walkman Video MP3 Player on Techarp
Nokia 8600 Luna on Hardware Zone
Amtek T770 UMPC on Via Arena
Plustek OpticSlim M12 on Au-Ja (translated)

HP Blackbird 002 Gaming System on HotHardware
Dell XPS M1330 (Intel Santa Rosa) on Hardware Zone
Shuttle SG33G5 Pro SFF XPC - Intel G33 on TweakTown

Antec 850w Quattro Power Supply on Virtual-Hideout
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W Quad CF on TechPowerup

Diamond XtremeTV USB 2.0 TV Tuner on Gamepyre
Netgear EVA8000 on Digital Trends
Epson Stylus Photo R285 on Trusted Reviews
Samsung SyncMaster XL20 LED Backlight Monitor on Trusted Reviews
Olympus FE-250 on Trusted Reviews
Akasa Combo Card Reader on TCMagazine
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 on I4U

Saturday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 8-September-2007  07:40:29 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

A-DATA Extreme Edition 1200+ 1GB Kit on TechPowerUp
Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500 on PCFrags
OCZ DDR3-1066 PC3-8500 Gold Series 2Gb Kit on CPU3D

Bioshock on I4U
Bioshock on Pro-Clockers
Medieval 2: Total War - Kingdoms on Trusted Reviews
Laplink PCmover 3 on Trusted Reviews
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts MP Beta Preview on Benchmark Reviews
SimCity Societies preview on Yougamers
Bioshock Xbox 360 on Tweaktown
Medal of Honor: Airborne on Bit-Tech

Galaxy 8600 Ge Video Card on Madshrimps
Sapphire HD 2600 XT Ultimate Edition on OCC
NVIDIA Forceware 163.44 Beta Drivers For Bioshock on Legit Reviews
PowerColor HD 2600 XT on Bjorn3D

Freecom DataTank Gateway WLAN on Bios Magazine
D-Link 8-Port PoE Switch (DES-1008P) on Bios Magazine

Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 7-September-2007  16:01:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

1080p Homemade Projector in Modding.
Hardware Virtulization for home server worth it? in Enterprise Computing.
The Large Hadron Collider: Could it destroy the Earth? in Science.
I'm after a cool science experiment for kids in Science.
Save me, Science Forum! Or, will microwave ovens kill us all? in Science.
Iron Maiden Australian Tour 2008 in TV, Movies, Music & Books.
Film and TV: Bogan, James Bogan in TV, Movies, Music & Books.
Sci - Fi Movies in TV, Movies, Music & Books.
How do I live cheaply? in Career, Education & Finance.
Jitters as Indonesia buys Russian Subs in Current Events.
Chaser's War on APEC! in Current Events.
Aussie backyards die slow death in Lifestyle.
SilkyPix RAW converter in Photography.
Toilet with a view in Photography Gallery.
Woah. The new Mazda 6 is hot in Motoring.
Pictures of Police Snipers in Sydney in The Pub.

Thursday Night (6 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 6-September-2007  22:06:24 (GMT +10) - by skootyloops

Firstly, Trusted Reviews have information on new GPU's being released on the dying AGP platform. When I envision the zombie apocalypse I can't say the return of redundant electronic interfaces from the dead is quite what I have in mind, but nonetheless that is exactly what has happened. While I don't know of anyone who has owned an AGP card since the hay-day of the ATI 9800 series (and nVidia's awful FX range), cards have been knocking around based on more recent chips generally asking ridiculous prices for inferior products. Considering we'll be moving up to PCI Express version 2.0 soon it seems an odd time to pledge support for the last generations technology.

Techgage have two new articles posted about the Austin Game Developers Conference. The first one is an Interview with CCP Games. One of the more important aspects of any MMO game is having some great back-story. To gain an idea of what goes on behind the scenes, we sat down with both Web Fiction Author and also the Communications Director for CCP Games, creators of EVE Online. And the second article is titled Building Bridges - Next-Generation Community Management. We are at the Austin GDC, so you can expect lots of information, lectures and interviews over the next few days. First up, we have a lecture by Richard Vogel, focusing on the current state of social networking and a look at where it's headed. It's a long one, so grab a fresh beverage and read on!

Tweaktown have posted some information on bypassing the iPhone's SIM security. "The whole process took 20 minutes to complete - we will walk you through the process we saw from the undisclosed location hidden in the back streets of somewhere. I was blind folded during transportation to the location, I swear!! First of all, let me say I am quite aware there are already three methods of iPhone enabling, hacking, modifying or however you would like to put it. The first to surface was the soldering trick but this seems a little impractical for most consumers."

Xbitlabs have a news story with Dell speaking about the performance of the new AMD Quad-Core. Following a massive scandal that was caused by “simulated benchmarks” of Advanced Micro Devices quad-core microprocessors, Michael Dell, the founder and chief executive of Dell, the world’s second biggest supplier of personal computers (PCs), said that AMD’s code-named Barcelona chip does have potential and can be considerably faster its rival from Intel Corp.

And lastly Sony have announced two more Blu-ray Disc Players are to be added to their line-up. Sony announced that it will be adding two new Blu-ray Disc players to its roster of high-definition movie players. Joining the $499US entry-level BDP-S300 sometime this fall will be two higher-end machines.

Thursday Afternoon (7 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 6-September-2007  14:33:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Chinese internet users will soon be interrupted by cartoon Police pop-ups reminding them not to do naughty things on the internet. This would be hilarious if we weren't paying millions of dollars for something almost as silly in Australia.

BIND 8 has been officially retired to a security concern, thanks wast3gat3. The flaw within Berkeley Internet Name Domain 8 (Bind 8) software could misdirect users to a fraudulent Web site even if a user typed in the correct URL (uniform resource locator), wrote Amit Klein, chief technology officer for security vendor Trusteer. Klein discovered the problem.

Sniper spotted this interesting zdnet blog post about building your own "Deep Blue"-equivalent supercomputer for $1,300 USD. Beowulf clusters are based on a message-passing (MPI) infrastructure that uses a network to interconnect the nodes. Some Beowulf clusters have hundreds of nodes and scale nicely with the right workloads. Microwulf has an economical version of the same architecture, built on Ubuntu Linux and MPI libraries.

HardOCP look into BioShock's DX10 Performance and the same in Call of Juarez, while TechARP grumble about overbearing copyright measures, including BioShock's "rootkit" issue.

Some case reviews: Zalman's GT1000 on TechGage, Lian-Li's PC-B25 on Bit-Tech, Silverstone's Sugo SG02 on XSReviews and Gigabyte's iSolo 210 in a video review on 3DGameMan.

Apple have 3 new iPods. Not being an iPod owner they all look like the old ones to me, except the big one, which looks like an iPhone. Anyhoo, discussion here in our Apple Hardware forum.

Thursday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 6-September-2007  01:20:07 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

OCModShop has a complete BioShock Walkthrough posted up on their site. This "genetically enhanced" first-person shooter lets you do things never before possible in the genre: turn everything into a weapon, biologically mod your body with plasmids, hack devices and systems, upgrade your weapons and craft new ammo variants, and experiment with different battle techniques in an incredibly unique underwater city. The game focuses on a secret underwater city named Rapture, created by a rich philanthropist by the name of Andrew Ryan. Andrew has the goal of creating a utopian society where the great and powerful would not be constrained by the poor, and where the world's elite could live without being bound by morality, government, or religion.

More on Bioshock, Legion Hardware have been busy over the past week, testing five ATI and five nVidia cards on both AMD and Intel platforms, and see how well the test systems handle the game.

Just remember, the demo of Bioshock is available locally through Ausgamers, iiNet, Internode, and GameArena.

ASELabs has a new article posted, showing us Open Source alternatives, emphasising that there are a lot of free alternatives out there. When you finally take the plunge into alternatives to closed and proprietary software, you may find yourself wondering where you should go first and what programs do I use for certain things. It is true that when people think of an office suite, they think of Microsoft Office. The real question is, how many people actually paid for that piece of software? Many people and companies I know just install the software without thinking of the cost and basically perform copyright infringement. This can cost lots of money in the end, but why do this in the first place? There are good free and open source alternatives to use for nearly every program.

A handy guide has been posted up by the TechwareLabs guys, a guide on building your own custom computer, and how they think it is better than buying pre-build options from companies like HP, Dell and Gateway.

Apparently the Xbox360 Live Service disallows any use of the word linux or unix in their screennames, saying that their motto contains inappropriate language. Thanks for sending in that Nick!

Microsoft have updated their site containing an opening video and mini-site for their new VOIP software, thanks for emailing that in Supreme_101.

And yes, Dan has more letters...In this edition: 8800 GTX versus PC-S80, heat-related crashes, keyboard surgery, and the sad plight of the Socket 478 underclass.

Last week, AMD briefed members of the press regarding Silicon Optix’s HD HQV benchmark. AMD alleged its competitor, NVIDIA, cheated in the benchmark’s noise reduction section. The noise reduction test accounted for 25% of the overall score in HD HQV. Full article, here on DailyTech.

Phoronix have been playing with the new ATI Linux drivers with multiple cards, and have found huge performance gains, allowing them to run games like Quake 4 and Doom 3 at playable frame-rates, something that the previous drivers did not allow.

There are a large number of fan based laptop coolers out there, but the market for passive laptop coolers seem to be a little more...quiet. Two entrants enter the ring here today for a passive laptop cooling duel to the death. In one corner we have Lapworks and in the other corner Thermaltake. Futurelooks has the full shoot out posted here.

Here is a handy guide on how to write your resume, entitled: 10 Ways Your Resume Irks Hiring Managers.

Believe it or not, Chicago policeman Thaddeus Martyka isn't the first cop to chase down a crook with the help of a Segway, but nevertheless, the two-wheeled wonder is to thank for yet another arrest. Full article here on Engadget.

Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 6-September-2007  01:17:00 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

PC Power and Cooling 750 Quad Black Power Supply on BigBruin.
Tritton USB 5.1 Digital Headset on Modders-Inc.
BandRich C100 HSDPA 3.5G Modem on Tweaktown.
ECS GeForce 8500 GT 512MB on Guru3D.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred 9 on Bjorn3D.
Sparkle Calibre GeForce 8800 Ultra on Tweak.dk.
Intel QX6850 Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core 1333MHZ FSB Processor on Tweaknews.net.
iRex Technologies iLiad Reader on Trusted Reviews.
Parrot Party Bluetooth Speakers on Trusted Reviews.
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook on Trusted Reviews.

Wednesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 5-September-2007  16:06:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

ASUS P5E3 Deluxe LGA775 X38 DDR3 board on NordicHW.
ECS NF650iSLIT-A Motherboard LGA775 board on FutureLooks.

Audio / Visual:
GalaXy TVistoU2F Multimedia HDD Enclosure on ViperLair.
HP w2207 22" Widescreen Monitor on HotHardware.

Storage & Memory:
Tagan ICYBOX 2.5" enclosure on GideonTech.
Western Digital RaptorX WD1500AHFD 150GB Clear Top SATA Hard Drive on PCStats.
OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 Platinum Quad Kit memory on OCIA.
Seagate Freeagent Pro eSATA/USB Storage on TweakTown.

Input Etc:
SteelSeries Steelkeys 6G Gaming Keyboard on ThinkComputers.
Saitek 1600DPI & 3200DPI Gaming Mice on Techgage.
Logitech VX Nano mouse on DigitalTrends.

Power Supply:
ATX Power Supply Units Roundup. Part VII on XbitLabs.
Silverstone Olympia OP1000 1000W PSU on ExtremeMHz.

Antec 900 Advanced Gaming Case on OCClub.
D-Tek Fuzion GPU and Uni-Sink VGA waterblock on TechPowerUp.

OCAU Job Search (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 5-September-2007  12:02:28 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Just a reminder that we have an OCAU Job Search sub-site now. So if you're staring at your PC wishing you had a better job, get searching! Discussion in this thread in our Careers, Education and Finance forum.

Wednesday Morning (7 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 5-September-2007  01:57:14 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

OCInside has a look at the current offerings from ASRock, covering 13 AMD and Intel motherboards.

OCModShop have a chat with the CEO of Auran, who showed them the current state of Fury, which Tony Hilliam (the CEO), who describes it as World of Warcraft on steroids, mixed with a healthy dose of Unreal Tournament. It's definitely got my attention!

Phalanx gave us the heads up about Google Inc. taking another step Friday in its continued attempts to improve its relationships with wire services, when it announced a program to host full articles from news agencies on Google News pages.

Justin sent in an interesting lawsuit that has developed over in the states, regarding a man that got arrested for refusing to show is receipt at Circuit City (an electronics store). You can read about what has unfolded over the last few days here, which is infact written by the man himself.

TechwareLabs has published a guide to driver errors and how to fix them. Read the full guide, here.

ASE Labs brings up the subject of technology, and if our society has begun to burst at the seems due to this influx of terrible technology...

From Peter: The Sydney Morning Herald has an article and a link to pictures of what is the most sensitive part of a US ballistic missile submarine -its propeller thanks to Microsoft's alternate to Google Earth. Interestingly, if you install Live, the image you get is much less clearly defined. If you then look a bit further down the map, in Bremerton Naval yard you see a new aircraft carrier underconstruction. The same location ( 47°33'16.96"N,122°38'35.84"W) just shows the initial construction and hull outline.

Recently TTGamer had a chance to attend the World Cyber Games 2007 Australian Championship in Sydney, covering the winners of the event, as well as some of the side shows on offer. More info, here.

From Speedracer: Here is a weekly short but hilarious video review hosted by The Escapist magazine called Zero Punctuation, created by a guy named Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, a British expat based in Australia. The humour is rapid with at times, scathing commentaries on games and gamers but hilarious to those who know a little about the subject. And in my opinion, definitely worth a watch.

Sat Nav can be a huge aid when driving on unfamiliar roads, but apparently not in Wales, where a council has put up a sign warning lorry drivers to ignore their satellite navigation systems after faulty sat-nav directions caused traffic chaos.

Opera 9.5 Alpha has been released. Cybernet has a preview up showing the speed increases and bug fixes that they have accomplised with this new release.

Wednesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 5-September-2007  01:53:40 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Auzentech Prelude 7.1 sound card on XSReviews
Brother DCP-9040CN Multi-Function Device on Trusted Reviews
ECS NF650iSLIT-A Motherboard on Futurelooks
Bioshock on TCMagazine
Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 Webcam on XYZ Computing
Nikon CoolPix S50c on Trusted Reviews
PC Power and Cooling Silencer 610 Power Supply on Pro-Clockers
Plantronics Voyager 520 Bluetooth Headset on Legit Reviews
Sony VPL-VW50 Projector on Trusted Reviews
Ultra X3 600Watt Modular Power Supply on Tweaknews.net
WinFast PX8600 GTS TDH Extreme Video Card on Modders-Inc
Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Exposed Copper Heatpipe CPU Cooler on BmR
Gigabyte 3D Rocket II on Bit-Tech

Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 4-September-2007  13:47:32 (GMT +10) - by Cryogenic

Cases, Cooling and Power:
Cooler Master Cosmos RC-1000 at techPowerUp
Kingwin Gladiator Hybrid Liquid CPU Cooler at Virtual-Hideout
TTIC Micro Flow Intel S775 Water Block at Madshrimps
Ultra X3 600w Power Supply at OCIA
Seasonic S12II-380 Power Supply at SilentPCReview

SanDisk Sansa Express DAP at I4U
LaCie Big Disk Extreme+ (2TB) at Digital Trends

PCs and Software:
Alienware Area-51 m7950 at BIOS
HP Pavilion DV6000 at PC Mechanic
Mario Strikers Charged at BFR
Madden NFL 08 (PC) at YouGamers

ASUS Xonar D2 at Techgage
TiVo HD at TheTechLounge
LTB Q-Bean U at OCC
ASUS Xonar D2 at bit-tech

PowerColor Radeon HD 2600 Pro (Spanish) at ChileHardware
Cyber Snipa USB Dog Tags at HardwareLogic
Logitech MX Air at InsideHW

Tuesday Afternoon (3 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 4-September-2007  13:28:08 (GMT +10) - by Cryogenic

Some interesting stuff submitted by OCAU Forum members. Aftahours sent in a link to this look at an old Mac User Manual. Genesis sent in some vids showing AMD's Barcelona core processors, here and here. Shadowman sent in what appears to be a 1 horsepower vehicle. And Tusker sent in a couple interesting links regarding Firefox and ad-blocking, here and here. Thanks guys, keep sending it in!

LegionHardware have done a comparison between nVidia and ATi's current high-end graphics cards. Using the latest official drivers we put the GeForce 8800 series head to head with the Radeon HD 2900XT in titles such as Bioshock, World in Conflict, Medal of Honour: Airborne and a number of other popular games. This will be our final comparison between these high-end graphics cards, as we eagerly await the next generation of ATI and Nvidia graphics cards.

Phoronix have posted an article entitled "The ATI R500 on Linux: Then and Now". In this article today we are going back to test the original 8.24.8 display driver and compare it directly against the latest driver available as of today, the 8.40.4 fglrx release.

Looking into the future of Intel, TechARP have had a chat to Intel's APAC Director of Marketing. Right after our talk with John Freude of AMD, we also had the opportunity to talk to Tim Bailey, Intel's APAC Director of Marketing about Intel's future plans. He touched on everything from the Penryn which is just-over-the-horizon to Intel's next-generation 32 nm process technology. Let's start with Penryn.

Looking at some CPU tech, HardwareSecrets have updated their article on AMD's HyperTransport Bus to include the latest version, 3.0. If you want more, they also have just posted an article on AMD's K10 architecture, here.

If you're looking for some modding inspiration, head over to bit-tech who have posted their August Mod-Of-The-Month entries. On the other hand if you're as lazy as me, you could just let the hackers do some creative work to your PC for you.

Finally, the latest installment of Ask Dan takes a look at "Power Supply puzzlement".

Monday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 3-September-2007  22:38:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard/ CPU:
Intel E6750 Core 2 Duo 1333MHZ FSB Processor on Tweaknews.
Biostar T-Force TP35D3-A7 Dlx LGA775 board on OCOnline.

Audio / Visual:
ASUS Xonar D2 Ultra Fidelity Sound Card on Tweaktown.
Logitech Squeezebox Network Music Player on OZHW.
Panasonic Viera TX-32LXD700 32in LCD TV on TrustedReviews.
Creative Zen media player on TrustedReviews.
Zalman RS6F USB Surround Sound Headphones on Bit-Tech.
Plantronics Pulsar 260 Bluetooth Stereo Headset on BlueTomorrow.

Thermaltake Tai-Chi M+ notebook cooler on Bjorn3D.
SilverStone FM123 Fan on DVHardware.
Zalman VF1000 LED & RHS88 VGA Cooler on TechPowerUp.

Video Cards:
Powercolor HD 2400 Pro 256MB on Pro-Clockers.
VisionTek Radeon X1300 PCI on OCModShop.
GeCube HD24XTL2-D3 on OCWB.
HIS HD 2900 XT 1GB GDDR4 in Crossfire on Tweaktown.

Lenovo ThinkPad R61 14.1-inch Laptop on ThinkComputers.
TDS Nomad 800L Rugged PDA on TrustedReviews.
MSI PR210 Notebook on TrustedReviews.

Storage & Memory:
Acer Altos easyStore network storage on TrustedReviews.
Corsair Flash PadLock 2GB USB drive on Phoronix.
Kingston 2x1GB PC3-8500 DDR3 ValueRam on Virtual-Hideout.

Power Supply:
Tripp Lite Smart1000LCD UPS on TechPowerUp.
Enermax Galaxy 1000W PSU on TBreak.

Antec Sonata III on Pro-Clockers.
NZXT DUET Classic Series Steel HTPC Midtower on FutureLooks.
Logisys Area 51 Black ATX Window Case CS51WBK on BenchMarkReviews.

Zegna Sport Bluetooth iJacket clothing on DigitalTrends.
PowerMax Digital Antenna 4KMR-10A mobile phone range extender on TechWareLabs.
Zykon M1 Gamer Mouse on TechPowerUp.

HP Launches Linux Desktops in Aus (3 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 3-September-2007  14:27:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This news is from tumb_sc: While Dell has only been focused in the American market in regards to Linux being on their systems, HP decides to give us Aussies a go!

Articles talking about it...
http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2007/08/hewlett-packard.html (thanks Dedge)

The distro is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Desktop. And it will be on their HP dx2250 series. Its an AMD based solution ranging from Semprons, A64 (single core) to A64 X2s. Red Hat will handle support for the OS. The dx2250 is not really a powerhouse. Uses ATI Radeon® XPRESS 1150 (variant of the Radeon X300), max 2GB RAM, etc in a Microtower package. The target market is small to medium businesses. Prices start at AUD$600 (I'm guessing for the Sempron model). Now, when are we gonna see something for laptops? :-)

OCAU QuickLinks (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 3-September-2007  14:17:09 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Haven't mentioned these in a while - OCAU QuickLinks are a quick way to get around OCAU, using the ocau.com domain. They're a quicker way to get around the site when you're on someone else's PC or on a slow connection.

Archive Updated (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 3-September-2007  03:03:28 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It's certainly been a while since I've updated the archive of reviews and articles etc! Of course with less focus on in-house reviews over the last few years there hasn't been a huge need for it, but I've done it again now. The archive is in the Wiki now of course, and here's the recently-added links, in case you missed them the first time around:

Cooler Master AquaGate Mini R120 Watercooling
Welland ME-740 3.5" HDD Enclosure
Antec SmartPower 2 350W PSU
Matrix Orbital MX610 Mini-LCD
Brando Workshop USB 2.0 to SATA / IDE Cable
Zensonic Z500 Hi-Def Network Media Player
Merconnet SONOWave Digital Media Player
Thermaltake iCage
Dell 2407 (Rev A02) 24" Widescreen LCD
Intel QX6700 Quad-Core CPU
Wolfclaw 2 Gaming Keyboard
Intel Core 2 Duo "Conroe" CPUs
Canon Pixma IP4200 BubbleJet Printer
"The Claw" Game Controller
Think Outside Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse
Swiftech H20-220 Apex Ultra Watercooling Kit
Inno3D GeForce 7600GS AGP Video Card
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 'Preferred' Edition
Nintendo DS Lite
Apple iPod Shuffle Gen 2
Microsoft Windows Vista
Fun with CrossFire
Beryl on Ubuntu
Call Of Duty 2
X-Micro Mini DiscGo 20GB
Intel Pentium D 920 and 955 Extreme Edition

While I'm poking around in the archive, it's also worth dusting off Sciby's OCAU Movie again, too. :)

Sunday Morning (3 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 2-September-2007  01:31:27 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Happy Fathers Day! Especially to those of you who, like me, are celebrating their first Fathers Day as a father. :)

XbitLabs wonder if ultra-small hard drives make sense in a world full of USB flash drives. Hard disk drives built on 1-inch platters and USB flash drives. Same size, same storage capacity, same functionality. But similar technologies very rarely can exist side by side: competition inevitably eliminates one of them. Which one has better chances today?

From aftahours: The release of Google Sky has been all over the news. But there's more! A flight simulator was also launched in the latest release, although as a hidden feature. Install the latest version, hit Crtl+Alt+A and start flying!

Apparently there's another Sony rootkit drama in the works, with people reporting annoying software on some of their USB sticks. More info here, thanks mpot.

SharkyExtreme have a Value Gaming PC Buyer's Guide, while PCStats have a September Shopping List.

TweakTown report on Day 1 and Day 2 of Comex 2007 in Singapore. Comex is open to the general public and everything is on sale, something we’re not at all used to. HWZone have a report too.

Atomic have an overclocking competition coming up soon. Now it’s on! The winner of Stage 2 will fight it out with Atomic’s own Josh Collins at Sydney’s super luxurious Minus 5 Bar at Circular Quay!

Motherboards.org compare the Intel V8 and AMD 4X4 platforms. First off let me say that both these systems are great and owning either one is a privilege as they exceed the normal standards of what most home users need to accomplish their daily tasks.

XbitLabs meanwhile wonder if the cheap quad-core CPUs from Intel are worthy adversaries of the popular dual-core options. While AMD keeps postponing the launch of their quad-core processors to the end of this year – beginning of next, Intel Company is offering very affordable quad-core CPUs from Core 2 Quad family. However, can Core 2 Quad processors be regarded as a worthy alternative to popular dual-core solutions?

Dan explores user interface disasters: When executed particularly stylishly, they actually completely mystify you every time, reducing you to precedent-free trial and error as you attempt to make the thing in question do what you want.

Saturday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 1-September-2007  22:53:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

CoolIT Ram Fan Memory Cooler on Tweaknews.
Zalman CNPS8700 LED and Thermaltake V1 Processor Coolers on XbitLabs.
Zaward Vivo CPU Cooler on TechPowerUp.
VIZO Voyager Dual Fan 3.5 Inch Hard Drive Cooler on FutureLooks.
Tuniq TX-2 Thermal Compound on TechPowerUp.
BlastFlow Siberian Modular VGA Waterblock on Bit-Tech.

Audio / Visual:
Canon PowerShot SD850 IS digicam on DigitalTrends.
GIGABYTE 8500GT Turbo Force Ultra on Tweaktown.
Able Planet Clear Harmony Headphones on TechWareLabs.

AC Ryan MobiliT universal notebook external battery on DVHardware.
Asus W5Fe SideShow Enabled Laptop on TechWareLabs.

Lexar JumpDrive Secure II 4GB on XSReviews.
Corsair Flash Padlock USB Flash Drive on LegitReviews.
Western Digital WD7500AAKS 750GB Hard Drive on PCPerspective.

Video Cards:
Leadtek WinFast PX8500 GT THD Extreme on MadShrimps.
Visiontek ATI Radeon HD 2400 Pro on RBMods.
ASUS 8800GTS on TCMagazine.

MNPCTechs billet aluminum accessories on Modders-Inc.
Netgear RangeMax NEXT ADSL2+ Wireless-N Router on XbitLabs.
X-Arcade Tankstick Arcade Controller on i4u.
Kingwin Mach 1 ABT-800MA1S 800W PSU on XSReviews.

Free Full Games (22 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 1-September-2007  19:37:50 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A few people pointed out that Ubisoft are making 3 popular games available freely for download in an ad-supported format. I don't know whether they're littered with ads everywhere or just in the menus etc, or if they're fulla spyware or what. Let us know how you go in the comments thread for this news post. Anyway, they are:

Far Cry - Full Version: FilePlanet - Internode
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Full Game: FilePlanet - Internode
Rayman Raving Rabbids: FilePlanet - Internode

That's right, Far Cry free for download. Also, Command & Conquer Gold is now a free download on Internode, possibly elsewhere too. Enjoy.

There's a thread about this stuff here in our Games forum.

Edit: updated with Internode links that don't require login, thanks r8response.

Saturday Afternoon Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 1-September-2007  14:59:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
Intel E6850 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo 1333FSB CPU on Virtual-Hideout.
Biostar TP35D2-A7 and TP35D3-A7 Deluxe LGA775 boards on XbitLabs.
Foxconn G33M Intel GMA3100 board on TweakTown.
ASRock 4Core1333-Viiv and Intel E4400 on MadShrimps.
Intel's P35 Chipset on TechHounds.

Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2-800 2GB Memory Kit on TheTechLounge.
Kingston 2GB HyperX DDR3-1375 CL7 on Techgage.
Corsair DOMINATOR Twin3X2048-1800C7DF G on LegionHW.
Winchip DDR2 1200MHz PC2-9600 2GB RAM Kit on BenchMarkReviews.

NZXT Lexa Blackline on ThinkComputers.
Apevia X-Telstar Black Aluminum Mid-Tower on BenchMarkReviews.
NZXT Lexa Blackline Performance Midtower on BigBruin.
Xclio Wind Tunnel Extreme Cooling case on BigBruin.
Tagan A+ CS-A380 on Bjorn3D.
Antec Nine Hundred Gaming Case on Moditory.
Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 (video review) on 3DGameMan.

BioShock PC game on Tweaktown.
BioShock PC game on Bit-Tech.
BioShock PC game on BonaFideReviews.


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