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October 2007
Wednesday Night (8 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 31-October-2007  21:36:10 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Craig spotted this fun little hack to change the message on HP printers. Reminds me of this picture. :)

Phoronix have a Linux graphics survey underway, with some preliminary findings posted. If you add up the ATI drivers (Radeon, fglrx, Avivo, and RadeonHD) the total percentage is 32.98%. On the NVIDIA side with their binary driver, the 2D NV driver, and Nouveau their percentage leads at 47.45%.

How do spammers get around those CAPTCHA image-recognition systems? Well, one way is to get foolish humans to do it for them for the promise of a glimpse of cyber-skin. Spammers have created a Windows game which shows a woman in a state of undress when people correctly type in text shown in an accompanying image.

Dunebuggy sent word of an Australian weekly tech podcast: You may have heard of it, it's called BRAN Podcast and it's a typically of Aussie productions with light, witty and insightful discussions and opinions on Tech News from Australian and abroad. Probably much more interesting than the OCAU podcast. :)

Digit-Life have a somewhat esoteric article about The Spiral of Technology. Many historians and sci-fi writers support the idea that human evolution resembles a spiral, not a straight line drawn by optimistic progress advocates. That, in fact, most events repeat, each time on some higher level. So it may look like linear motion, when viewed from a great distance.

A few people mentioned that Seagate is offering refunds following a lawsuit over the difference between advertised and formatted capacities of hard drives. Last I heard it was only available to US customers, but it's an interesting precedent.

From Mitchee: Just letting you know there was a gmail update a couple of days ago. Theres a few added features, but the speed of the service is a lot better now. See here for details.

YouGamers ponder Crysis in 32bit and 64bit. We took two extremes to see what the results would churn up: 800 x 600, running in DX9 with all detail settings at Low, and 1680 x 1050, running DX10 with all detail settings on Very High.

Here's an interesting one from Craig: Mozilla Labs is launching a series of experiments to bridge the divide in the user experience between web applications and desktop apps and to explore new usability models as the line between traditional desktop and new web applications continues to blur. ... The first of these experiments is based on Webrunner, which we’ve moved into the Mozilla Labs code repository and renamed to Prism. Prism is an application that lets users split web applications out of their browser and run them directly on their desktop.

PenStarSys consider the state of 3D in Q4 2007. The next few months are going to be pretty terrific from any point of view, as long as you are a consumer. The pressure will weigh mightily on both AMD and NVIDIA though, as the products we will soon be seeing will feature as much parity in terms of performance and features than we have seen in years.

NordicHW spent a little time overclocking the QX9650 CPU. Intel invited us back to its lab in Stockholm do some serious and hardcore overclocking of the now launch processor based on the Penryn architecture. This ten page diary/article tells the story of how the best overclockers in Northern Europe gathers and have some fun with the then not yet lauched processor.

Wednesday Midday Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 31-October-2007  12:25:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Storage & Memory:
Buffalo DriveStation TurboUSB external HDD on DigitalTrends.
Mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) XP2-6400 memory on OCClub.
OCZ Technology 4GB PC2-5400 Vista Upgrade Edition DDR2 on BigBruin.

Zerotherm Nirvana NV120 CPU Cooler on Pro-Clockers.
Thermaltake DuOrb VGA Cooler on NGOHQ.
Glacialtech Igloo 7311 Silent Athlon64 Heatsink on Frostytech.
Zerotherm BTF92 Overclocker Edition CPU Cooler on TechPowerUp.
ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 Premium CPU Cooler on Modders-Inc.
Swiftech H2O 120 Compact watercooling on XSReviews.
Zerotherm Nirvana NV120 Intel/AMD CPU Cooler on TweakNews.

Ultra Products M998 Mid-Tower on HiTechReviews.
Thermaltake Armor Jr on Motherboards.org.

Portable & Prebuilt:
Navman S30 Sat-Nav on TrustedReviews.
ASUS Eee PC 701 cheap small portable PC on PC Perspective.
Asus Eee PC 4G 701 as above on TrustedReviews.
Gateway One prebuilt PC on DigitalTrends.

Skype News (6 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 31-October-2007  11:46:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Andypoo reports from Skype's secret mountain lair:

Hi -- just thought I'd throw over some Skype news bits as not much has hit the news page and there's a lot of exciting public news over the last couple of months!

It's already been mentioned, but the Asus Express Gate instant OS that features Web browser and Skype as well as the Asus EEE PC include the version of Skype that I am helping develop here at the secret labs. :)

In other news though, Skype has been integrated into the MySpace IM client, allowing MySpace IM users the ability to make excellent quality calls to other MySpace IM and Skype users.

And the much more exciting news is the upcoming 3 Skypephone: The 3 Skypephone is a fully-featured 3G Internet phone with Skype built-in. This phone will allow you to make Skype calls and participate in Skype chats on the move for free for the first time on a mobile phone network. You'll have to be a 3 customer (either on monthly contract or a pay-as-you-go plan). The phones go on sale in the UK this Friday, however the product is due to be released in Australia as well later this year.

Wednesday Midday Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 31-October-2007  11:41:42 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
Shure SE110 Earphones on Bit-Tech.
Logitech G51 Surround Sound Speaker System on OCIA.
Salagar Symphony S210 Speakers on DigitalTrends.
Samsung SyncMaster 940UX USB Monitor on TrustedReviews.
Planar 24-inch PX2411W Wide-Screen Monitor on Techgage.

Motherboard & CPU:
Intel QX9650 "Penryn" Quad-Core LGA775 CPU on BootDaily.
Biostar TP35D3-A7 Deluxe LGA775 board on InsideHW.
ASUS P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP@n LGA775 board on HWSecrets.
Gigabyte MA69G-S3H AM2 board on Digit-Life.

Input Etc:
Logitech G15 (Revision 2) Keyboard on Virtual-Hideout.
Razer Pro|Solutions Pro|Click Mobile Notebook Mouse on I4U.

Company of Heroes - Opposing Fronts on GamePyre.
Crysis Demo Performance on LegionHW.
Crysis Deme Performance on TechSpot.

SOLIO Classic Universal Hybrid Solar Charger on FutureLooks.
OneClick IntelliPlug power-plug gadget on TrustedReviews.

Wednesday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 31-October-2007  03:11:16 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This may just be yet more pre-election hubbub, but the federal Opposition has hinted it may give the video game industry tax breaks, thanks Chris. He said the industry body Game Developers Association of Australia (GDAA) should "have a seat at the table" of a review into the 40 per cent tax rebate given to the film industry in the last Federal Budget for films developed in Australia.

ShackNews have a preview of the full version of Crysis. As the single-player demo of Crytek's Crysis was nearing release, I was able to play through the first several hours of the game for some quick impressions.

TheReg report on AMD's "Spider" gaming platform. Spider is based on AMD's quad-core Phenom processor, the company's RD790 chipset - approved by the PCI SIG organisation for PCI Express 1.1 compatibility back in April this year - and a pair of graphics cards fitted with the upcoming RV670 GPU.

Tweakers.net found out a bit more about Penryn by going to an Intel facility. Talking to the locals would probably change that, since the presence of the huge campus at the edge of the town - seven buildings displaying large 'Intel' logos - can only mean that nearly every inhabitant of Folsom knows someone working there.

Dan wonders how long hard drives last. I used to start feeling nervous about hard drives around their second birthday. It turns out I was being somewhat too paranoid.

Bit-Tech have their mod of the month posted. The SLR mod is being built on the incredibly versatile CoolerMaster Cosmos, which our own resident case reviewer Joe found to be quite a striking case. In fact, one look at the sleek shape of the cosmos makes it a natural fit for one of the world's top roadsters.

Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 30-October-2007  16:06:23 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 LGA775 CPU on SharkyExtreme.
Athlon64 X2 5000+ Black Edition AM2+ CPU on InsideHW.
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 on HWZone.
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 on MadShrimps.

Glacialtech Igloo 7222 Light A64 CPU cooler on FrostyTech.
Zerotherm Nirvana NV120 Premium CPU cooler on TechPowerUp.
ZEROtherm Hurricane HC92 CU8800 VGA cooler on Modders-Inc.
ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 CPU cooler on HWLogic.
ZEROtherm Hurricane HC92 Cu 8800 VGA cooler on OCClub.
ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 CPU cooler on ThinkComputers.

Power Supply:
Antec Quattro 850W on OCOnline.
Tagan TG1300-U33 In The Zone Series 1300W on BigBruin.

Crucial Ballistix PC3-12800 CL8 2GB DDR3-1600 on PCStats.
Mushkin 2x1GB HP3-10666 DDR3 on Virtual-Hideout.

Video Cards:
ASUS GeForce 8600GT OC Gear 256MB on Phoronix.
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB on HWZone.
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT on TechARP.
Zotac 8800GT on HWT.dk.
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT Video Card Preview on LegitReviews.
MSI RX2600XT Diamond 512 on XbitLabs.

NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 30-October-2007  02:22:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg

NVIDIA have announced their GeForce 8800 GT GPU. Specifically developed to answer enthusiast gamers’ demand for high-performing graphics at the $199 to $259 (USD) price point, GeForce 8800 GT offers a hyper-reactive, intensely robust gaming experience for the latest next-generation DirectX 10 games, such as Crysis, Hellgate: London, and Gears of War, as well as full support for current DirectX 9 games.

Reviews and info on Anandtech, DriverHeaven, Guru3D, HardOCP, HotHardware, Motherboards.org, NeoSeeker, T-Break, TechARP, TechPowerUp and TechReport.

Discussion in this already large thread in our Video Cards forum.

Intel's Penryn Arrives (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 29-October-2007  22:56:49 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Intel have released their new Yorkfield (quad core) and Wolfsdale (dual core) CPUs using the 45nm Penryn lead-free core. They come with either 6MB or 12MB L2 cache and SSE4.

More info on Anandtech, Bit-Tech, HardOCP, HotHardware, LegitReviews, LostCircuits, NeoSeeker, OCWorkbench, PC Perspective, Techgage, TechReport, Tweaknews and XbitLabs.

Discussion in this thread in our Intel Hardware forum.

Interesting Forum Threads (5 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 29-October-2007  14:39:09 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Crysis Demo Benchmark-post your results! in Video Cards & Monitors.
8800GT Benchmarks and Info in Video Cards & Monitors.
Driving Simulator in Modding.
Blu Ray vs HD-DVD *Round 1* in Audio Visual.
Aeth needs a little help in Overclocking & Hardware.
ClarkConnect 4.2 Community Edition Released in Other Operating Systems.
PS3 to allow PC games to run on it in Game Consoles.
Tokyo Motor Show 2007 - bikes in Motoring.
Which are the driven wheels? in Motoring.
A fun mechanical aptitude test in Motoring.
Planted Aquarium in Pets & Animals.
Transhumanism and the ethical governance of science in Science.
The science of fat tyres in Science.
Technic Lego in Other Toys.
Sports Illustrated Sports Setup in Photography.
TV shows that were cancelled that shouldn't have been in TV, Movies & Music.
Businesses to ban smoke breaks in Current Events.
Living for today! in Career, Education & Finance.
[melb] high end PC stolen Sat night in For Sale.
Mercedes museum hosts most powerful artificial tornado!! in The Pub.

Monday Afternoon #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 29-October-2007  14:07:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Bit-Tech took a look at DisplayPort. I think a lot of that comes from people not understanding exactly what DisplayPort is all about, other than a reason to get more money out of consumers. DVI is just fine, right? And HDMI is DVI’s replacement, isn’t it? These are a couple of the common questions I’ve seen crop up since the DisplayPort 1.1 specification was approved by VESA back in April this year.

TechNibble have a Computer Repair Kit in free software. The Computer Repair Utility Kit allows you to run all of the repair tools from your portable drive (eg. USB Flash Drive, External Hard Drive, IPod etc.) and comes with an easy to use, right-click menu. A must in any technicians kit.

Gazob sent a very long and complicated email, the crux of which is "check out Project Torque. it's a fun addictive driving game." :) Thread discussing it here.

There's a nice project over on Bit-Tech, called Dark Blade. Dark Blade was started in the autumn of 2004, though construction wasn't finished until the end of 2006. Initially, the case mod was going to be a simple evolution of one of my previous mods, the "G69T Classic." All I had wanted to do was add a new module (Water Station) positioned under the previous system.

From IntelInside: TechConnect have some pics of GIGABYTE's upcoming X48 based "GA-X48-DQ6" motherboard with DDR2 memory support. The X48-DQ6 has 'official' support for the 1600 MHz FSB and should arrive by the end of the year. He also notes Intel have listed details of their DX38BT Motherboard, which uses the IntelR X38 Express Chipset.

From AG: for all those folk out there interested in/upgrading to OSX leopard comes this warning on whirlpool. it only applies to those using Virgin Mobile Broadband but if you've an Imac or macbook of any sort and you want to get your mobile internet on and you just upgraded to the new OS you may be out of luck til a firmware patch gets rolled out. the regular Broadband @ Home product (VBB) apparently doesnt have this problem.

NordicHW have some news about CrossFire from Diamond. In a document supplied to us we can now inform you about the next step for Diamond; xDNA. xDNA is a platform that enables you to run a CrossFire setup on any chipset, and that includes NVIDIA chipsets. You can pick pretty much any motherboard with any socket, fit it with two Diamond Radeon cards and run CrossFire on it using Diamond's xDNA technology.

Craig spotted this accelerometer-based mouse project. This project demonstrates the use of a accelerometer as a computer mouse, but first what is an accelerometer? Its a device that can measure acceleration and the pull of gravity.

HWZone have posted some CPU performance charts. It has been a year since our last CPU performance recap and with the imminent launch of a new wave of processors, there's no better time than now to roundup the performance of all desktop processors. So in this massive comparison article, we've 18 processors from the Intel and AMD with nearly 400 results put together.

Matt sent in this timewaster: Mass Attack over on CrazyMonkeyGames.

Monday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 29-October-2007  13:36:28 (GMT +10) - by Agg

FatMan spotted this Brütal Legend adventure game on the way, featuring Jack Black and a few metal legends. Sounds fun. :) There's a YouTube trailer here.

Shacknews have an interview with Crytek about Crysis. We would say first CPU, then GPU, then memory. But it must be in balance. If you are balanced, we are more CPU bound then GPU, but at the same time at higher CPU configurations we scale very well for GPUs.

The Opera 9.5 Beta has been released. Website rendering has been significantly improved, along with performance, stability and usability.

Apparently USB 3.0 is on the way. The third-generation Universal Serial Bus interconnect will transfer data at speeds up to 4.8Gbit/s, ten times faster than USB 2.0's 480MBit/s. It will be backwards-compatible with USB 2.0, which is backwards-compatible with the first USB 1.1 definition.

From Juppy: Check out free-track.org. Basically its a freeware alternative to TrackIR, which is software/hardware that tracks movement of your head so you can control camera angles in racing games/flight sims etc, works with rFactor, GPL, GTR2, Flight Sim X, Future Pinball and plenty more. Software is free and there's instructions to make the LED hardware at the site. You just need some basic tools/ materials, LEDs, resistors, battery pack and a webcam to bring it all to life. I started a thread about it a couple of days ago here.

Xbitlabs checked out some DX10 games on current video cards. The number of games using DirectX 10 keeps growing day by day. This time we would like to discuss the performance of 12 latest generation graphics cards in 6 popular DirectX 10 applications such as Bioshock World in Conflict and a few others.

They also have a 24" monitor roundup. We’ve covered almost each and every existing diagonal in our LCD monitor roundups, from now-obsolete 15" models to newest 27" and 30" giants, but 23-24-inchers have remained out of our focus for some reason. Today we are going to make up for this omission by offering you a detailed review of 8 eight 23" and 24" monitors including solutions from Acer, Apple, Dell, LG, Samsung and ViewSonic.

Phoronix investigated heatpipes. In this article we have some new details to shed on heatpipes from a numbers of manufactures, including Thermalright, Thermaltake, OCZ, and Abit. These cooling mechanisms are supposed to keep our beloved PCs from overheating, but how does their manufacturing quality differ? With this article, we have plenty of pictures and videos showing you the differing qualities in heatpipes.

NordicHW checked out the effect of FSB on quad-core performance. This information is namely sent through the common system bus, which is a lot slower than a direct path between cores in the same die. This should also mean that the performance should improve if we raise the system bus, also known as the FSB. That is precisely what we're going to investigate in this article, and we will not settle for just comparing 266 MHz and 333 MHz FSB.

Dan meanwhile answers questions about quad-core chipsets among other things, and also has some letters. In this edition: Radiation protection, car battery woes, plug adapters and lithium voltage, terrifying welders and eBay jerkwads.

OCAU Podcast Episode 25 (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 29-October-2007  04:08:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Trouble sleeping? Episode 25 of the OCAU Podcast is now available for download and is guaranteed to have you snoozing on the train to work. In this episode Sciby, Wayne and I mumble soothingly about a range of topics including Facebook, Bioshock, Japan, seam carving and a huge waffly mountain of other pointless fluff. Do not listen while operating heavy machinery!

You can grab this episode via iTunes here (you might need to subscribe (free!) in iTunes before you can see the new episode), or download the files direct from our server:

High Quality MP3 - 52MB
Not So Good Quality MP3 - 12MB

If you prefer the raw RSS feed, you can get that here, or an XML version here.

Note that Wayne has made some show notes for this episode! They're in the OCAU Wiki here.

Discussion of this episode in this thread, ta.

Sunday Afternoon Reviews (2 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 28-October-2007  14:59:48 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Things may be a little slow.. currently being Dugg. Server seems to be coping fine tho.

Revoltec Zirconium on BurnOutPC.
Apevia X-Jupiter G Jr. on OCrCafe.

Thermalright IFX-14 CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.
Thermalright HR-11 VGA Backside Cooler on HWLogic.
Rosewill RCX-Z4 CPU Cooler on Tweaktown.

The Battle for Wesnoth PC game on Phoronix.
Crysis Demo Performance Analysis on Tweaktown.
Adobe FrameMaker 8 document creation software on TrustedReviews.
Portal PC game on Tweaktown.
The Witcher PC game on YouGamers.
Savage 2 PC game initial impressions on GamePyre.
Crysis Single Player Demo Performance Preview on PCPerspective.

Video Cards:
MSI GeForce NX8800GT 512MB on Tweaktown.
Sapphire HD2400XT and HD2600XT on Virtual-Hideout.

Storage & Memory:
ATP SD Trio Professional Plus 1 GB Flash Memory on FutureLooks.
Corsair and SuperTalent DDR3 on Bit-Tech.
PQI Intelligent Drive i810 USB Flash Drive on RBMods.

Audio / Visual:
Sling Media Slingbox Pro on TrustedReviews.
Pentax Optio M40 camera on TrustedReviews.
Steelseries Siberia In-Ear Headset on CPU3D.

Power Supply:
Ultra X3 Modular PSU on Bjorn3D.
Hiper 5M730 PSU on DriverHeaven.

ECS P33T-A LGA775 motherboard on TBreak.
Logitech G9 Gaming Mouse on HWSecrets.

Daylight Saving Time (14 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 28-October-2007  01:03:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Just a reminder that Daylight Saving Time comes into effect in VIC, ACT, NSW, SA and WA today. TAS, you should have already done it. QLD and NT, you're excused. :) Your PC will probably do it automatically anyway, but set clocks FORWARD one hour. So at 2am set clocks to 3am etc. Easy!

Update: The forum software seems to be a little flaky in how it handles DST. Mine just went backwards an hour instead of forward. :) So you might have to try different settings in UserCP to make it work. GMT+10 and "Daylight saving corrections always on" worked for me.

More CRYSIS Screenshots - in DX10! (12 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 27-October-2007  18:07:33 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Wayne sent over some more screenshots from the CRYSIS demo, but his are taken using DirectX 10, under Vista, on his GeForce 8600 GTS:





CRYSIS Demo Screenshots (13 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 27-October-2007  14:14:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's some screenshots I just grabbed from the CRYSIS demo, just to give you a taste while you're waiting for your download or whatever:




These are at 1024x768 windowed, DX9, everything set to high but no AA on my lowly 7800GT. :) They've suffered a little JPG compression for the web of course. Fun game, feels a lot like Far Cry but with more gadgets.

Digg users, please Digg this story! Reddit users, please vote for this story with the uparrow. Thanks!

Updated: Here's some more screenshots, using DirectX 10!

CRYSIS Single-Player Demo (1 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 27-October-2007  11:26:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It's what we've all been waiting for and here it is - the single-player demo of CRYSIS, the first successor to Far Cry (Far Cry 2 is also on the way, but a separate project). Unlike the beta, no special keys or anything are needed, just download it and play. I've linked it on AusGamers Files but you might want to check if your ISP has a mirror so you can get it off quota.

Crysis is highly anticipated, as it will be one of the first DirectX 10 games. Some of the technology it will utilize include dynamic day/night cycle, fully interactive environments, sunrays and diffuse transmission, real time soft shadows, soft particles, interactive/destructible environments, volumetric clouds, and advanced shader technology. This demo includes Crysis's entire first level, "Contact".

Discussion towards the end of the giant Crysis Beta and Demos thread.

Leopard Arrives (1 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 27-October-2007  02:00:33 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Quite a few people sent word that Mac OS X Leopard was released today, with many people receiving their pre-ordered copies in the post. Jastormont spotted this review, while Engadget, Gizmodo, ZDNet and a zillion other sites have info posted as well.

There's discussion here in our Apple forum.

Friday Afternoon Reviews #2 (3 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 26-October-2007  16:38:14 (GMT +10) - by Agg

ASRock 4Core1333-Viiv P965 LGA775 board on LegitReviews.
ASUS Blitz Formula LGA775 board on ViperLair.
abit AN-M2HD AM2 board on Virtual-Hideout.
ECS G31T-M LGA775 board on Tweaktown.
Gigabyte GA-73UM-S2H LGA775 board on SysOpt.

Audio Visual:
Samsung BD-P1200 Blu-ray Disc Player on ThinkComputers.
ASUS Xonar D2 Ultra Fidelity 7.1 PCI Sound Card on HotHardware.
Zalman Headsets (ZM-RS6F USB and ZM-DS4F) on DriverHeaven.
JVC TH-L1 home theatre system on DigitalTrends.

Palm Z Silverlit Mini RC Indoor Airplane on I4U.
Ultra 7 Port Buddy Hub on HWLogic.
Ultra 7 Port Buddy Hub on OCIA.
D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N Gigabit Router on FutureLooks.
Gigabyte Triton 180 case on Tweaknews.
Ultra Stackables storagey gadgets (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Dell XPS M1710 Notebook on TBreak.

Friday Afternoon Reviews (5 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 26-October-2007  16:10:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Input etc:
Logitech G9 Laser Gaming Mouse on ASELabs.
Apple Keyboard on DigitalTrends.
Logitech G15 Revision 2 Keyboard on Techgage.

Medal of Honor: Airborne PC game on Techconnect.
Enemy Territory Quake Wars Limited Edition PC game on Motherboards.org.
Futuremark PCMark Vantage Benchmark Overview on PCPerspective.
Race 07 PC game on YouGamers.
Unreal Tournament 3 Beta Impressions on Bit-Tech.
The Orange Box PC games on YouGamers.

Mushkin HP3-10666 2GB DDR3-1333 on PCStats.
Patriot PC3-15000 DDR3 1866MHz 2GB on BenchmarkReviews.
OCZ DDR3 PC3-10666 Gold Edition on Pro-Clockers.
ADATA Vitesta Extreme Edition DDR2 800 on OCClub.

Video Cards:
Sapphire HD 2600Pro AGP on OCClub.
ASUS 8600GTS on GamePyre.

Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 26-October-2007  11:10:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Power Supply:
Thermaltake Toughpower 1500w & 1000w on LegionHW.
Antec NeoPower 650 Blue on OZHW.
Fansis FS-PSU PSU noise-dampening kit on XSReviews.

Corsair Voyager GT flash drive on Bjorn3D.
ATP Petito 2GB flash drive on XSReviews.
ATP ToughDrive Mini 2GB flash drive on XSReviews.
OCZ ATV Turbo 4GB flash drive on XSReviews.

Kingwin Revolution RVT-9225 Heatpipe Direct Touch CPU Cooler on BigBruin.
Cooler Master Sphere CPU Cooler on HWLogic.
Akasa Revo CPU Cooler on TechPowerUp.

Video Cards:
Leadtek Winfast PX8800 Ultra Leviathan Tweaktown.
Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS Silent-Pipe III on LegionHW.
ECS GeForce 8600 GT on Digit-Life.
Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 2600XT on Modders-Inc.
XFX 8800 Ultra "Extreme" Edition on OC3D.

PC Authority Survey - Final Reminder (1 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 26-October-2007  02:14:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

PC Authority are once again running their Reliability and Service Awards Survey. Apparently there's only a couple of days left for voting. 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. Interestingly, in this post PCA's editor indicates that PlusCorp are one of the favourites to win (again), despite having closed down earlier this week.

Friday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 26-October-2007  01:49:47 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Sydney is playing host to another large passenger vehicle - this time it's the first commercial flight of an Airbus A380. The SIA plane also has 399 economy seats, 60 business seats, and a "suites" class of 12 compartments with flat-screen televisions about the size of a briefcase, sheets by French designer Givenchy and a full-length bed behind sliding doors. Discussion here.

An internet worm called Storm is apparently fighting back against researchers seeking to destroy it. The worm can figure out which users are trying to probe its command-and-control servers, and it retaliates by launching DDoS attacks against them, shutting down their Internet access for days, says Josh Corman, host-protection architect for IBM/ISS, who led a session on network threats.

Here's an odd one: apparently recent versions of Ubuntu can cause excess hard drive wear. The problem is simply that the drives are spinning up and down too often, and the sliders are being forced to roll on and off the ramp where they’re stored when in off use, causing wear and tear on the slider assembly (not to mention the motor spinning the drive).

DriverHeaven interviewed AMD's VP of GPU and Chipsets, John Byrne. Most of the DX10 games weve seen so far have been rather straightforward ports of DX9 code and that process is fraught with difficulties. If the code was originally written with DX9 in mind then it often doesnt translate well to DX10 and for that reason quite a few games seem to have lackluster performance.

China has launched its first lunar orbiter. China has hailed the lunar orbiter as the third major milestone event for the nation's space program, after developing rockets and satellites since the 1970s and sending men into orbit in 2003 and 2005. This follows on from Japan's first moon explorer launched in September. Is this a new space race? Discussion in this thread.

Quite a few people sent word that Gmail now supports IMAP. More info here. Don't fret if you don't see "IMAP Access" yet under the Settings menu. We're rolling it out to everyone over the next few days.

Paul spotted this Vista update. This update improves the compatibility, reliability, and stability of Windows Vista. Sounds good!

LegitReviews report on Intel's lead-free CPUs. With next weeks launch of Intel's 45nm family of microprocessors they will have official removed 100 percent of the lead (Pb) across its entire 45nm series of microprocessors. This is a huge milestone and it has taken Intel six years to strip the lead from the manufacturing process on their microprocessors!

PlusCorp has Closed Down (11 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 25-October-2007  15:26:51 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It's my sad duty to report that PlusCorp, long-term OCAU sponsor and great friend of the Australian PC enthusiast community, have closed down indefinitely. I spoke to Nigel briefly via email yesterday and he confirmed the business has been voluntarily placed in the hands of administrators and is likely to be sold. They wisely decided to wind things up before too much debt was incurred, and managed to make sure almost all outstanding orders and warranty claims had been taken care of.

PlusCorp were one of the first Major Sponsors that saw OCAU for what it could become, over five years ago. Previously they had been more focussed on the corporate and government market and it was quite a big step for them to enter the enthusiast market. They have provided us with server hardware over the years (including much of our current database server) and handled our merchandise sales for a long time. More recently they'd been extremely active in our Sponsor Specials forum and almost without exception we always heard positive comments about them from the community. They along with the other Major Sponsors provided the secure financial footing that allowed us to build OCAU up into the fantastic resource and community it is today. I'm sorry to see them go and I wish Nigel all the best with his future endeavours.

Personally I find it a bit worrying that a company like PlusCorp, with a loyal customer base and an excellent customer service record, can find it so hard to thrive in the market. Over the last couple of years we've seen several "cut-price" vendors arrive on the market, with incredibly low pricing that many established vendors simply couldn't compete with. PlusCorp is not the first vendor to wither under this strain. This of course is the way markets work and we can't expect charity between businesses who compete with each other. But it seems to me the ultra-low pricing is achieved by some of these vendors at the expense of customer service. Many times we've heard reports of vendors who don't even answer their phones or emails, who have websites that are vastly out of date, and who are virtually uncontactable when it comes time to service a warranty claim. Surely the few dollars saved on the original order is forgotten when you can't get help from the vendor.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against any specific cut-price businesses or even their business model. They see a niche in the market and it obviously works for them. But I worry that if we continue along this path, where saving a few dollars is the primary reason why people choose one vendor over another, that good customer service and good warranty handling will be luxuries that not many businesses will be able to afford. To have helpful sales staff and friendly people taking care of warranty claims costs money, which has to come from the slim margins on products sold. If people aren't willing to pay a little extra to encourage that, those good qualities may even vanish from the market entirely. Surely this trend is unhealthy not only for those vendors who do specialise in good customer service, but for the entire industry and community as a whole.

There's a thread discussing PlusCorp's demise here in our Current Events forum.

Misc Pics (18 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 24-October-2007  21:30:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg



Wednesday Evening Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 24-October-2007  20:12:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg

P5E3 Deluxe WiFi LGA775 board on NeoSeeker.
ASUS Maximus Formula Special Edition LGA775 board on Techgage.

Video Cards:
HIS RADEON HD 2900 PRO 512MB on Digit-Life.
Vvikoo 8600GT Turbo on XSReviews.
Zotac Technology 256MB GeForce 8600GTS on OCIA.

Audio / Visual:
Asus Xonar D2 Sound Card on APHNetworks.
Shure SE310 Canalphones on DigitalTrends.
Envision L19W661 19-inch Wide LCD HDTV on I4U.
Viewsonic VA2226w 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor on PCPerspective.
Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd camera on TrustedReviews.
Logitech Harmony 1000 Universal Remote on TrustedReviews.
Panasonic Viera TH-42PZ70 42in Plasma TV on TrustedReviews.

Aerocool Gate Watch II fan controller on TBreak.
Zalman VGA Water Block ZM-GWB8800 Ultra GTX on Guru3D.
Kustom PC Premium Lapping Kit on XSReviews.
Scythe Kamacross CPU cooler on Pro-Clockers.

Ultra X3 600W PSU on DriverHeaven.
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts PC game on YouGamers.
OCZ DDR3 PC3-14400 Platinum 2 GB memory on TechPowerUp.

Wednesday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 24-October-2007  20:01:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 on TechReport.
GIGABYTE iSolo 210 on Virtual-Hideout.
Lian Li PC-B25B Black Aluminum Mid-Tower on BenchmarkReviews.
Apevia X-Jupiter Jr. S Type on OCClub.

Input Etc:
Logitech G9 Laser Gaming Mouse on EverythingUSB.
SteelSeries S&S Gaming Surface on Pro-Clockers.
Saitek Cyborg Gamepad on OCClub.
Genius ErgoMedia 500 game pad on TechWareLabs.
Razer Diamondback 3G Gaming Mouse on TheTechLounge.

Kingwin Z1 External HDD Enclosure on Virtual-Hideout.
ACRyan AluBox external enclosure on BurnOutPC.
OCZ ATV 8GB & ATV Turbo 4GB flash drives on LegionHW.
Rosewill RX-358-S-SLV eSATA and USB Enclosure on BigBruin.
A-DATA 16GB Class 6 SDHC Memory Card on I4U.

Wednesday Afternoon (6 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 24-October-2007  16:43:00 (GMT +10) - by Agg

V8R notes that this weekend there's the 2007 Defence Air Show happening at RAAF Edinburgh near Adelaide. Come and see: * Air Force F-111s, Hornets, Orions, Hercules, the big new C-17 Globemaster and more * Navy Seahawk and Sea King helicopters, plus the famous Dancing Squirrels aerobatic helicopters * Army Black Hawk and the new Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters

Sydney has welcomed the largest ever ship to pass under the Harbour Bridge today. Weighing 77,441 tonnes, 49m high and nearly three football fields in length, the luxury 1950-passenger superliner passed under Sydney's iconic bridge with just 2.5m to spare.

A few people sent word that certain device drivers can cause Vista to deactivate. They sent me some special utilities to run which gathered the history of hardware changes on that machine since activation, and it turns out that my disk controller had changed, so the graphics card change was the final change which tripped deactivation. The only problem? I had never changed my disk controller at any point.

A Melbourne PhD student has worked out how to make broadband internet up to 200x faster by reducing line interference. Telephone wiring was poor quality and was not designed for high-speed internet when it was created, Dr Papandriopoulos said.

Apparently one of the world's biggest online sources of pirated music has been shut down. The invitation-only OiNK website specialized in distributing albums leaked before their official release by record companies, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said.

HardOCP looked at performance and image quality in Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and Team Fortress 2 and Portal.

BenchMarkReviews have a high-speed DDR3 overclocking and review series on the way. Over the course of the next few weeks, Benchmark Reviews will be releasing nearly a dozen reviews covering nearly every speed of DDR3 make by almost every memory manufacturer on the market. This article introduces the technology, and offers a glimpse at what we've secured for testing.

Wednesday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 24-October-2007  09:12:50 (GMT +10) - by Agg

NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery launched successfully last night. You can keep an eye on the mission via NASA TV. Discovery and its seven astronauts have a tight schedule that calls for placing the new Harmony segment to the International Space Station, moving a tower of solar arrays already in space to a new location and overseeing the station crew rotation that will see Discovery astronaut Dan Tani and station resident Clayton Anderson switch places.

Phoronix compared Ubuntu + WINE with actual Windows XP. However, for those business professionals and gamers that remain dependent on some Windows-only binary applications, the WINE (WINE Is Not An Emulator) project has been making some excellent headway into supporting Windows applications on the Linux desktop.

SilentPCReview and LegitReviews offer their thoughts on the new DTX standard for SFF PCs. Now, more than ten months after the official announcement, we finally have our hands on a DTX system and have been able to take it for a brief test drive.

MadShrimps compared the 8600 GT and 7600 GT mid-range video cards. We compare the performance of this card in twelve of the most recent games, including Team Fortress 2, Unreal Tournament 3, Quake Wars, Bioshock and many others.

TechARP have a guide to overclocking the Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 CPU. The Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 is now a legendary processor for overclocking. It has allowed more overclockers to achieve the magic 4.0 GHz than any other Core 2 Duo processor.

Bit-Tech checked out the recent Independent Games Festival. We’ll be telling you as we look at the best and brightest games in this year's line-up. Some of them are wacky, some of them are scary, some are educational and some barely even qualify as a game because of their experimental nature - but that’s what indie games are like.

DriverHeaven have an interview with someone from Uberclok, who apparently sell pre-overclocked systems. Meanwhile PCMech interviewed someone from Lockergnome about what should be in the next version of Windows.

Internode have the demo of Juiced: Hot Import Nights. 1.63GB! Some kind of blingy drifty car game from the looks of it. Drivable cars will be Nissan 350Z, BMW M3, Holden Monaro and the Saleen Mustang.

OCWB checked out a Kingston factory. Currently, Kingston has over 4150 employees worldwide focusing on memory modules and flash memory products. It also has a capacity to ship over 175M/units per year. Products are distributed in 104 countries, 3000 locations worldwide.

DTX Form Factor for SFF (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 23-October-2007  13:22:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

This has been around for a little while but I hadn't noticed it until now. AMD are developing a DTX form factor open standard for small form-factor PCs. With only a minimum set of parameters necessary for interoperability, DTX frees vendors to innovate. Hopefully it'll experience more success than BTX did.

Anyway, apparently the DTX form factor has been officially launched today, and there's some sneak peeks and more info on HotHardware, Tech-Report and TechWareLabs.

Keep an eye on things in our Portable and Small Form Factor forum.

Tuesday Afternoon Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 23-October-2007  13:16:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Akasa Revo CPU cooler on DriverHeaven.
OCZ Vendetta 2 Prototype CPU cooler on HWSecrets.

World in Conflict PC game on Tweaktown.
NVPerfKit 5 3D development tools on Digit-Life.
Unreal Tournament 3 PC game on YouGamers.
Half-Life: Episode 2 PC game on YouGamers.

Trendnet TEW-633GR Wireless N Gigabit Router on TheTechZone.
Coolmax CUQ-1200B Green Power 1200W PSU on Tweaknews.
OCZ Flex XLC PC2-6400 CL3 on DVHardware.
HP Compaq 2510p notebook on DigitalTrends.

Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 23-October-2007  13:01:03 (GMT +10) - by Agg

ASUS P5E3 Deluxe LGA775 board on Phoronix.
MSI P6N SLI LGA775 board on Digit-Life.
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 LGA775 board on Bjorn3D.

PQI S721 microSD Memory Card + Card Reader on RBMods.
Corsair Flash Drives damage tested on TBreak.
Iomega StorCenter Wireless Network Storage on TrustedReviews.
Western Digital 750GB SATA-II Caviar RE2 hard drive on OZHW.

Audio / Visual:
Creative Zen Stone Plus mp3 player on Digit-Life.
Sony SRS-T10PC Portable Speaker Set on TrustedReviews.
M-Audio Studiophile AV 20 Portable Desktop Speakers on FutureLooks.
Altec Lansing inMotion iMV712 iPod speakers on OCClub.

Tuesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 23-October-2007  11:24:20 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
MSI RX2600XT Diamond Radeon HD 2600XT on PCStats.
VVIKOO GeForce 8600 GT Turbo on TechPowerUp.
Zotac 8800GTX Amp! Edition on DriverHeaven.

Thermaltake TMG i1 CPU cooler on HWSecrets.
Zalman CNPS7800 LED CPU cooler on Hi-TechReviews.
Zalman VF1000 LED VGA cooler on MadShrimps.
Zalman Reserator XT external watercooling on OCOnline.
Zalman ZM-MFC2 fan controller on OCrCafe.

3R System R240 (Zion) on HWZone.
Antec NSK-3480 80-Plus on SilentPCReview.
Danger Den Torture Rack testbed setup on HWLogic.
APEVIA X-Jupiter Jr. G Type on thinkComputers.
Cooler Master CM690 on OCIA.

Inside Intel Hardware (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 22-October-2007  20:31:08 (GMT +10) - by Agg

As usual our Intel Hardware Forum is a hive of activity lately. Here's some recent interesting projects from in there:

eva2000 aimed for high frequencies with an E6850 L720A489 and Asus Blitz Formula 1101

he also compared some fans on the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme with MX-2 TIM

windwithme reviewed the Foxconn MARS P35 motherboard

dinos22 has some monster Pi runs using Corsair PC10000 DDR2

and in an older thread he pushes hard with phase-change

NewKleer reviewed a cheap mATX board from ASUS, the P5KPL-VM

Interesting Forum Threads (4 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 22-October-2007  15:39:48 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Just a quick snapshot of what's going on:

Mains water, water cooling in Extreme Cooling.
Lanboy WC Project *lots of pics* in Extreme Cooling.
UPS Solution (2x Servers + 2x PCs for 1hr)? in Enterprise Computing.
Team Australia's public launch at Atomic Live in Overclocking & Hardware.
Intel Skulltrail - Dual quad and SLI now possible in Intel Hardware.
Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe RD790FX pictured in AMD Hardware.
Broadband a Third World Joke in Networking & Internet.
Who will be waiting for 2nd Gen and beyond DX10 GPU's? in Video Cards.
How fearful are you about losing your data? in Storage & Backup.
Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 + Asus P5K3 Deluxe in Memory.
Help Required - Suggestions for Development Language in Graphics & Programming.
PORTAL in Games.
Games that need >1GB RAM in Games.
New - Winamp 5.5 in General Software.
What media player do you use? in General Software.
US Utilities throws Billions at Australian Solar Tech in Current Events.
Official Election Debate Discussion Thread in Current Events.
2007 Australian Federal Election MegaThread in Current Events.
Is one hit single enough to support you for life? in Musicians.
Why a mechanical inspection is a good idea in Motoring.
The F1 Brazilian GP Thread in Motoring.
Plane on a treadmill.. to be on Mythbusters in The Pub.

Welcome Scorptec - New Major Sponsor! (7 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 22-October-2007  11:30:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I'm very pleased to welcome Scorpion Technology as a new OCAU Major Sponsor. Scorptec are a Melbourne-based retailer with a strong online presence. They've been involved in various ways with OCAU over the years and it's great to have them back onboard for the long term. Right now they're running a PC Build-Off Competition, with more info in this thread.

They join our other Major Sponsors:
Computer Alliance - A retailer based in Brisbane and online.
Plus Corporation - A retailer based in Sydney and online.
BroNet - A distributor with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
EYO Technologies - A retailer based in Sydney and online.

There's a list of all current OCAU sponsors here. Thanks to them all for helping make OCAU the success it is today!

Early Monday Morning (15 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 22-October-2007  02:45:05 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Phoronix report on the Linux client for ET: Quake Wars and its performance with NVIDIA cards. In addition to this first person shooter being very multi-core friendly, it does require more graphical horsepower than any current Linux game.

Dale spotted SimCity for the DS. Check out the mini-game in the site. Kinda resembles the "Pipeline" game that I used to play, oh, 15 years ago on a 286? Incidentally, it’d be nice if someone had access to the game (SimCity for DS, that is) and do a quick review on it? SimCity has been a favourite for many - it’d be good to find out whether this port is up to scratch.

From Matt: This is quite interesting, this new product from billion, it contains the slot for a Telstra 3g card as well can be used on traditional phone lines with adsl 2+, it also has a car adapter retailing for rrp $269. So you can go driving in the car with this billion modem plugged into the cigarette lighter and use your wireless laptops in the car amazing this is very interesting indeed - the possibilities are endless.

PCMech have an interview with David Geller of Eyejot. Eyejot is a video email service which is web-based. And it is quite cool. Email is one of those mediums that is so prevalent that it is taken for granted and one may not think the nature of email can change any more. David Geller is leading this new service to try to expand email beyond the written word.

Solar-powered cars are zooming across Australia over the next few days. The racers from 17 countries were warned they were likely to encounter gusting desert winds, blazing temperatures, irate truck drivers and even kangaroos over three or four days before hopefully zooming across the finish line in the Southern Ocean port city of Adelaide.

TweakGuides have a Unreal Tournament 3 Tweak Guide posted. The guide should give all UT3 players the information they need to tweak and customize both UT3 and other games based on the new Unreal Engine 3 to suit their particular needs.

Tweaktown went on a Kingston media tour recently. What you might not know is that Kingston is the biggest retail brand for DRAM modules in the world, with some 18.1 percent of the market in 2006 with its nearest competitors not having more than about 5 to 5.5 percent.

NASA are planning to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery on Tuesday, for an ambitious mission to the International Space Station. If all goes well, the mission will be a high point in the efforts to complete the space station before the shuttle program is wound down by 2010. The Discovery’s seven astronauts, working with the three-member space station crew, will add the first new “room” in six years. The closet-sized Harmony module will allow two new laboratories, from Europe and Japan, to be hooked up on future flights.

From Revenger: I found a great program called Mobile gMaps that lets you use various mapping services such as (google/yahoo/msn maps/add service here) on your java enabled mobile phone. Some of these mapping services such as google maps can be used by pre-downloading all the wanted maps for a area on a pc and by transferring them to your memory stick and used on your phone without going online (good for prepaid who's online costs are above $1 a meg).

Sunday Midday Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 21-October-2007  12:47:50 (GMT +10) - by Agg

CoolerMaster CM Sphere CPU cooler on Motherboards.org.
Tuniq TX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound on ExtremeOC.

Audio / Visual:
Super Talent SmartClip mp3 player on OCClub.
HP Photosmart A826 photo printer on TrustedReviews.
Kodak EasyShare M873 digicam on TrustedReviews.
Asus PG221 22" Widescreen LCD on HotHardware.
AirLive Skyphone 1000 Skype phone on TechPowerUp.

Input Etc:
Logitech VX Nano Cordless Laptop Mouse on APHNetworks.
Fanatic Headshot Controller mouse+pad on TechPowerUp.

LapWorks Future Laptop Desk on TechwareLabs.
1TB Iomega StorCenter Network Hard Drive on SysOpt.
Apevia X-Jupiter Type G Tower Case on OCIA.

Sunday Morning Reviews (2 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 21-October-2007  10:50:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard & CPU:
Gigabyte GA-X38T-DQ6 LGA775 board on HWZone.
Biostar TP35D2-A7 P35 Express LGA775 board on PCStats.
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 LGA775 CPU on TechReport.
ASUS P5K3 Deluxe WIFI AP Edition LGA775 board on Bjorn3d.
DFI Blood Iron P35 LGA775 board on TBreak.
Biostar TP35D2-A7 P35 Express LGA775 board on PCStats.

APEX Computer Technology PC-346 ATX Mid-Tower on FutureLooks.
AeroCool AeroEngine-Plus on LegitReviews.
Hiper Anubis tower on HWLogic.
Tagan CS-EL Diablo BM (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Antec Sonata Designer 500 (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Ultra m998 Mid-Tower on VelocityReviews.
Lian-Li PC-C32 on Virtual-Hideout.
Spire Blackfin on GideonTech.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage benchmarking tool on Techgage.
Stranglehold PC game on DriverHeaven.
Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare PC game on Bit-Tech.

Forum Articles (2 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 20-October-2007  09:56:35 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's some impressive projects and reviews from around the forums:

windwithme checks out the MSI P35 Neo2-FR

Spikes reviewed a motion-tracking webcam from Pro-Q

Tesla Downunder made a Red Alert tower

T_M has videos and results from an LN2 overclocking day

alonso_bistro has continued his impressive "Crazy BLOBZS" mod

Michael H looked at the Icecube Pleiades Super S-Combo enclosure

Res took a 2008 Corvette for a test drive

predator666 gave us a quick review of the Logitech LX310 Laser Keyboard & Mouse

Kaliban checked out the Coolink Silentator CPU cooler

Saturday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 20-October-2007  08:19:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Philip spotted this neato desktop HDD adapter that makes it easier to swap spare hard drives in and out, without worrying about a proper enclosure.

Bit-Tech checked out a few things lying around on their desk. We've looked at the Corsair Flash Survivor GT 8GB, the Steel Series SX Mousepad, the Corsair Voyager Flash GT 2GB and the OCZ ATV Turbo 4GB.

From Timmy: There is a Guitar Hero III demo available for download for the Xbox 360. Download and Burn the ISO to a DVD or CD. Put it in your 360 go to the demos section and pick Guitar Hero III and choose Launch. I have tried it and it worked on my PAL Xbox.

OCInside have an interactive memory product ID guide. But what does this frequently mentioned part marking like e.g. Micron D9GMH, D9HNH, etc. exactly mean and how can one discover on basis of the part number how much megabyte or gigabyte memory RAM modules have?

From Sheri: The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on 'donating a mammogram' for free. This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising. This is the US counterpart to breastcanceraustralia. If you would prefer to donate to an aussie cause, go here.

If you know anything about a laptop recently stolen in New Zealand, you could score yourself free beer for life. Co-owner Paul Croucher says the brewery will give a lifetime supply of beer to anyone with information leading to both the safe return of the laptop and the arrest of the "little blighters" who stole it.

PCMech have tips and tricks with Google Maps. Remember we have a huge list of Australian Google Maps Locations in our Wiki.

Friday Afternoon (5 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 19-October-2007  17:20:01 (GMT +10) - by Rational

The RIAA has begun attacking Usenet.com, thanks Fester. Basking in glory after orchestrating a record punishment for a petty file-sharer in the US, the RIAA takes its legal campaign to the next level. Many may want newsgroups to stay under the radar but it’s too late - major labels have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Usenet.com and it won’t be going away.

TweakTown have checked out their heatsink testing methods. Heatsink technology has rapidly improved over the last few years. The introduction of heatpipes, use of large radius fans and the sophisticated mounting mechanisms have all aided these developments. One area that has remained unchanged is the way these products are tested. The old way has proven to be inaccurate, unreliable and careless for comparing one heatsink to another.

DigitalTrends have looked at reasons why the next gen formats may have a hard time replacing DVD. Blu-ray and HD DVD are among the greatest things to happen to my little subculture, the audio/video community, since the debut of HDTV. They’re also among the most disappointing.

XBitLabs and Bjorn3D have checked out PCMark Vantage. Today Futuremark is releasing their latest PCMark benchmark, PCMark Vantage. This article will go through the various tests as well as add some scores that we’ve got from running the test on a couple of different systems.

Cybercrime has become even easier with the creation of an online crime economy. By 2003, online banking was not yet ubiquitous but everyone could see that, eventually, it would be. Everyone includes Internet criminals, who by then had already built software capable of surreptitiously grabbing personal information from online forms, like the ones used for online banking.

One of the founding fathers of the internet has expressed enthusiasm for a space based internet. More than 1 billion people on Earth use the Internet worldwide, but it may not be long before the power of the Internet is available to people in space. "Interplanetary" Internet capabilities could one day allow users "to access information and to control experiments taking place far away" from our planet, said Vinton Cerf, a computer scientist and Internet evangelist best known the founding father of the Internet.

Youtube has unveiled technology to automatically remove copyrighted clips. Online video leader YouTube rolled out long-awaited technology to automatically remove copyrighted clips, hoping to placate movie and television studios fed up with the website's persistent piracy problems. The filtering tools are designed so the owners of copyrighted video can block their material from appearing on YouTube, which has become a pop culture phenomenon in its two-year existence.

A conflict is brewing between the IFPI and The Pirate Bay over their lost domain. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry has taken up a new battle against pirates, but this one is different than previous legal pursuits. The UK-based organization acts as the worldwide arm for the music recording industry, but as widely reported, it apparently forgot to renew its .com top-level domain in time before it got snatched up by one of its top targets, The Pirate Bay.

Friday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 19-October-2007  15:49:50 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB Hard-drive at I4U
OCZ DDR3 PC3-14400 Platinum Edition at LegionHardware
Ultra X3 800w Modular Power Supply at OCIA
ASUS Blitz Formula & Blitz Extreme Motherboards at Virtual-Hideout
Foxconn "Digital Life" X38A (Intel X38) at HardwareZone
AMD Mini ITX System at DriverHeaven
Apevia X-QPack 2 at TechPowerup

Cases and Cooling:
Zalman CNPS8700 LED CPU Cooler at SilentPCReview
Noctua 80mm and 120mm Case Fans at HardwareLogic
OCZ Vanquisher CPU Cooler at Modders-Inc
Thermalright HR-03 Plus at XBitLabs

SouthWing SH505 Bluetooth Headset at LegitReviews
Holux GPSmile 53CL at HardwareZone

World in Conflict - PC at GamePyre
LaCie 2big Triple (2TB) Hard Drive at DigitalTrends
MotoGP 07 (PC) at YouGamers

Thursday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 18-October-2007  22:43:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

MSI K9A3 CF AM2+ board on TrustedReviews.
Foxconn Mars LGA775 board on Bit-Tech.

Antec Performance One P182SE on HWSecrets.
Aplus CS-Monolith II on Tweak.dk.
NZXT Lexa Blackline on OCClub.
Moneual Labs MonCaso 932P Platinum HTPC Enclosure on OCIA.
Lian-Li V350 Micro ATX on Bit-Tech.
Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 gaming case on HotHardware.
Tt Mozart iP iPod HTPC Case on OCrCafe.
Apevia X-Jupiter JR G midtower on BenchmarkReviews.
Rosewill R6AS5 on ThinkComputers.

Audio / Visual:
Sony Walkman NWZ-S615F Player on HWZone.
eDimensional AudioFX Pro 5+1 Headset by BenHeck (video review) on 3DGameMan.
GE E850 8MP Camera on DigitalTrends.
Envision H190L 19-inch LCD Monitor on ThinkComputers.
Cowon A2 30GB Portable Multimedia Player on TrustedReviews.
AG Neovo E-W22 22in LCD Monitor on TrustedReviews.
Boynq Sabre iPod Speaker System on DigitalTrends.
Creative Fatal1ty Gaming Headset on OCClub.
Altec Lansing FX3020 SoundBar on Techgage.
Helios X5000 Network Media Player on TrustedReviews.
NEC Multisync LCD205WXM monitor on TrustedReviews.

Power Supply:
Sirtec HighPower RockSolid 1000W PSU on TechPowerUp.
Logisys 550W LED Acrylic Power Supply on GideonTech.

Input Etc:
Wolf King Trooper Gaming Mouse on I4U.
Logitech MX620 Cordless Laser Mouse on InsideHW.
X-Arcade Tankstick Dual Joystick Controller on FutureLooks.

XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB Fatal1ty Edition video card on Guru3D.
Crucial Ballistix 2GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Dual Channel Memory Kit on BigBruin.
Kingston 4GB DataTraveler 100 on TechWareLabs.

Thursday Evening (10 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 18-October-2007  19:13:00 (GMT +10) - by Agg

StiNg spotted another game being declared too violent for Australia. This time it's Soldier of Fortune: Payback. There is no R rating for games in Australia, so the Classifications Board must ban any game that exceeds MA15+ classification.

From IntelInside: Apple will allow third-party applications on the iPhone and iPod touch, Chief
Executive Steve Jobs said in a posting on its website. The company intends to release a software development kit in February.
So then you'll be able to invite your iPod owning friends to become pirates and ninjas and zombies, too.

Also on the Apple front, from Spillmill: There's some free computer & peripheral recycling happening in QLD, courtesy of apple, all brands welcome. If your old PC still works, see if your local school or charity wants it.

Digit-Life compared twelve AM2 boards based on AMD 690G. We separated motherboards into two groups: multimedia PC & media center solutions (HDMI, FireWire, etc.) and cheaper OEM products with just basic multimedia features.

They also have a continuing article called Detailed Platform Analysis in RightMark Memory Analyzer. During our previous tests we found out that the 65nm Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Energy Efficient processor was significantly outperformed by its regular counterparts with equal or even lower model numbers. To understand the microarchitectural reason of this, we decided to run a low-level comparison of a regular 90nm Athlon 64 X2 5200+ CPU (Windsor) and a 65nm Athlon 64 X2 4800+ EE CPU (Brisbane) in our RightMark Memory Analyzer suite.

Atomic Live 2007 is on this weekend at Olympic Park in Sydney, rego is free, thanks What: The greatest tech, games and all-round entertaining event of the year.

Nick noticed that Cisco's offices in Brazil have been raided, with exec's arrested etc. The allegation is that Cisco brought at least $500M of equipment into Brazil without properly paying import duties, and now owes over $826M in taxes, fines, and interest.

ASUS have launched their much-anticipated "Eee PC". This is a new line of PCs that focuses on providing users with the most comprehensive Internet application based on three Es: Easy to learn, work, play; Excellent Internet experience and Excellent on the go, and hence the product name of Eee PC. More info and discussion in this thread, thanks McbLt.

Dansdata checks out two PSUs from GTR: one cheap without PFC, and one slightly more expensive one with PFC. There's no end to the fun that can be caused by a dodgy power supply, especially in this age of video cards that draw more power than CPUs.

Thursday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 18-October-2007  18:29:36 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi LGA775 board on PCPerspective.
ASUS Blitz Formula P35 LGA775 board on Tweaktown.
GIGABYTE GA-G33M-S2H LGA775 board on Bjorn3D.
Biostar TForce TA690G AM2 board on PenStarSys.
Foxconn A690GM2MA-RS2H AM2 board on PCStats.
MSI K9AG Neo2-Digital AM2 board on PCStats.

ZEROtherm Hurricane HC92 CU 8800 video card cooler on XSReviews.
Chill Factor vs. Liquid Pro Thermal Pastes on Metku.
Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme on SilentPCReview.
CoolerMaster Gemin II CPU Cooler on Virtual-Hideout.
OCZ HydroJet CPU Cooler Prototype (2nd version) on HWSecrets.
Kingwin Z1 Hard Drive Enclosure on TweakNews.

Storage & Memory:
OCZ ATV Turbo 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive on 3DXtreme.
Corsair Padlock Secure USB 2.0 Flash Memory Drive on FutureLooks.
Western Digital Caviar GP hard drive on TechReport.
Kingston 4GB DataTraveler USB 2.0 Flash Drive on ExtremeOC.
Corsair 3GB DDR2 667 Mac Notebook Memory Upgrade on LegitReviews.

Game Demos on AusGamers Files (3 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 18-October-2007  12:51:00 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Quite a few new demos on AusGamers Files recently:

Painkiller: Overdose (768MB): The popular high-energy, frantic-styled gameplay of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning FPS title Painkiller is back and it.s packed with tons of fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled single player and multiplayer levels of mayhem! Painkiller: Overdose brings with it 8 innovative demonic weapons, mind-bending physics and lightning-player maps.

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars v1.1 (762MB): The Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars PC Demo comes with the final version of Valley, one of the larger battlegrounds in the game. Set in Yosemite, California, Valley has the Global Defense Force on the attack, as they attempt to foil a Strogg contamination plot centering on a water treatment facility. Valley features a great blend of close quarters infantry action, vehicle battles and aircraft dogfights, and the varied terrain combining mountains, waterways, tunnels and industrial structures allows for many different playing styles.

Avencast: Rise of the Mage (323MB): Avencast™ combines the sense of adventure and character development found in RPGs with fast-paced action in the vein of classic beat 'em ups, all set in a world where magic truly rules the day.

Steel Fury (287MB): The tanks and their crews, represented with the maximum historical authenticity, are the central elements of the game. Entertainment and scale battles with the participation of all possible troops are joined into three campaigns perfectly focused on the events of those days. Each of the campaigns gives the specific tank, which has its special features of control, behavior while under power and in combat.

Unreal Tournament 3 Beta (777MB): Unreal Tournament 3 unleashes the full power of Unreal Engine 3, taking graphics, gameplay, and challenge to a whole new level. Players engage in intense and hyper-real battles with other human players online, or against Unreal artificial intelligence that sets the industry standard. With the most powerful futuristic weapons and vehicles available, this is FPS action at its best!

Timeshift Singleplayer (1GB): Based in the near future, TimeShift tells the story of renowned test pilot Colonel Michael Swift, who has been asked by the US Government to test two of the most significant inventions of the century – a time-control device called the Quantum Suit and a time machine called the Chronomicon. Discussion thread here.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (1.4GB): The latest in Activision's smash hit series, and also the first to abandon the traditional Call of Duty WWII theme, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare heads for an altogether more topical setting: the Middle East. Packed with graphical detail and chock full of the same intense firefights you've come to expect from the brand, this is the biggest military shooter of the year.

F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate (770MB): F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate, an all-new stand-alone expansion pack, offers both seasoned gamers and those who have never played the original F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) the ability to jump-in and experience the fright with a brand new team in an all-new experience. Discussion thread here.

More info on many of these games in our Games Forum.

Wednesday Morning (6 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 17-October-2007  07:42:10 (GMT +10) - by Rational

It is National Ride to Work Day today, thanks Henry. On 17 October, regular and first-time riders from all states and territories will join the inaugural National Ride to Work Day. Government and corporate organisations from around Australia have made the commitment to join this huge event.

Les has sent me information about a public lecture occurring tomorrow on climate change and its effects on Australia, particularly interesting for those interested in science etc. There is a thread discussing this including lots of details of the event. Come and hear about climate change straight from the experts. This lecture gives the public the opportunity to learn about climate change from scientists who were closely involved with the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change Report. The science of climate change will be explained, along with the most recent findings and projections for Australia's future in a world influenced by global warming. The lectures will be followed by question time and discussion.

It seems that Crytek are not too happy about certain beta testers who are breaching NDA by posting screenshots of the game Crysis which is currently in beta, thanks to NGOHQ who send us that image.

Dan has posted some more letters. In this edition: Flashlights small and large, fitting stuff in a little Lian Li, building speakers, a bassless car stereo, cleaning up bug poo, radioactive batteries, and a Magic Water Stick.

TFOT have checked out the history and future of electronic paper in detail. Thirty-five years in the making, electronic paper is now closer than ever to changing the way we read, write, and study — a revolution so profound that some see it as second only to the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. Made of flexible material, requiring ultra-low power consumption, cheap to manufacture, and—most important—easy and convenient to read, e-papers of the future are just around the corner, with the promise to hold libraries on a chip and replace most printed newspapers before the end of the next decade.

Phoronix have checked out Ubuntu's power consumption. They have also compared the power consumption of Linux and Windows. For this article we've decided to not only deliver power benchmarks from Ubuntu 7.10 and Ubuntu 7.04 to compare the tickless kernel effect, but we have went back and retested all of the Ubuntu releases going back to Ubuntu 5.04, or also known as Hoary Hedgehog.

With the discussion of the bloat of Nero 8 in the previous news post, John has kindly sent in a free alternative called InfraRecorder. John describes it as "what Nero used to be". Welcome to the home of InfraRecorder on the internet! InfraRecorder is a free CD/DVD burning solution for Microsoft Windows. It offers a wide range of powerful features; all through an easy to use application interface and Windows Explorer integration. InfraRecorder is released under GPL version 2.

Bit-Tech have covered the pros and cons of a 64 bit environment. Whether you came into this article with some of your own thoughts on the matter or with little knowledge on the subject at all, I hope that you've learned some new things about 64-bit computing. Though it is still relatively "young" (despite its age) in the commercial sector, it's been the chosen evolution for the industry for some time. Modern processors, chipsets and now finally operating systems have started to make the move, and as the technology filters down into the "average home," the software will follow.

Futurelooks have posted some impressions of the Seattle World Cyber Games 2007 Grand Final. The World Cyber Games 2007 Grand Final in Seattle was both depressing and eye opening all at the same time. It reminds us that at some point in our adolescence, we’ve all tried to convince ourselves (and our parents) that playing video games was a viable career choice.

And finally, with the upcoming federal election it is quite interesting to note this internet based minor party which claim to use an internet based poll to help make crucial decisions in parliament, thanks Thulgor for the link. For those who want a bit more balance for their politics, there is a gigantic thread in CE.

Wednesday Morning Reviews (7 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 17-October-2007  00:11:56 (GMT +10) - by Agg

So now I have chicken pox. I assume Ebola is next.

Audio / Visual:
ViewSonic VX2835wm LCD Monitor/HDTV on ExtremeTech, thanks Flagger.
InFocus IN76 Projector on Trustedreviews.
Samsung S85 camera on TrustedReviews.

Video Cards:
Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 Pro on Modders-Inc.
MSI RX2600XT Diamond Plus on NeoSeeker.
Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 video card cooler on Bjorn3D.
XFX Fatal1ty 8600GT on XSReviews.

Half Life 2 - Episode 2 on DriverHeaven.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars on Tweaktown.
Unreal Tournament 3 Beta Performance on LegionHW.
Me.dium browser visualiser thingy on DigitalTrends.

Power Supply:
Akasa PowerMax 1000W on DriverHeaven.
Coolermaster Real Power Pro M1000 1000w Modular on OC3D.

Texas Instruments TI-Nspire calculator on DigitalTrends.
Brando USB Mini Fridge on ThinkComputers.
Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 M0 Stepping CPU on MadShrimps.
Clavister Security Gateway SG12 on TrustedReviews.

Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 16-October-2007  16:20:34 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
NVIDIA's MCP73 Motherboard GPU at HardwareZone
MSI P6NGM at HardwareZone
ASRock 4Core1333-Viiv at Phoronix
Corsair HX1000W Power Supply at HardwareSecrets
ASUS EN8600GT OC Gear Graphics Card at Virtual-Hideout
GIGABYTE GA-P31-DS3L Motherboard at Virtual-Hideout
ASUS P5K Premium Motherboard at OverclockersClub
OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-9200 DDR2 1150MHz RAM Kit at BenchmarkReviews
CrossFire Comparison: Intel X38 vs. P35 at Bit-Tech
BFG GeForce 8600 GTS OC2 at HotHardware

Cases and Cooling:
Zalman CNPS8700 LED INTEL/AMD CPU Cooler at TweakNews
Kingwin RVT-9225 Heatpipe Direct Touch CPU Cooler at OCIA
Kingwin Z1 Drive Enclosure at OverclockersCafe
Antec Fusion Black 430 at Bjorn3D
Tagan CS-El Diablo BM Case at Modders-Inc
Zalman ZM-MFC2: Multi Fan Controller + Power Meter at SilentPCReview
Gigabyte iSOLO 210 at TechPowerup
Cooler Express CE-48-S-1C Phase Change CPU Cooler at PCApex

Logitech G9 Laser Mouse at HardwareZone
ASUS G1S 15.4" Gaming Notebook at TechGage
GIGABYTE U60 UMPC at TweakTown
Medal of Honor Airborne PC at GamePyre
Orange Box at IGN
Portal (PC) at YouGamers
Prestigio Officer 375 at InsideHW
Assassin's Creed at Bit-Tech
Samsung 32" LCD TV LE-32R87BD at UnwiredShow

Tuesday Morning (7 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 16-October-2007  06:48:49 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Hitachi have promised 4Tb drives by 2011, I wonder how much faster they will be? In other HDD news, Seagate is planning full disk encryption on enterprise drives. Hitachi announced today that it has developed the world's smallest hard drive read heads, and that it expects the new technique to eventually quadruple hard drive size within four years.

Singapore Airlines have recieved the first Airbus A380 order. It's been a long time coming. The muchy ballyhooed Airbus A380 jumbo jet has endured months of delay, but the world's largest passenger plane is now in the fleet of its first customer. Singapore Airlines took deliver Monday at a ceremony in Toulouse, France.

ComputerWorld have posted a lengthy column on why they think Linux is in fact ready for the desktop. Michael Gartenberg claimed that Linux is still far from making it on the desktop. As someone who has tracked Linux’s progress since 1991 and the progress of the IT industry since 1979, I would like to offer an alternative perspective. While Microsoft presently sits in a commanding position on the desktop, it got there by eclipsing the previous PC platform incumbent, and there is every possibility that it too, will in time be eclipsed.

Greenpeace is still annoyed with Apple and its iPhone. Remember that "Greener Apple" Steve Jobs committed to back in May? Apparently, the company has a lot of work ahead of it before meeting Greenpeace standards. A series of new test results commissioned by the environmental group point to some potentially nasty chemicals hiding inside that sleek exterior.

TechnologyReview have looked at how Google Maps works. Technology Review interviewed engineers at Google and at *DigitalGlobe, the company that supplies Google's satellite photos, and did a little bit of reverse-engineering to figure out how it works.

Universal is planning a free online music store funded by the subsidy of the purchase of a device. Universal Music Group, the world's biggest record label, is looking to mobile hardware makers to foot the bill for a free music subscription service for buyers of a certain mobile phone or music player, The Telegraph reported Saturday.

Nero 8 has been released but it is confusing some people. We have been looking at the retail box version, which Nero 8 now only comes on DVD and no longer on CD. The software Now comes in at a whopping 1.26GB of data, where as the downloadable version is only 182.5MB.

Tuesday Morning Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 16-October-2007  04:01:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Corsair DOMINATOR Twin3X2048-1800C7D DDR3-1800 on PCStats.
Crucial Ballistix PC3-12800 2x1GB on OCOnline.
OCZ Platinum r2 DDR2-800 2GB on TheTechLounge.
OCZ Reaper Heatpipe-cooled Memory on OCrCafe.

Memorex Ultra TravelDrive on TrustedReviews.
Super Talent DH Flash Drive on OCClub.
Lexar Gaming Edition Flash Cards on DriverHeaven.
ATP Pink Petito 2GB USB Drive on TechPowerUp.
Synology Disk Station DS107+ NAS on Virtual-Hideout.

Antazone AS-N1000 & AS-N2000 Copper Heatpipe Northbridge Coolers on Tweaknews.
Antec VERIS A/V Cooler on OzHW.
Thermaltake Bigwater 760i watercooling kit on TBreak.

Power Supply:
Gigabyte Odin GT 800W on Bit-Tech.
Kingwin Mach 1 800W Modular (video review) on 3DGameMan.
Antec TruePower Quattro 1000W on PCPerspective.
Corsair VX450W on HWLogic.

Monday Evening Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 15-October-2007  19:53:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
Geeks 4-Channel Standalone DVR on RBMods.
M-Audio IE-40 Earbuds on Digitaltrends.
Zalman ZM-DS4F Dual Stereo Headphone on FutureLooks.
Sony VGC-LT1S.CEK Media Center on TrustedReviews.

Input Etc:
Razer Mantis Control & Mantis Speed Mousepads on Tweaknews.
Logitech G9 Gaming Mouse on Pro-Clockers.
Keysonic Illuminated Keyboard ACK-5000HL on OC3D.
Logitech G9 3200 dpi Laser USB Gaming Mouse on BenchMarkReviews.
Microsoft SideWinder Gaming Mouse on Bit-Tech.

Antec P190 on ThinkComputers.
Lian Li PC-A70 on TechPowerUp.
NOX XTREME on TechPowerUp.

Monday Midday (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 15-October-2007  12:21:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has provided funding for a new telescope array for SETI. "For Seti, the ATA's technical capabilities exponentially increase our ability to search for intelligent signals, and may lead to the discovery of thinking beings elsewhere in the Universe," said Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Seti Institute in a statement.

OC3D report on a recent overclocking competition in Sydney. This was an exclusive event to say the least featuring both 'cream-of-the-crop' and up and coming talent of the Australian overclocking scene.

Some porn spammers are off to jail in the USA. However recent reports of a Russian spammer assasination have turned out to be a hoax.

Mazzanet spotted this interesting video of a see-through mobile device in the early prototype stage. Revolutionary design for touch-based device used with your fingers holding the back of the gadget to give a clearer view.

Virtual worlds like Second Life and World of Warcraft may become intertwined in future. The first really public shot in this battle was fired Wednesday when Linden Lab and IBM announced their intention to work toward a day when virtual-world users can port a single virtual identity from one service to another.

Radiohead recently released an album on the net and let people decide how much they wanted to pay for it - now Nine Inch Nails have announced they are free of any recording contract. Two well-known bands taking to the Internet to sell their own albums is not yet a trend, but it certainly must be a cause for concern in the halls of the four major music companies.

Digit-Life have their september 3Digest posted. Traditionally our 3Digest informs you about the best price/performance ratios available in the market. Another very important part of any issue is cards' 3D graphics quality shown on the example of a wide selection of games.

Nick sent word of the first Linux patent lawsuit filed against Red Hat and Novell. Groklaw is reporting that on Tuesday, the two companies were sued by IP Innovation LLC and Technology Licensing Corp. for violating three patents having to do with windowing user interfaces.

HWLogic have some fancy gear for testing power supplies now. As of September 2007, HardwareLogic upgraded its lab to include a FAST AUTO ATE 828/4500 system capable of load testing PSU units into the kilowatt range.

MadShrimps have an entry-level video card roundup, with seven GeForce 8400GS cards compared. We test 7 offerings from different manufactures and compare them to the low end range from ATI to see which one comes out on top.

Sunday Afternoon (9 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 14-October-2007  14:12:39 (GMT +10) - by Rational

The controversial exploit market website has received more than 150 submissions in its first two months of operation. The site can be found here and its auction style bidding system for discovered exploits can be seen. Thanks Ed for all of these links. A controversial marketplace for security exploits and vulnerabilities said it has exceeded expectations with the submission of more than 150 vulnerabilities in its first two months of operations. WabiSabiLabi encourages security researchers to sell their findings to vetted buyers. Herman Zampariolo, chief exec of WSLabi which runs the WabiSabiLabi marketplace, said that the quality of the submitted vulnerabilities is as important as their quantity. Vulnerabilities on the marketplace have had selling prices ranging between 100 to 15,000 euros each. So far 1,000 sellers (researchers) have registered on the site.

Here is a page showing a robotic sentry somebody has built, thanks Craig. Tim Higgins had some problems with kids cutting through his yard. His solution is a water cannon sentry that watches the yard and hoses down trespassers. I'm dreaming of making something like this to keep the squirrels off of my tomatoes, so it's cool to see what worked and what didn't in Tim's system.

The performance of Unreal Tournament 3 has been revealed. That being said, if you want to blow away your senses and get the top image quality settings with that super-smooth frame rate we all desire, then NVIDIA's 8800 GTX card is the way to go. Our hours of gaming with it were sheer joy and I have no problems calling it the best graphics card for Unreal Tournament 3, period.

PCMech have looked at the Gmail spam filter and if it really works. My personal experience shows that it does work, at least compared to the adaptive filter in Thunderbird. I’ve had my primary domain registered since 1999 but spam wasn’t really a problem until the early 2000’s. After that point the spam started flooding in like a tidal wave. I tried everything to stop it, but as you know once your e-mail address is known to exist, spam happens. It’s unavoidable. It got so bad I had to switch e-mail addresses at one point

Portal has been reviewed here and here. Some secrets of the game have been revealed as well. For a long time a website of aperturescience.com has baffled the Steam community. Now finally, the secrets have been revealed via a login username and password found scrawled on a room in Portal.

The UK government is looking into finding a link between WiFi and health problems. Along with this connectivity, though, come fears that surrounding ourselves with low-powered clouds of electromagnetic radiation might be bad for our health. Over in the UK, the Heath Protection Agency (HPA) has announced it will be carrying out a comprehensive study into exposure levels from WiFi networks with a view to ruling out any possible health risks.

The UT3 demo has been leaked. EPIC RECENTLY HELD an event in its HQ in North Carolina, during which a UT3 demo was given to invited members of the press. As might be expected in the Internet age, a demo was leaked and you can now download it from usual leaky suspects - TechPowerUp! and NGOHQ.

Dan has answered some cooling questions. One fellow needs a replacement for his dead motherboard chip cooler. Another is trying to figure out a cooling problem in a funny back-to-front Lian Li case.

Hardcoreware have looked at some of the features in the new PSP firmware. At a recent discussion panel at yesterday’s HDTV DisplaySearch conference in Universal City, California, Sony VP of Advanced Technologies Don Eklund dropped a hint that the Playstation 3 will soon be receiving a firmware update that will "boost its Blu-ray interactivity functionality".

And finally for todays timewaster, Nathan sent in this flash version of Portal.

Sunday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 14-October-2007  08:19:58 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Kingston HyperX 2GB PC3-11000 DDR3 Dual Channel Memory Kit at BigBruin
XFX 8800 GTS 320 MB at Bjorn3D
ATI RADEON HD 2900 XT 1024MB at Digit-Life
Tagan ITZ 1300W & Thermaltake ToughPower 1200W at Phoronix
Super Talent W1866UX2G8 DDR3-1866 Memory at PCStats

Cases and Cooling:
SilverStone TJ10 Case at 3DGameMan
OCZ Vanquisher CPU Cooler at TechGage
Evercool Buffalo CPU Cooler at ThinkComputers
CFI TeraBox II+ USB Multiple HDD Enclosure at Virtual-Hideout
Thermalright IFX14 CPU cooler at XSReviews
Akasa Revo Thermaldynamic CPU Cooler at Overclock3D

Brother HL-4040CN at TrustedReviews
Logitech Quickcam Pro 9000 at TrustedReviews
Pentax Optio E40 at TrustedReviews
Asus Xonar D2 Sound Card at CPU3D

A-DATA 2GB microSD Trio at DriverHeaven
Targus 15.4-Inch Corporate Traveler Laptop Case CUCT02A at BenchmarkReviews
OCZ ATV Turbo 4GB Flash Drive at I4U
Razer Diamondback 3G Gaming Mouse at OverclockersClub
OCZ ATV Turbo at DVHardware
Two Worlds (PC) at YouGamers
Crysis Hands-on Preview at YouGamers

Misc Pics (33 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 13-October-2007  12:19:59 (GMT +10) - by Agg



Friday Afternoon (12 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 12-October-2007  16:08:51 (GMT +10) - by Rational

PCMech have looked into syncing mail between computers. A common issue that people have today is keeping their email in sync among more than one computer. For example, you may have a computer at your office and another at home. Ideally, you would want all email that is on one of the computers to also be on the other.

Here is a Vista optimization guide, on a similar note Tweakguides have revised their Source engine tweak guide. Over two years since its original release, with the coming of HL2: Episode 2, I've completed a major revision of the Half Life 2 & Source Engine Tweak Guide. The guide is now fully up to date with the latest build of the Source Engine; I've retested and documented a range of existing and new settings, including several new advanced tweaks, and even updated all the screenshot comparisons.

Nvidia have confirmed some 8800GT details and 3DMark benchmarks have also leaked. Featureing 112 stream processors each individually clocked at a blazing fast 1.5GHz and an impressive 256 bit framebuffer interface running at 900MHz. GeForce 8800 GT delivers a level of price/performance that hardcore gamers have been demanding at the $199-$249 price point.

The Pirate Bay still has its sights set on buying an island as a piracy refuge. But what happened to all the donations so far? We spoke to The Pirate Bay’s brokep to find out, and he told us: “Well, we’re going to do something, lately has just been so stressed out and we have had no time. The Sealand project took all of our time and we couldn’t do anything else basically.” However, brokep assured us: “The money will be spent on an island, but first of all we need to focus on the upcoming court cases we have.”

Mozilla is planning a version of Firefox for mobile devices. A planned version of Firefox for mobile devices will support extensions and the XUL language used to create user interfaces for web applications. Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla's engineering vice president, recognised the growing use of mobile devices for web access and pointed to the way devices outsell computers by 20 to one.

A company has worked out a way to make pourable solar panels. Innovalight essentially creates silicon nanoparticles, inserts them into a solvent, and pours the solvent on a substrate. The solvent is then extracted. What is left can sort of be analogized to a snowflake or a large sugar cube: a highly organized structure made up of tiny parts.

The latest quarterly broadband report has shown that competition is bringing down ADSL2+ prices. The Internet Industry Association's latest quarterly broadband index shows competition starting to bring down the price of ADSL2+ services, to the point that they can offer better value than lower speed services. "This competition is leading to some counter-intuitive pricing. Customers using between 500MB and 2GB of data per month are better off taking a 17Mbps service than any other speed of service except 256kbps," IIA says.

According to an independent poll, Google gives the best search results in blind tests. Six days ago, I posted a poll that asked you to evaluate the quality of the first results from Google, Yahoo, Windows Live. You had to enter a query you were particularly interested in and decide which result is the best. If you found two or three equally good results, you were allowed to select all of them.

The Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) Release Candidate has been released. The desktop CD allows you to try Ubuntu without changing your computer at all, and at your option to install it permanently later. This type of CD is what most people will want to use. You will need at least 320MB of RAM to install from this CD.

Sponsor Specials (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 12-October-2007  14:16:13 (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 music players, memory, speakers, Blu-Ray drives, LCD monitors, laptops and various other components. Check 'em out!

Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 12-October-2007  10:25:15 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
PowerColor HD 2600 Pro 512MB DDR2 Graphics Card at XBitLabs
MSI K9AG Neo2-Digital Motherboard at ViperLair
Seasonic S12 II 500W Power Supply at Pro-Clockers
PowerColor HD 2900 Pro at NeoSeeker
XFX 8800 GTS 320MB Fatal1ty Video Card at I4U
Ultra X3 1000 Watt Energy Efficient Modular PSU at HotHardware

Cases and Cooling:
Thermalright SI-128 and XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 CPU Coolers at XBitLabs
Smart Drive 2002C at XSRevews
Asus Triton 75 CPU Cooler at DriverHeaven
Akasa Evo 120 v2 cooler at TCMagazine
AI Technology Cool Silver Thermal Interface Material at LegitReviews

19" LCD Monitors Roundup. Part VIII. at XBitLabs
ASUS M530w Smartphone at HardwareZone
AirLive Sky-211 USB Skype Phone Gateway at TechPowerup
Maximo iMetal iM-390 Earphones at AphNetworks
Titan TTC-G5T Notebook Cooling Pad Speakers at Virtual-Hideout
Super Talent VIDEGO24 MP3 Player at FutureLooks

Wireless D-Link DSM-G600 NAS at XBitLabs
Palm Treo 500v at HardwareZone
D-Link DWA-652 Xtreme N Notebook Adapter at BenchmarkReviews
Team Fortress 2 (PC) at YouGamers
Half-Life 2: Episode Two at Bit-Tech
Microsoft SideWinder Gaming Mouse at EverythingUSB
F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate Demo at Gamepyre

Thursday Evening (6 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 11-October-2007  22:07:09 (GMT +10) - by Rational

PCPer have looked at DX10 performance with Catalyst 7.10 drivers, while PenstarSys have checked out some upcoming Nvidia graphics releases. Today I posted a rather lengthy front page article detailing quite a bit of new information on the upcoming graphics releases from both AMD and NVIDIA. Some you have seen before, but there are a few new tidbits not reported anywhere else.

PCMech have written about changing the wireless channel resulting in better signal. If you notice that your wireless signal drops for apparently no reason and/or the connection is spotty at best even though you’re in close range, the channel your wireless router is using may be the problem.

DriverHeaven have interviewed Scott Richards from Antec. We recently had time to chat with Scott Richards in Antec about their forthcoming hardware including the high efficiency "Signature" power supply products, unfortunately right now Scott isn't at liberty to divulge detailed information on certain products, but we felt we should at least try!

Marc spotted this cool ring which displays the number of Google search results of the name of the wearer. While in earlier times richness and importance were equal to the amount of money or jewels someone possessed, in a post information society it's the attention you get from the worlds people, that counts. Being in people's mind means being important, whether they think about you in a positive way our not doesn't matter.

HardwareSecrets have looked at the effects of heat on your CPU. Just like all electronic components, CPU produces heat while it is running. Heat in excess, however, isn't good and can even lead your CPU to burn or to work in an unstable way. In this tutorial you will learn what are the effects of high temperature over the CPU, will learn how to measure your CPU current temperature and will have access to tables listing the maximum supported temperature for the main CPUs available on the market.

P2P researches have found that unsuspecting file sharing users are tracked 100% of the time. Anirban Banerjee, Michalis Faloutsos, and Laxmi Bhuyan collected more than 100GB of TCP header information from P2P networks back in early 2006 using a specially-doctored client. The goal of the research was a simple one: to determine "how likely is it that a user will run into such a 'fake user' and thus run the risk of a lawsuit?" The results are outlined in a recent paper (PDF), "P2P: Is Big Brother Watching You?"

A Soldier of Fortune sequel is on its way for consoles. Now Activision announce Soldier of Fortune Payback will smash out of the PC platform onto next-gen consoles: The saga continues with the organisation known as “The Shop,” where players take on the role of a hired mercenary blasting through brutal do-or-die battle scenes in the world’s most dangerous criminal and terrorist hotspots.

It seems that video game controversy is actually good for business. There is this opinion by those who crow about violent games endlessly that their misguiuided, but well-meaning, witterings will in some way hurt the offending game. Wrong. It just generates a ton of publicity that will attract buyers that might not have even heard about it, or were in two minds about it in the first place. Banned movies and books do a roaring trade so why shouldn’t games? I give you the Hot Coffee Mod in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as Exhibit A. Sales there weren’t what you’d call ‘slow’.

HardOCP have looked at the performance of Half Life 2: Episode 2. Half Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal have just been released to anxiously waiting gamers everywhere. It has been an excruciating wait considering Episode 1 was released on June 1st of 2006, over one year ago. While Episode 2 may not push the boundaries of graphics by offering DirectX 10 graphical effects, it none the less offers spectacular DirectX 9 graphics with a few tricks up its sleeves, including the ability to offload particle effects to the GPU and of course massively fun gameplay.

Hackers have managed to get a swag of useful applications running on the iPod Touch. We're not looking at general availability yet, but those happy hacking cats unravelling the iPod touch have decrypted the ramdisk and are now busy installing applications. Already, Mail, Maps, and other 3rd party apps are up and running on their jailbreaked touches. The race is on between the cat and the mouse to see who will release their wares first. Maps screenshot after the break.

Online DVD rental service Netflix is showing HD-DVD as being more popular than Blu-Ray. One often overlooked statistic when comparing the two main high-definition optical formats is rentals. While Blu-ray Disc movies have consistently sold more units than HD DVD at retail, the popularity of the formats appear to be reversed in the rental market. According to Netflix data gathered by Compete’s online traffic metrics, HD DVD is the preferred high-def format for customers of the largest online rental firm in the U.S. Netflix users that deliberately set a particular format as preferred chose HD DVD by a factor of 2.4:1 when compared to Blu-ray Disc favorers.

Thursday Afternoon (8 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 11-October-2007  13:44:09 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Telstra has agreed to turn on ADSL to 211 exchanges which until now have not had ADSL coverage. This means that every Australian will have access to ADSL, thanks Travis. EVERY Australian will be able to access broadband after Telstra yesterday agreed to sign up to a government program and flick the ADSL switch on 211 exchanges. Telstra has committed to providing internet services to more than 200 communities, many of them remote, that do not have fast internet yet. In Victoria 62 areas, ranging from Dargo in the east to Lake Bolac in the west, will receive broadband for the first time. In Queensland, 57 areas will get broadband for the first time.

Apple and AT&T have been hit with a $800 million dollar suit. Yet another class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple and AT&T, targeting the two companies' practices when it comes to the iPhone. Extremely similar to the suit filed a week and a half ago by Californian Timothy Smith, California resident Lucy Rivello and Washington resident Paul Holman have accused Apple of entering into an unlawful agreement with AT&T that ultimately caused the two companies to commit a number of illegal acts.

Phoronix have benchmarked the new 2.6.23 Linux kernel. The Linux 2.6.23 kernel has been released today and we have some preliminary benchmarks of the 2.6.23 kernel as we compare it to the past Linux 2.6.22 kernel. We will have more on the Linux 2.6.23 kernel once we have tested it more extensively, but the benchmarks we have ran so far include Quake 4, LAME encoding, Gzip compression, and RAMspeed. If you missed it, among the features for the Linux 2.6.23 kernel include the CFS process scheduler (Completely Fair Scheduler), a variety of virtualization improvements, on-demand read-ahead, and XFS and EXT4 file-system improvements are among the interesting changes.

TechARP have looked at some of the new 65nm Intel processors and upcoming price cuts. It is evident that while Intel is rapidly ramping up the transition from 65nm to 45nm, they are not just going to just abandon their 65nm processors. In fact, Intel intends to introduce several new 65nm desktop and mobile processors over the next few months. We have recently obtained details of Intel's future roadmap and pricing details for their 65nm processors. Let's take a look at what Intel has in store for us in the coming months!

ATI have released PCIe2 graphics cards. WE JUST LEARNED an interesting tidbit about low and mid-range ATI cards, they are all PCIe2. Yes, all cards based on the 610 and 630 chips, that would be the X2400 and X2600 parts, will do PCIe2 now. The catch? You need a mobo that does PCIe2, and those are in short supply. With X38 boards trickling out, and RD780/790 soon to follow, this will change pretty quickly, but the cards have been with us since may.

Maybe Agg should look into one of these blazingly fast 640GB PCI-E solid state drives for the OCAU server. If a measly 64GB solid state drive just doesn’t cut it for your needs, Fusion-io has a new 640GB flash based hard drive that slips into a PCI-Express x4 slot. Fusion-io promises some very swift speeds from the drive in the neighborhood of 600 Mbytes/sec sustained write speed (4000Mbytes/sec random) and 800 Mbytes/sec sustained read (8,000 Mbytes/sec random).

The super fast Internet2 network has hit 100Gbps with 10x upscaling capacity. The prospect of dialing up a dedicated 10Gbps optical link between your office and another firm across the country became a reality today—at least, if your office is a member of Internet2. The research network announced at its fall meeting that it had completed a major upgrade to its national infrastructure, which now operates at 100Gbps and allows researchers to provision their own dedicated links for limited periods of time.

Thursday Afternoon Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 11-October-2007  13:23:37 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 650M 320MB GDDR3 at HardwareZone
ASUS Blitz Maximus at TBreak
EVGA 680i SLI 775 A1 Motherboard at Motherboards
Glacial power 550watt PSU at Motherboards
NZXT Precise Power 1200W Modular Power Supply at ThinkComputers
Asus Formula Maximus SE at AOBOnline

Multimedia and Cases:
Buffalo Technology LinkStation at DigitalTrends
Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 and Premiere Elements 4 Bundle at TrustedReviews
Apevia X-Jupiter Jr. Type S at OCIA

Race 07: The Official WTCC Game PC Review at TweakTown
Dragon Fire LED Light Bar w/Remote at Modders Inc
OCZ Trifecta Secure Digital Memory at Overclock3D
StreetAdvisor.com at DigitalTrends

Thursday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 11-October-2007  13:16:13 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
PNY 8800 Ultra at XSReviews
Mushkin HP2-6400 4GB Memory Kit at ViperLair
Corsair VX450W Power Supply at Sysopt
GIGABYTE Odin GT 800W at TechPowerup
ASUS P5K Motherboard at TweakTown
OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 Platinum Edition at PCFrags
OCZ Silencer 750 Quad Crossfire edition PSU at Guru3D

Cases and Cooling:
Moneual Lab 932B Black HTPC Case at TweakNews
Tagan CS-Monolith Mid Tower ATX Case at BenchmarkReviews
Scythe Katana 2 CPU Cooler at HardwareLogic

Vers 2X iPod Speaker System at DigitalTrends
Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro at OverclockersClub
Sennheiser HD-280 Pro Headphones at Bjorn3D
Apple iPod touch 16GB at TrustedReviews
Nokia 7500 Prism Mobile Phone at HardwareZone

Half-Life 2: Episode Two at TechGage
OCZ ATV Turbo Flash Drive at 3DGameMan
MSI MegaBook PR200X Notebook at InsideHW
Team Fortress 2 at Bit-Tech
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars at TrustedReviews
Steelseries Steelpad Mousepads at DriverHeaven
Packard Bell EasyNote MX36-026 Notebook at HardwareZone

Wednesday Evening (27 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 10-October-2007  19:00:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I managed to cut the tip off my right middle finger on Monday night, so I've lost my main method of communicating when driving. Also forgive any typos due to bandage+key issues. :)

Chris spotted this interesing bolt-onto-monitor PC from VIA. VIA's VESA mounted vm7700 PC in fact, which converts any standard VESA display into a make-shift all-in-one PC. Completely fanless, the PC sports your choice of VIA C7 1GHz or Eden ULV 1.5GHz processors, up to 1GB of memory, optional 802.11b/g WiFi, and choice of standard 2.5-inch SATA disk or DOM (Disk on Module) supporting Linux or WinXP/XPe pre-loads. Thread here.

Wired have an article about terrorists using the internet, and the (bungling) intelligence community snooping on them. As we've noted before, today's jihadists don't just use the Internet, occasionally. "They don't exist without the Web," says Naval Postgraduate School professor John Arquilla. Everything from recruiting to training to propaganda is handled online.

You're probably enjoying the benefits of "giant magnetoresistance" without realising it, and you have these fellows to thank for it. They were jointly awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Physics. Their discovery that ultra-thin slices of metal have different electrical properties in a magnetic field not only changed the musical and computing habits of the entire planet but also altered the very landscape of how people think about information, and the ways in which music, movies and ideas can be shared.

HotHardware have published their thoughts on Intel's X38 chipset, with reviews of Gigabyte's offering on Techgage and here on PCPerspective.

Mindee sent in an interesting problem, how does a Muslim astronaut face Mecca in space? Malaysia's space agency, Angkasa, convened a conference of 150 Islamic scientists and scholars last year to wrestle with these and other questions. While there I spotted this article about what's in toothpaste, too.

Interesting Forum Threads:
QX9650 Smashes records in Intel Hardware.
Can you hear a difference in "pro audio" cables? $1 million for you! in Audio / Visual.
NAS box mod in Modding.
Classical Gas in Musicians.
Energy-guzzling TV's may be banned in the future in Current Events.
Do comp techies know what they are doing? in The Pub.

Wednesday Afternoon (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 10-October-2007  17:22:43 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Techreport have checked out the Intel X38 express chipset. Topping the P35 Express won't be easy, but Intel has a few tricks up its sleeve with the X38. Chief among them is next-gen PCI Express 2.0 connectivity—a first for desktop chipsets—with enough lanes for dual-x16 CrossFire configurations. As is customary for its high-end chipsets, Intel has also rolled out memory controller optimizations that promise faster performance and support for higher DDR3 memory speeds. To find out whether these perks are enough to elevate the X38 Express over its blue-collar P35 sibling, we've run the first X38 boards from Asus and Gigabyte through a relentless series of memory controller, application, and peripheral performance tests.

Two Thunderbird core coders have announced their departure, thanks Mindy. Shortly after the Mozilla Foundation announced a subsidiary to focus more attention on the Thunderbird e-mail software, two of its main developers are leaving Mozilla for other pastures. Scott McGregor and David Bienvenu each announced their departures on blog postings last week. And David Ascher, chief executive of the Thunderbird company, confirmed the move Saturday on his own blog.

Mindy also sent in word of the upcoming Virgin Galactic spaceport. Good-bye, Cape Canaveral. It's been nice knowing you, Edwards Air Force Base. The future hub of space travel won't be some restricted-access military installation. It will be in the middle of the New Mexico desert — and look surprisingly like a cylon raider from Battlestar Galactica. This fall, the New Mexico Spaceport Authority unveiled the design for the world's first public launching and landing site for space vehicles, Spaceport America, future home to Virgin Galactic and the X Prize cup.

Fester noted that Microsoft's Steve Ballmer has threatened Red Hat over patent issues, showing that Microsoft still clearly has Linux targeted. He has just clearly outlined how Microsoft intends to extinguish Linux as we know it. Microsoft knows full well that in any intellectual property regime based on software patents, particularly when used as weapons against innovation to protect and reward the old, no one can compete with Microsoft. They have all the money. FOSS is written by individuals who don't have a pile of gold under the bed to go to court and get a court judgment or pay "a big check". Ballmer of course knows that. So this is the anticompetitive plan, under the guise of everyone having to play by the same rules.

Controversy has arose at the World Cyber Games where a Taiwanese winner copped some flak from Chinese competitors, thanks Carl. To the average spectator, it was just another medal given out to a player at the World Cyber Games Finals, which took place in Seattle last weekend. The winner would step onto the podium, wave their nation’s flag with pride, and receive their medal. But in the case of PGR3 bronze-medalist You-Chen Liu of Taiwan (aka D2C-BURBERRYqq), some competitors didn’t take kindly to his medal win and display of national pride.

Mobile Core 2 Duo processors are coming to end of life as well. Back in September '07, Intel had already announced the discontinuation of eight (8) Intel Core Duo processors as well as one (1) Intel Core Solo and four (4) Intel Celeron M processors. Their production will officially end next month, although all pending orders will still be fulfilled.

HardwareSecrets have looked at the workings of surge suppressors. Most users want (and should) protect their valuable equipment. Surge suppressors, which are also known by other names such as surge protectors, noise suppressors, transient filters, line filters and TVSS (Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor), protect your equipment by removing noise and spikes coming from the power grid and sometimes also from the telephone line and from the satellite or cable TV line, if you have a suppressor with this option. But how do they work?

Ebay is adding a social networking component to its website to add a greater sense of community. In an effort to create a greater sense of community, eBay on Wednesday plans to add a social-networking environment intended to bring together buyers and sellers with similar interests. eBay Neighborhoods will allow users to post photos and reviews and offer tips and feedback in a beefed-up version of its text-based discussion forums. As of late Tuesday, there were more than 600 groups, with topics ranging from the Dallas Cowboys to crocheting to comic books. Users can also suggest new neighborhoods for creation.

Google shares have surpassed $600. Shares in Google surpassed the $US600 mark on Monday, fueled by investor confidence that the web search leader's advertising technology will capitalize on new areas of the media industry. Google shares hit $US600 for the first time early in their trading session on Nasdaq, then rose as high as $US610.26, setting a new benchmark for the company whose shares priced at $US85 at its initial public offering in 2004.

Wednesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 10-October-2007  14:12:41 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 (Intel X38) at Phoronix
Gigabyte's X38-DQ6 motherboard at Neoseeker
OCZ XTC Platinum PC3-12800 2GB Kit at TBreak
2GB OCZ DDR-2 6400 Reaper CL3 Edition at HardwareOC
Apacer Handy Steno AH421 4GB USB Flash Drive at OZHardware
Inno3D's GeForce 8600 GTS iChiLL Xstriker3 at Bit-Tech
Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1250W at BigBruin
PNY GEFORCE 8500GT 512MB PCIe at OverclockersClub
OCZ Platinum PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600) DDR3 2GB Kit at Overclock3D

Cases and Cooling:
Gigabyte G-Pad Pro at TechPowerup
CoolerMaster CM690 Case at GamePyre
Thermaltake LANBOX Lite Desktop Case at ExtremeOverclocking
Asus Triton 75 CPU Cooler at Overclock3D
Antec Fusion Black 430 HTPC Case at Metku
In Win Enclosure Roundup at TweakTown

JVC LT-42DV8 42in LCD TV at TrustedReviews
Kodak EasyShare Z1275 at TrustedReviews
Oppo DV-981HD DVD Player at DigitalTrends

Razer Diamondback 3G Gaming Mouses at HardwareZone
Synology DS107e Single-Drive NAS at TechGage
Logitech Pure-Fi Elite at OverclockersClub
X-Arcade Trackball Mouse Game Controller at FutureLooks
eam Fortress 2 (Beta Performance) at LegionHardware
Microsoft SideWinder Gaming Mouse at TrustedReviews

Airbus A380 in Melbourne (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 10-October-2007  09:20:33 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Dribbleboy sent me an email this morning about an apparent visit of an Airbus A380 to Melbourne Airport. Information about this visit is available on their official site. So if you are interested in checking out a really big plane, and are in Melbourne, you might want to go down to Melbourne airport later today or tomorrow. The following quote from the Melbourne airport website outlines it's arrival and departure times among other information about public viewing.

The Airbus A380 will be visiting Melbourne Airport from Wednesday, 10 October to Thursday, 11 October– and the airport is expected to be busy with visitors coming to catch a glimpse of the ‘super jumbo’.

The A380’s movements are as follows:
- Arrives from Dubai: Wednesday 10 October 2007, 1050 hours (estimated).
- Departs for Manila: Thursday 11 October 2007, 0800 hours (estimated).

The aircraft is expected to arrive at the southern end of Melbourne Airport's main north-south runway.

Melbourne Airport will reopen its observation deck specifically for the event. This area can be accessed from T2 (International) - Departures Level, next to the ANZ Foreign Exchange outlet. It will be open to the public from:
- Wednesday 10 October: 0900 to 2030 hours
- Thursday, 11 October: 0700 to 1000 hours

Tuesday Evening (4 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 9-October-2007  19:47:37 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Just a quick shout out to the OCAU forums users out there, make sure your PM box is not full or have alternative modes of communication (ie. email) available.

The auDA is releasing a whole bunch of reserved AU domain names, thanks Craig. In 2005 auDA held a ballot for the allocation of geographic names* in com.au and net.au. A number of geographic names were not allocated in the ballot and have remained on auDA's Reserved List. These names will be released at 2pm AEST on Sunday 21 October 2007. The list of names to be released can be downloaded below. The names will be released on a first come, first served basis, subject to normal policy rules. For the first 5 days after release, the names will be charged at the 2005 ballot fee of $825 (inc GST), plus the registrar's registration fee. After 5 days, the names will be charged at the normal registry fee of $21.45 (inc GST), plus the registrar's registration fee.

Brisbanites have been pelted with hail, resulting in some interesting pictures being posted on the forums. Hello All, Thought you guys would like to see what happened in brisbane this arvonoon, my house is now filled with water becuase of the sudden down pour. It happened at 5.00pm and went till about 5.15. I am located in Cashmere on the north side of brisbane, about 30 mins from CBD

Facebook is being used to rally support for Burmese monks, thanks Paul. A young Toronto man's modest Internet campaign to support Burmese protestors has exploded into an international forum for tens of thousands typing around the world. Since its creation 10 days ago, 19-year-old Alex Bookbinder's Facebook group, "Support the Monks' protest in Burma," has amassed more than 160,000 members. The social networking page has become a newswire on happenings in the governing junta's violent crackdown, a mouthpiece for nearly 200 discussion topics and a planning space for demonstrations from Vancouver to Hong Kong.

An iPod has caught fire in a mans pocket, thanks Fester and Mindy. The nearly two year-old iPod caught fire in the pocket of Danny Williams at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where he is employed, according to Williams' mother, Elaine. The flames lasted 15 seconds and fire reached up to his chest, she said in a telephone interview.

The rock band Nine Inch Nails is no longer signed by Universal music, possibly due to conflicts over the bands encouragement of the downloading of their music and other criticizms of the industry, thanks Mindy. Hello everyone. I've waited a LONG time to be able to make the following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate.

Mindy send in word that Jammie Thomas is set to appeal her $220,000 fine for music downloading. A woman ordered to pay US$222,000 for downloading and sharing music files has decided to appeal the case. A happy Jammie Thomas said on her Myspace.com blog that the appeal was announced by her lawyer, Brian Toder, in an interview with CNN. "My attorney announced, on national television, with the RIAA watching I'm more than certain, we're going to appeal," she wrote in the blog entry. Winning the appeal will "stop RIAA in their tracks," she wrote.

TechARP have posted details of the upcoming Intel 45nm mobile procesors. The new Penryn processors will continue to use the Core 2 nomenclature, with new model series of 9000 and 8000. The 9000 series Penryn processors will have a 6 MB L2 cache while the 8000 series processors will only have a smaller 3 MB cache.

The console war is set to heighten during the holiday period, thanks Mindy. MANOEUVRES leading into the games console Christmas sales wars have begun, with Sony crafting a cut-price PlayStation 3 and Nintendo landing its Wii console on Harvey Norman's shelves for the first time. This Christmas will be the first in which next-generation offerings from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo all battle for the consumer wallet. While Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360 were on sale last Christmas, Sony only launched the PS3 in March. On Thursday, Sony will launch a 40GB PS3 that costs $700, down from $1000 for the original 60GB PS3 sold here.

Tuesday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 9-October-2007  06:14:54 (GMT +10) - by Rational

In followup to the news box issues we posted about yesterday, it seems that Agg has fixed it however he is still looking for a long term solution to the problem. Thanks to everyone who helped us out on that. Ok, we've figured out one probable issue, so should be mostly working atm, but we'll need to think of a proper long-term solution. Ta for testing.

Battlefield Pirates 1.2, a mod for Battlefield 2, has been released, servers can be found here and an Australian mirror can be found here. Thanks Trevor for all of these links. Ahoy, all eyes and ears! Since the release of our open beta two weeks ago, our crew has been spending plenty time below-deck, fixing up the unforeseen issues and bugs that many have encountered. Today, we're happy to announce the first update for Battlefield Pirates 2; our witty and creative naming committee has dubbed it as version 1.2 (spoiler: 1.1 was an internal build). This major overhaul not only features a range of bug fixes, including for the notorious crash issues, but also introduces a couple new treats to our swashbuckling mod.

Phoronix have revealed more details of the Asus "instant on Linux" feature on some of their motherboards. Following our ASUS Motherboard Ships With Embedded Linux, Web Browser article, ASUS has released a series of slides to Phoronix containing additional information about their "Express Gate" functionality. Express Gate is meant to be complementary to your traditional operating system for when you want to surf the Internet without fear of Windows attacks and when you don't want to wait for your computer to turn on. ASUS Express Gate also consumes less power than using a traditional operating system.

TechGage have interviewed Christopher Cox from Intel. Recently, most of the buzz around Intel's technologies focus on 45nm and X38, but what about memory? We sit down with Intel's Christopher Cox to learn more about XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles) and also get a glimpse of what's in the future for memory.

TrustedReviews have posted about lighting when using a camcorder. Good lighting is an important way to improve the professionalism of your camcorder footage. James Morris explains the basics.

PCMech have posted a video guide to programming your first video game. Some people have great ideas for new video games but don’t know where to start. XNA is a good place to get your foot in the door concerning the world of video game programming. Even if you have absolutely no programming experience, you can check out XNA to see how easy or difficult it is for you to use. Hey, it’s better than starting from absolute scratch!

On a similar note, Bit-Tech have written about writing an adventure game. Adventure games died off because they failed to evolve. They failed to find new answers, a new language different from the traditional ‘Point and Click’, which led them to totally miss the console market. Because console games use a controller and not a mouse, because they are fast paced and targeting a younger audience, they made adventure games look out of place.

LegitReviews have analysed the significance of AMD's triple core Phenom. When AMD announced they were coming out with a triple-core processor in the Phenom family of processors in Q1 2008, it caught many in the industry off guard. It turns out that AMD changed course a bit at the eleventh hour and managed to come up with an interesting gameplan to keep competitive with Intel in the months ahead...

They also have updated their hardware leader board. This month there aren't many component changes on the four systems, though users looking at components in the Dream System will probably want to wait another month or two as the field will change dramatically in the November/December time frame with 45nm Intel CPUs and AMD's Barcelona processors coming out late in the year.

Tuesday Morning Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 9-October-2007  05:52:08 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Hiper Media Center Barebones PC at SilentPCReview

Cases and Cooling:
ICY BOX IB-351StUS-B USB & eSATA 3.5" Enclosure at BenchmarkReview
OCZ Vendetta HSF at DVHardware
Arctic Cooling Accelero S2 and Turbo Module at Tweak

Super Talent Vidego24T MP3/MP4 Player at HardwareLogic
Titan EZ Sound at OverclockersOnline
Sony Walkman NWZ-A815 at TrustedReviews
SIM2 Grand Cinema HT3000E Projector at TrustedReviews
Nokia 5700 XpressMusic at TrustedReviews
Boynq Sabre iPod Integrated Stereo Speaker and Dock at Futurelooks

John Woo's Stranglehold at Bit-Tech
Quake Wars (PC) at DriverHeaven
AreoCool FP-01 Multifunction Panel at LegitReviews
Netgear ReadyNAS NV+ at TrustedReviews
Kane and Lynch: Dead Men at Bit-Tech
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men AU Impressions at IGN

Tuesday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 9-October-2007  05:40:52 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
Silverstone Element ST50EF-Plus 500W PSU at HardwareLogic
Zalman VF1000 LED and ZM-RHS88 at DriverHeaven
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DQ6 Motherboard at Virtual-Hideout
PC Power & Cooling TURBO-COOL 1KW-SR PSU at Madshrimps
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 at TBreak

Cases and Cooling:
Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 Case at HardwareLogic
Gigabyte 3D Mercury Water Cooling Case at 3DGameMan
Gigabyte Volar Cooler at OverclockerCafe
Thermalright HR-03 Plus at TechPowerup

HTC P3600i Smartphone (With HSDPA) at HardwareZone
Acer AL2216W 22 Inch LCD Monitor at 3DGameMan
Acer AL2002W 20-inch Widescreen LCD Monitor at ThinkComputers
Toshiba HD-A20 HD DVD Player at DigitalTrends
Super Talent VIDEGO24T MP4 Series Player at TweakTown

Logitech Updated G15 Gaming Keyboard at I4U
A - DATA USB2.0 Flash Drive - RB19 at OverclockersClub
Panasonic ToughBook CF-52 Semi-Rugged Notebook at TrustedReviews
Alpine Blackbird PMD-B100P Sat-Nav at TrustedReviews
Logitech Kinetik 15,4 Briefcase at RBMods

Monday Evening (7 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 8-October-2007  17:12:39 (GMT +10) - by Rational

We are possibly having a few issues with the OCAU newsbox, check out this thread for details and instructions on how you can help us out. Some people have been reporting issues sending mail to the OCAU news box (news@overclockers.com.au). I have also noticed that the flow of mail coming into the box has severely dwindled lately. So I need to ask you a favour! Could you please send an email to news@overclockers.com.au then report back in this thread when you send it and if it reports an error or bounces back on your end. Hopefully this will help us pinpoint where the problem is.

Australians are falling for Nigerian scams at a rate of $2.5 million lost per month, thanks Mindy for the link. DODGY Nigerian scams are reaping $2.5 million a month from Australians who fall for them, a conference has been told. Queensland's Police Minister Judy Spence told Australia's first national symposium on Nigerian fraud in Brisbane today she was amazed that people continued to be conned by the long-running scam.

The iTunes store has accidentally leaked episode 4 of Stargate Atlantis rather than the pilot episode. The mistake was has not been made public by Apple but caused quite a bit of uproar among hardcore fans of the show. In an attempt to set things straight, Apple offered the actual season premiere and $2 iTunes credit to all the Stargate Atlantis fans who accidentally downloaded episode 4.

Ars Technica have looked at the reasons behind the recent RIAA judgement and how such a outcome may not happen again. Last week, a federal jury took less than four hours to find Jammie Thomas, a 30-year-old single mother from Brainerd, MN, liable for willful copyright infringement. When the tab—24 songs at $9,250 each—had been tallied up, Thomas found herself owing the record labels a whopping $222,000. In the aftermath of the case, it's important to look at why the jury came to the decision it did, and why other cases may not play out the same way. There's a great deal of misinformation out there, but since we were on the scene covering the case, we're in a good position to talk about what did and didn't matter when the verdict came down.

In more local piracy news, the Australian music industry has threatened to begin suing individual pirates unless ISP's begin putting more pressure on them. The anti-piracy arm of the Australian music industry has threatened to start suing individuals for illegal downloading if internet providers do not exert more control over their users.

Neosmart have posted about the latest build of Windows XP SP3. Following our coverage of the Windows XP SP3 beta leak almost a month ago in August, here’s some more info on the official beta, which just had its first authorized distributable released earlier today. Say hello to Windows XP SP3, build 3205! While the newly-released build and the one leaked a month ago (Build 3180) may share the same name, we can exclusively reveal that they are not identical releases. This release, also shipped as windowsxp-kb936929-sp3-x86-enu.exe, is 334.2 megabytes and has been made available to tier-one Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 beta testers.

The latest OS market share numbers have shown growth in Vista, Linux and Mac OS users while a decline in Windows XP users. While the verdict is still out on Windows Vista, Microsoft’s latest operating system, in combination with its predecessor, Windows XP, managed to keep Windows users off limits for both Mac OS X and Linux. It is becoming somewhat of a generalized perception that Vista is not all the Redmond company promised, and far from the $500 million Wow advertised across the world in early 2007.

Several major games will be coming out in November. IT WAS A LONG dry spell without but PC gaming is just about to go bonkers. This winter promises to be the best since 2004, when we saw the release of Far Cry, Doom 3 and Half Life 2. After John Woo's Stranglehold came onto the market (the game looks just awesome in 1920x1200 or 2560x1600 with full details and 8xAA), the key month for PC gaming industry will be November.

And finally, here are some painful pictures of an Xbox 360 which was left on a hot stove. As reader Ty claims, apparently the above Xbox 360 melting occurred when he and his pals, setting up to conduct a furious Halo 3 LAN match, ran out of space enough for an Xbox everywhere in the house except on the kitchen stove. Someone turns the range on and presto change-o: grilled Xbox.

Sunday Morning (15 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 7-October-2007  09:20:42 (GMT +10) - by Rational

In other file sharing news, TorrentFreak have looked at the growth of Mininova, a popular torrent site. Mininova is without a doubt the most popular BitTorrent site in terms of traffic. According to Alexa they are among the 100 most visited sites on the Internet, more popular than Digg.com, Apple.com and TorrentFreak.com for example. In September Mininova received over 70.000.000 visitors that generated more than 300.000.000 pageviews, and they’re still growing. In October the number of daily visitors gets close to 3 million a day which means that they can get close to 100 million visitors this month.

Hitachi have developed 100Gb Blu-Ray discs compatible with existing Blu-Ray drives. 100GB on a single Blu-ray Disc that will work with today's machines, promises Hitachi. Throughout the life of the format, DVD has been primarily limited to at most two layers, keeping the format at a maximum storage space of under 9GB. The new high-definition formats, however, appear to have taken a page from hard disk drives when it comes at adding additional storage.

Nvidia have killed their 320Mb 8800GTS in favour of the 640Mb version and a new core. We knew that Nvidia was planning to kill the 8800GTS 320MB in order to make room for the 65nm die-shrink that the world has come to know as G92. But it turns out that you cannot order 320MB versions any more either, since it is being pronounced as an EOL (End of Life) product. Next in line to go through a change is the 8800GTS 640MB, which is being tweaked up in order to live through the 512MB and 256MB versions of G92. Nvidia decided to raise the specs by another 16 scalar shader units, so the 8800GTS will now feature 112 scalar shaders, 16 less than 8800GTX/Ultra. Clockspeeds remain the same, as do thermal and other specs.

Phoronix have taken a look at an an interesting motherboard with an embedded Linux environment, browser and Skype. The good folks over at ASUS have sent over the P5E3 Deluxe, which is based upon Intel's new X38 Chipset and continues in the usual ASUS fashion of pushing new (and often unexpected) innovations onto the motherboard. Without spoiling the review of this motherboard that will be published shortly, the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe is one of the most innovative motherboards we have seen to date and it packs one very exciting and unusual feature. Embedded onto the P5E3 Deluxe is a Linux environment that features a Firefox-rebranded web browser and the Skype VoIP client!

Scientists have created a new life form in a laboratory. A scientist who built a synthetic chromosome from laboratory chemicals is expected to announce the creation of a new species, the first new artificial life form on Earth, British newspaper The Guardian reported Sunday. The new species is a form of bacteria, and the announcement, which could come as early as Monday, is expected to provoke a substantial ethical debate about the manufacturing of life forms in a test tube, as well the dangers posed by introducing a new species, The Guardian reported.

An Airbus A380 has arrived at San Francisco, here are some pictures of it inside and outside. Not only is October 4th the 50th Anniversary of the Sputnik launch, but history was made today in San Francisco as an Airbus A380 Superjumbo arrived at SFO for the first time ever. Telstar Logistics was on hand for the event, and we went hog-wild with the camera as we were afforded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore all the nooks and crannies of this massive aircraft. The A380 is BIG -- so big that it can carry as many as 800 souls if you pack 'em in like sardines (though most airlines have configured the plane to carry around 550).

CNet have a set of images celebrating the last 50 years of space flight. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Sputnik launch on October 4, we take a look back at some of the ships that have helped humans explore space and some of those that might do so in the near future. Forget about the Xbox and the iPhone. This is some serious hardware. The launch of the basketball-size satellite is widely considered the dawn of the space age, and began the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

And finally, a program for detailing your computers GPU has been released, titled GPU-Z, it works in a similar fashion to the CPU detailing program, CPU-Z. There is a thread discussing this here.

Saturday Evening (4 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 6-October-2007  17:53:40 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Daryl spotted these amazing pictures of old PC hardware recycled in creative ways. Given the Moore's law that the power of computers doubles every 24 months, we end up with a lot of useless devices and obsolete hardware, that you sure can recycle in a normal way, but it's much more fun to recycle it in a wild and unusual ways! Let's see how to give a new life to the computing zombies of yesteryear.

Rik sent in this page full of printable paper model including motorbikes and animals, some of which are extremely realistic.

CNet have posted about Akihabara in Japan. Welcome to Tokyo's Akihabara neighborhood, one of the world's geek culture capitals. Here, you can buy memory cards by the bulk, along with junk food, anime books, cell phones, weird electronic toys, cameras and PCs. Although it has lost some of its luster in recent years, the district is still an interesting place to visit, as CNET News.com editor Michael Kanellos notes in the following photo tour.

A 40Gb PS3 has been announced by Sony. The 40GB will be the cheapest PS3 yet, but no PS2 backwards compatibility will be the price to pay. Putting an end to one of the worst-kept secrets of the year, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe today confirmed the existence of a lower-priced 40GB PlayStation 3 model by announcing its availability across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Australasia starting October 10. The new model will retail for €399, or about 20 percent less than the 60GB bundle.

We might be seeing non English domains in the not too distant future. Sample addresses in nearly a dozen languages will be added to the internet's central directories as early as next week, paving the way for web surfers around the world to get online without knowing any English. At this point, the 11 domain names are meant primarily for software developers and web site designers to test the new system, but they are the first such names entered in the 13 key domain name directories, known as root servers, after years of discussions and limited-access tests.

Bungie is set to be an independant game devloper. Microsoft said yesterday that it was giving up its controlling ownership of Bungie Software, the video game subsidiary that developed the hugely popular Halo franchise, including its latest iteration, Halo 3. Bungie, based in Kirkland, Wash., said it planned to return to its roots as an independent game studio, a move that eventually will cost Microsoft exclusive ties to one of the most successful and sought-after teams of game developers.

HardwareLogic have posted a guide to sleeving your northbridge fan, I guess this method would also work with other wires in your PC as well. Sleeving, or the act of installing flexible plastic mesh over wire bundles and cabling, has been around for decades. In the not so distant past however, computers were without the benefits of having their cabling sleeved. This led to nasty, messy wiring jobs inside the enclosure which restricted positive airflow throughout the cabinet.

Misc Pics (20 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 6-October-2007  13:14:03 (GMT +10) - by Agg



Saturday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 6-October-2007  07:58:51 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
HiS Radeon HD 2900 PRO 512MB at Guru3D
MSI X38 Diamond at XSReviews
PowerColor HD2600 Pro 512MB Video Card at OverclockersClub
MSI NX8600GT OC Edition at Viperlair
OCZ Reaper HPC Edition PC2-8500 2GB Kit (DDR2-1066) at HardwareZone

Cases and Cooling:
AcoustiProducts AcoustiCase 340 at TechGage
Cooler Master RC-690 at TechPowerup
CoolerMaster HyperTX CPU Cooler at Modders-Inc
Revoltec Rhodium Chassis at DriverHeaven
Hiper Anubis Mid Tower ATX Case HTC-1K614 at BenchmarkReviews

BlueAnt’s Z9 Bluetooth Headset at Legitreviews
mStation 2.1 Stereo Orb at DigitalTrends
Creative Zen PMP (4GB) at HardwareZone
LG GGW-H10NI Super Multi Blue optical drive at TechSpot

Corsair Flash Padlock 2GB USB Drive at BigBruin
Treo 750 at ProjectPDA
QNAP TS-109 Pro at LegionHardware
ICY DOCK MB664US-1S: Hard Drive eSATA at Bjorn3D

Saturday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 6-October-2007  02:55:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The RIAA has won a key victory, with a jury finding that a woman should pay them $220,000 USD for copyright violations. This is the first time such a case has actually gone before a jury, and it most definitely went the RIAA's way. More here and here, thanks everyone. Discussion here in the forums.

Just in case your house/city is infested with giant Bogong moths and you're thinking "hmm, source of free protein", Paul wanted to let you know that they're full of arsenic, despite their nutty taste. Not to mention they're frickin' moths. Thread here too.

Intel has confirmed some product name changes coming up. "We undertook this effort to simplify choices for consumers and business, provide consistency and clarity for messaging, and create an efficient, less complex and sustainable brand roadmap," according to the Intel spokesman.

Internode have more on the Australian game industry issue from the last couple of days. You wanted to know more about the issue, so we sat down with Tom Crago, President of the Game Developer's Association of Australia (GDAA), and CEO of game developer Tantalus Interactive, to find out some more about their side of the argument, and what the game industry is actually asking for.

Japan has launched a satellite into orbit around the moon, a first for Asia. Researchers will use data gathered by the probes to study the moon's origin and evolution. The main orbiter will stay in position for about a year, The Associated Press reported.

TechARP have an editorial about Microsoft extending WinXP's life, while PCMech explain why they downgraded to XP from Vista. In the Windows world, Vista is the current rage. And you can define “rage” in a couple of different ways, in this case. On one hand, “rage” can be defined as what is hip and new. On the other, “rage” can be defined as that white hot hate you feel when it takes 5 boot-ups to get the proper screen resolution under Windows Vista. Haven't heard of that one before. Still using WinXP here.. and even Win2K on some machines.

PCDB Options Updated (2 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 5-October-2007  12:52:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The PC Database has finally been updated with some more current options, including CPU types and sockets, case types, video card interfaces, etc. So now you can add or update your entry with correct info! More info in this thread.

Here's a couple of sample entries to inspire you, OCAU's two current servers:

Our webserver "Beer": pics
- stats

Our DB server "BBQ": pics
- stats

The Great Race (1 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 5-October-2007  11:51:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

The Bathurst 1000 is on again this weekend of course. If you're watching it at home (perhaps because you'd like to drink more than a 6-pack), you can keep on top of things via this thread in our Motoring forum. I'll probably be spending much of the weekend driving the Team OCAU car around Bathurst in rFactor. :)

Friday Morning (3 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 5-October-2007  10:36:21 (GMT +10) - by Rational

It seems that the Government's online filter is causing people grief, thanks Paul. AN Adelaide woman trying to shield her grandson from the dangers of the internet says the Federal Government's free online filter damaged her computer. Pauline Adams, of Seaview Downs, says when she tried to install the NetAlert online content filter to protect grandson Nathan, 14, it did not install completely and began denying her email access.

NetworkPerformanceDaily have interviewed Rob Malda, the creator and editor of Slashdot. For many years, Slashdot has been the gold standard of technical news online; the most successful blog that pre-dates the word "blog." (By about two months, actually…) It has been a haven for the geeky and the nerdy and a cultural meme over the past decade. We spoke to the creator and editor of Slashdot, Rob Malda, (also known as CmdrTaco,) previously as part of our coverage of Slashdot's Firehose. Now, as Slashdot reaches its 10th anniversary, we speak with him again about the Web site's past and its future.

Bit-Tech have posted some impressions of the Team Fortress 2 beta. Graphically, as well, the game is just on another level to its contemporaries. As already mentioned, the game isn't designed to be realistic, but rather uses a mix of cel-shading and various engine tweaks created by Valve’s dev team to create environments and models that are incredibly polished. Even effects like motion blur are implemented exquisitely, giving the sensation of speed and movement, but without inducing nausea after five minutes of play like we’ve found with some games recently.

PCPer have written a DX10 gaming performance review for high end GPUs. If the single graphics card performance of the HD 2900 XT made NVIDIA's 8800 cards look good, then the SLI versus CrossFire comparison puts NVIDIA on cloud 9. NVIDIA has done a great job improving the SLI experience on Windows Vista and has been able to produce some impressive scaling numbers. In Call of Juarez adding a second 8800 GTS 640MB card got us an 86% improved frame rate and in Lost Planet we saw an 81% improvement.

TechARP have interviewed Patrick Gelsinger, the senior Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group. He holds six patents and six applications in the areas of VLSI design, computer architecture and communications. He has more than 20 publications in these technical fields, including "Programming the 80386," published in 1987 by Sybex Inc. His promotion to group vice president at age 32 made him the youngest vice president in the history of the company.

IGN have taken a look at the progression of the Empire Earth series. With Empire Earth III's release just around the corner, we thought it might be a bit of a lark to take a side-by-side look at Mad Doc's latest strategy title versus Empire Earth II. Over the next 12 screenshots or so, you'll see just how much more detailed the series' visuals have become, as well as just how radically the team has shifted its approach to visual design - Empire Earth III's units and structures have much more character to them, and are far more divorced from reality.

TheTechZone have wondered about the growth of Windows mobile and how it could eventually be the only mobile OS out there. Many of world's biggest cell phone makers are slowly but surely migrating their way to Windows Mobile, at least as an option. They may not take the Windows Mobile route exclusively, but they realize that so many people are far too familiar with the Windows environment to want to move elsewhere. Perhaps the only major player to not make the jump is Research in Motion, makers of the ubiquitous BlackBerry.

I posted a video a little while ago about how to make a can stove, well there is a thread discussing it on the forums accompanied by an article and and detailed instructions. Remember: be careful with stuff like this, do it outside in a well ventilated area and keep flamables away from hot or burning stuff. I should have followed these tips when I tried to make one of these...

And finally, todays timewaster is from jk_matt with Desktop Tower Defence.

Friday Morning Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 5-October-2007  10:15:45 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
XFX 8800 GTS 320Mb Fatal1ty and Gainward Bliss 8800 GTS 640Mb at DriverHeaven
Asus P5K3-Deluxe/WiFi-AP P35 motherboard at AphNetworks
2 GB Mushkin DDR2 kit HP2-6400 at HardwareOC
ECS G31T-M at TechPowerup
Asus EAH2600PRO/HDTI/256M Graphics Card at XBitLabs
Silverstone Element ST50EF-Plus 500W PSU at HardwareLogic
HIS HD 2600Pro Turbo 256MB Video Card at 3DGameMan

Auzentech X-Fi Prelude at TechGage
Samsung CLX-2160N Color Laser Multifunction at FutureLooks
ASUS BC-1205PT Blu-ray Combo Drive at HardwareZone
Future Sonics Atrio Canalphones at TheTechLounge
LG DVD Burner GSA-H62N SATA vs GSA-H50N IDE at OverclockersClub
MSI Starcam Genie at XSreviews

Fedora 8 Test 3 at Phoronix
Need for Speed: ProStreet at YouGamers
GTR Tech GT3 Sport Compact Case at HardcoreWare

Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 5-October-2007  10:08:01 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
SolyTech SL-8600EPS 600 Watt budget PSU at Guru3D
Patriot 2x1GB PC3-15000 1866MHz DDR3 Memory at Virtual-Hideout
OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 2GB 1600MHz Memory Kit at LegitReviews
ECS P35T-A and Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L at HotHardware
Gigabyte GA-X38T-DQ6 at TrustedReviews
Enermax Infinity 720W Power Supply at PCStats
A-DATA Vitesta DDR2-800 Extreme at Phoronix

Cases and Cooling:
Cooler Master Vortex 752 CPU Cooler at ThinkComputers
Antec Veris A/V Component Cooler at Virtual-Hideout
Antec Fusion Media Center Case at PCFrags
Lian Li PC-C32 at XSReviews

HP w2408 at DigitalTrends
Oono miniDAB/FM/MP3 MD-2Plus2 SE at TrustedReviews
Logitech Quickcam 9000 Pro at RBMods
SilverStone MFP51 LCD display at DVHardware
Apple iPod Shuffle Second Generation 1Gb MP3 Player at TweakNews
ASUS BC-1205PT Blu-ray Combo Drive at HardwareZone

Logitech G9 Laser Gaming Mouse at OZHardware
Western Digital My Book Pro Edition II at TrustedReviews
Blue Dragon Xbox 360 at TweakTown

Thursday Evening (2 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 4-October-2007  19:36:49 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a bit more about The Hon. Helen Coonan dismissing the Australian Games Industry, over on IGN.com.au. With the potential for our industry to generate so much more income for the economy, employ more people and put Australia on the map as a hub of leading edge game development, we are dumbfounded as to the government's backhanded, empty response to our call for a rebate.

HardOCP checked out five PSUs available for USD$50, as opposed to the super-high-end ones getting most of the press lately. At $50 though, all of the products are going to be squeezed into meeting a price point more than providing amazing capacity and feature sets, and as such some of these supplies will have an interesting mix of feature sets, performance, documentation, and value.

Apparently Melbourne's computer swap meets were in peril, but are now back on, thanks daztay. More info here.

Intel say they'll be boosting single-core performance, on Itaniums at any rate. "We have not abandoned single-core performance and we're looking to increase that with each generation (of the Itanium processor) as we go forward, some with greater transitions than others."

Not much info in this story, but Craig noticed the ACCC targeting Google's parent company in the USA. The ACCC alleges Google has misled consumers by failing to adequately distinguish between search results and sponsored links.

From Shredder: Here's an interesting thread by forum member dVenator, who has written his own quick implementation of seam-carving. It currently only allows an image's width to be manipulated, but it seams (sorry!) to work nicely. I was talking to Wayne about seam carving yesterday, it's a neat new image-resizing technique.

Interesting Forum Threads:
new side panel line-art-work complete in Modding.
Zero Punctuation - must watch reviews! in Games.
Frugality in Lifestyle.
Rudd vows to charge Iran leader in Current Events.
Thoughts on the "Speed kills" message in Motoring.
2007 Bathurst 1000 in Motoring.
Goodbye pushrods! in Motoring.
Science fiction in movies in Science.
OCAU/Brisbane Photo Exhibition - interest? in Photography.

Thursday Afternoon (9 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 4-October-2007  12:42:50 (GMT +10) - by Rational

The Government is still not recognizing video games as an art form therefore restricting governmental rebates to game developers. Poho spotted a petition in support of this rebate. It's often been an Australian complaint that while we seem to pride ourselves in supporting "the arts", video games never seem to get the same attention. This has come to the forefront again today, following news that the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, The Hon. Helen Coonan, has dismissed a call from the Game Developers' Association of Australia (GDAA) for a 40% rebate to assist game developers and promote the growth of the industry in this country.

IGN have interviewed Rachel Bernstein, the Producer on SimCity Societies. The SimCity series is taking a slightly different tack for Societies. Player choice is a big focus, with a wealth of options available far removed from the usual decisions the series has posed. Players will now be able to steer their city's 'societal energies' to produce truly unique results; anything from an idyllic rural setting through to a thriving entertainment hub, a polluted industrial wasteland and a grimy totalitarian regime. Or a little of all the above. Development duties are being handled by Tilted Mill Entertainment, who'll no doubt be familiar to strategy fans courtesy of previous projects Children of the Nile and Caesar IV.

Michael noted some pics and specs of Microsoft's new Zune. We love a good non-mystery around here, and Microsoft's new Zunes are about as un-mysterious as they get. But we also love a good product refresh, and now that the cat's officially out of the bag we can really dig into the new Zunes, which definitely have a lot going for them. There's plenty to cover, so here's what you need to know.

Karl sent in this writeup about a flying model X-Wing. Andy Woerner and his crazy rocketeer friends have built a 21-foot long X-Wing model that can actually fly. Yes, this is a real X-Wing powered by four solid-fuel rocket engines complete with radio-controlled moving wings. It blasts off in California next week, and we talked with Andy about the project, and how they expect it will do.

HotHardware have written about the state of DX10 performance and image quality. When DirectX 10 was first introduced to the market by graphics manufacturers and subsequently supported by Windows Vista, it was generally understood that adoption by game developers was going to be more of a slow migration than a quick flip of a switch. That said, nearly a year later, the question is how far have we come? In this HotHardware article, we showcase many of the most popular DX10-capable games, like Bioshock, World In Conflict, Call of Juarez, Lost Planet, and Company of Heroes, and feature current image quality comparisons versus DX9 modes with each.

Craig saw this article about Amazon's convoluted logging off procedures. The reader was particularly bothered by what appears to be the only procedure now for logging out of an Amazon account. "Amazon offers a moronic - i.e., counterintuitive -- solution to signing out. You have to find a page on the site that has 'If you're not (your name), click here' and click on it, thereby saying you're not you. This convoluted procedure is too bizarre to be unplanned or mere Webmaster gaffe, so something's going on."

PenstarSys have posted a rundown of the upcoming graphics releases from ATI and Nvidia. Currently AMD is shipping their new HD 2900 Pro, which is a fully functional R600 chip clocked at 600 MHz. From my understanding the yields on the R600 chip have been good, but the power draw and speed bins for these parts have been the limiting factor. It is not surprising that AMD has put out the lower clocked HD 2900 Pro. They have also just released the HD 2900 GT which has a SIMD unit disabled, so it features 240 stream processors vs. the standard 320.

LegionHardware have compared the Intel X38 and P35 chipsets. The new Intel X38 and the P35 are very much alike and this comes as no real surprise. If history is anything to go by, there is no reason for the X38 chipset to be all that much better, as the 955X was really no better than the much cheaper 945P chipset. The 975X was again not really any better than the P965 chipset, so why would the X38 be a “much improved” chipset when compared to the P35.

PCMech have posted about hard drive failures. Hard drive failure is a black and white thing. If the drive is working at all, you have a drive which is about to fail and is exhibiting the above warning signs in varying degrees. Once actual failure occurs, it just doesn’t work.

They also took a look at things you can do with your webcam. I thought I would outline a list of things you can do with your webcam. Considering what you can do with it, they are a good buy. Most webcams range anywhere from around $50 to up to $100. I have two Microsoft webcams for my desktop machines. My notebook computer has one built right into the top of the screen. They really are everywhere. So, what can you use it for? Let’s take a look.

Dansdata has posted some more letters. In this edition: Shooting at satellites, XP within Vista, the Amazing Electric Man, and drying out a DS.

Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 4-October-2007  00:58:56 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Asus P5K Deluxe WiFi-AP LGA775 board on ViperLair.
Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H mATX AM2 board on Techgage.
ASRock GeForce 7050 ALiveNF7G-HD720p AM2 board on Tweaktown.

Power Supply:
Corsair VX450w on Bjorn3D.
Zalman ZM360B-APS 360W on FutureLooks.
Chill Innovation CP-520A4 on Metku.
PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 1200W on PCPerspective.

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars PC game on Bit-Tech.
Sega Rally game on TrustedReviews.
Team Fortress 2 PC game on IGN.
Starcraft 2 PC game preview on BenchmarkReviews.

HP Pavilion HDX9095EA Entertainment Notebook on TrustedReviews.
Gigabyte U60 ultra-mobile PC on HWZone.

Video Cards:
XFX 8800 GTS 320mb Fatal1ty Edition on OC3D.
Gigabyte GeForce 8600GT on OCClub.
MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo on HWZone.

Sunbeam UFO Acrylic Cube on TechPowerUp.
Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 on HWLogic.

Cooler Master Sphere CPU Cooler on XbitLabs.
Zalman Reserator XT Hybrid Liquid Cooling System on PCPerspective.

Corsair Padlock USB Flash Drive on Tweaknews.
Razer DeathAdder and Mantis gaming mice on Tbreak.
Apple iPod Classic 80GB on TrustedReviews.

Plus Technology (10 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 3-October-2007  12:55:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg

OCAU Major Sponsor Plus Corporation have a new sister site, Plus Technology. It offers the computer literate client products at a reduced price. In order to run the business on a low margin, we do not offer over the phone advice or support, payment has to be made prior to pick up and the site is totally data driven by our suppliers stock files, this way you are always assured of up to date pricing, initially only a few of our distributors have been added, but more will come in the next few weeks, so the range will increase.

More info in this thread.

Wednesday Morning (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 3-October-2007  03:57:08 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Tomorrow marks 50 years since Sputnik 1 was launched, kicking off the space race between Russia and the USA. Today, Russia and the United States continue to lead the rest of the world in research and space flight. The two nations have put more than a hundred astronauts (not to mention plant seeds, fruit flies, and a dog named Laika) into space.

Tech Report have an enthusiast PSU roundup. So which power supplies are the quietest and the most efficient? More importantly, whose power is the cleanest? To find out, we've pushed 11 enthusiast-oriented PSUs to their limits through a brutal gauntlet of tests.

Pricing for Rock Band has been released. This is a multi-player, multi-instrument challenger to Guitar Hero. “Rock Band” garnered the official Best of Show award at E3. Its hook? It’s the first rhythm game to let players jointly play as a band, with one each on the mic, drums, lead guitar and bass.

PhysOrg report on the idea of using nanotube forests for cooling CPUs. This is another zillion-years-off technology but sounds interesting. The two engineers recently have shown how to grow forests of tiny cylinders called carbon nanotubes onto the surfaces of computer chips to enhance the flow of heat at a critical point where the chips connect to cooling devices called heat sinks.

Microsoft are unveiling a Web office suite called Office Live Workspace. PC users can upload Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, and use the site to e-mail friends or colleagues and invite them to read and add comments to those documents through a Web browser. However, if users want to edit the text, they must open the document using an installed copy of Microsoft Office. Jeez, that last part sounds like a coffin nail already. My wife has actually started using Google Docs recently and has found it a fantastic way to organise info between multiple locations and people.

PCPerspective have a guide to Athlon overclocking. This guide starts at the very beginning with definitions and descriptions of the how's and why's of overclocking and walks the user through a typical BIOS overclock. For anyone just starting out with overclocking or even the more experienced users, this guide will definitely be a great starting point!

LegionHW took a look at performance in the Clive Barker's Jericho demo, which you can grab here on AusGamers Files. Meanwhile Bjorn3D did a similar thing with World in Conflict. A week ago the game World in Conflict was released and this is yet another RTS that offers excellent visuals with lots of effects that all work together to bring your computer to its knees.

Tuesday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 2-October-2007  22:11:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

ECS G31T-M Mainboard (G31/ICH7) LGA775 board on Guru3D.
DFI LanParty UT P35 T2R LGA775 board on Ninjalane.
Asus Maximus Extreme X38 board preview on Tweaktown.

Hiper Anubis on Bit-Tech.
NZXT Lexa Blackline on Virtual-Hideout.

Toshiba Portégé R500-10U Ultra-Portable Notebook on TrustedReviews.
Titan TTC-G5T Extendable Notebook Cooling Pad Speakers on Pro-Clockers.
Microsoft Streets and Maps 2008 with GPS Locator on FutureLooks.

Input Etc:
Cybersnipa Game Pad V2 and Intelliscope mouse on DriverHeaven.
Genius MaxFire Pandora Pro game controller on TechWareLabs.

Audio Visual:
Hercules Dualpix Exchange 2MP HD Webcam on BenchMarkReviews.
Viewsonic 42-inch N4261W full HD LCD HDTV on i4u.

Mushkin HP3 10666 DDR3 memory on OCClub.
Biostar Geforce 8600GTS V-Ranger video card on Tweaktown.
SEGA Rally Revo PC game on DriverHeaven.

Tuesday Evening (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 2-October-2007  20:06:59 (GMT +10) - by Rational

TechARP have posted details of Intel's upcoming 45nm Yorkfield and Wolfdale processors. Architecturally, the new 45 nm processors are similar to their 65 nm predecessors. The main differences are the inclusion of SSE4 instructions, a 50% larger L2 cache and of course, a smaller 45 nm process technology. What this means to the user is a moderate performance boost at the same TDP. Eventually, the smaller process technology will allow Intel to deliver higher clock speeds as well as low-wattage processors for lower power consumption.

Tweaktown have interviewed Raymen Wu from Coolermaster. spent some time finding out more about Cooler Master’s current marketing strategy, their future goals and also a bit more about some of the team who are trying to put the name Cooler Master into the forefront of every enthusiast and gamer’s mind. Let me introduce the newly formed team and divulge some of their game plans.

In the never ending battle against file sharers, a groundbraking case is set to go ahead on Tuesday. Since filing the first of over 20,000 file-sharing lawsuits in 2004, the RIAA has seen every one of them either dismissed or settled—almost all in favor of the record industry. That's going to change Tuesday, as a jury trial in Virgin Records America, et al v. Jammie Thomas is set to begin in Duluth, Minnesota. Throughout their legal campaign, the record labels have done what they can to get judges to decide the case in their favor before trial. Last month, the RIAA asked the judge in this case for summary judgment on three issues: that the record labels own the copyrights, that the copyright registrations are in order, and that Thomas was not authorized to copy or distribute the songs allegedly found by SafeNet on her PC. Judge Michael J. Davis denied the RIAA's motion for summary adjudication, setting the stage for the trial.

Conversly, The Pirate Bay is working on a new, more efficient tracker based on open source software. The Pirate Bay is without a doubt the most popular BitTorrent tracker. Unfortunately their current tracker system is not performing as it used to and has reached its effective limit. The TPB team is currently working on a more efficient Open Source tracker system that, among other things, will guarantee better protection against anti-piracy outfits.

Nintendo is offering free protective covers for Wii remotes. Surely to the horror of all third-party Wii accessory companies, Nintendo announced today the Wii Remote Jacket that will be given to all system owners completely free of charge. The Wii Remote Jacket is a silicon cover made specifically to fit the Wii Remote and “provides cushioning for the Wii Remote for people who might accidentally throw or drop their Wii Remotes while playing games.

Ebay has basically admitted that it took a loss when buying Skype. On Monday, eBay said it would take a $900 million so-called impairment write-down against the value of Skype. This means that eBay has been forced to reassess the value of the Internet telephony company relative to its overall business today. By recording a charge, the company is essentially saying that it has taken a loss on its original investment.

OCWorkbench have posted specs of the AMD HD Radeon 2900GT. Sapphire and Club3D leaked it's Radeon HD 2900GT specs. The Radeon HD 2900GT is based on the ATI R600 core 80nm, it has 240 stream processors and has a memory width of 256bits. It comes only with 256MB of GDDR3. Core/Mem speed is rated at 600/1600. It also requires an external power connector to power the card.

Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 2-October-2007  13:27:01 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT GDDR4 at XBitLabs
ASUS Blitz Extreme at Phoronix
Biostar 8600GTS 512MB at OverclockersOnline
Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi at Bit-Tech
BFG Ageia PhysX Card at TechPowerup
Twintech OC'ed GeForce 8600GT at TweakTown

Cases and Cooling:
Cooler Master CoolViva Pro SE at XBitLabs
Tuniq TX-2 Thermal Paste at OverclockerCafe
Scythe CPU Cooler Roundup at 3DGameMan
CoolIT Eliminator and Freezone CPU Coolers at Madshrimps
Coolink Silentator at CowcotLand

OCZ DDR3 PC3-14440 memory kit at Neoseeker
ViewSonic VX2255wmb 22-inch Widescreen LCD Monitor at ThinkComputers
Western Digital Passport (250GB) at DigitalTrends
Insignia NS-LCD32 32 Inch 720p HDTV Monitor at BenchmarkReviews
JVC EVERIO GZ-HD3 at DigitalTrends
ATP ProMax 4 GB SD High Capacity (SDHC) Memory Card at FutureLooks

A-DATA PD17 2GB USB Flash Drive at LegitReviews
Logitech G9 Gaming Mouse at TweakTown
Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave at Modders-Inc
Logitech Cordless Desktop Wave at TheTechLounge
Stranglehold (PC) at YouGamers
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts at Bit-Tech

Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 1-October-2007  19:05:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

How did you join Team 24? in Team OCAU.
Mod (with pics): HDD Heatsinking and Suspend in Storage & Backup.
What software to backup? in Storage & Backup.
Confused about eSATA in Storage & Backup.
Post pics of games you are playing in Games.
Warmonger, new PhysX title in Games.
High quality DVDs (eg. 2Fast 2Furious) in Audio Visual.
New Radiohead Album - "In Rainbows" (Oct 10 release) in TV, Movies, Music & Books.
Install programs that require XP SP2 on SP1 in Windows Operating Systems.
Which Linux OS for clusters? in Other Operating Systems.
Qld, Vic kick-off new citizenship tests in Current Events.
Cannabis users - "fairly mellow" in Current Events.
Three Gorges Dam is a disaster in the making, China admits in Current Events.
Most consumed meat in the world? in Geek Food.
Best worklog ever in Motoring.
Finally... a RWD Hot Hatch/coupe in Motoring.
Evolution X reviews surface. Fatter, slower, faster in Motoring.
Why "partner"? in The Pub.
What plane am I? in The Pub.
[BNE] Pie and bowling shenanigans - 13th October! in The Pub.

Monday Afternoon (5 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 1-October-2007  17:53:16 (GMT +10) - by Rational

The band Radiohead is distributing their latest album online and allowing fans to chose their own price. They're only selling it through their website (at least for now), and for the digital download version, they're letting listeners pick their own price for the album - it's literally a donation-based product. Obviously this is sparking confusion among many, but the only help the website provides are the words "It's up to you." Link, album's out October 10. To recap: the box set (Glorious thick 12" vinyl! and "enhanced CD") is $80, but the downloads are name-your-own-price. Some readers are reporting that you get the downloads for free anyway if you buy the box set.

Here are some screenshots and a mini review of the upcoming release of Ubuntu 7.10. I started off my morning with some Ubuntu 7.10 action since the first Beta had just been released. I downloaded the 688MB ISO image, burned it to CD, and got started immediately with the Live CD. It took a few minutes for it to boot up, but that’s expected since I’m running the operating system off of the CD I burned. I contemplated upgrading my current Ubuntu 7.04 installation with this version, but I didn’t want to risk the instability.

The cult sci fi movie Blade Runner has been restored again going by the title "Blade Runner: The Final Cut". “Blade Runner: The Final Cut” — as the definitive director’s cut is titled — was scheduled to play at the New York Film Festival Saturday night, opens at the Ziegfeld in New York and the Landmark in Los Angeles on Friday, and comes out in December in a five-disc set with scads of extra features. An earlier director’s cut played in theaters 15 years ago to great fanfare and is still available on DVD. But the new one is something different: darker, bleaker, more beautifully immersive.

Intel are beginning to announce end of life for some Core 2 Duo processors. The Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 will continue to be priced at $183 while the Intel Pentium 4 651 will remain at the $74 price point for the foreseeable future. Oddly enough, Intel is scheduled to drop the price of the soon-to-be-discontinued Intel Pentium 4 631 from $69 to $59 on October 21, 2007.

Finally the cooler 65nm CPU's have appeared in Xbox 360's hopefully resulting in less heat related failure issues. 65nm "Falcon" CPUs and revised heatsinks found in latest Xbox 360 "Halo 3" hardware When it comes to computer processors, the advantages of a die-shrink are undeniable. For chip makers – and overclockers – a processor manufactured at a smaller process can open up more headroom for faster clock speeds, or decrease power consumption and cooling requirements.

Ars Technica have checked out the upcoming Microsoft Surface hands on. It's not often that one gets a chance to attend a demonstration of a new method of human-computer interaction. Having been too young to witness the development of the command line in the 1950s or the modern graphical user interface at Xerox PARC in the 1970s, it was a genuine thrill to visit Microsoft's campus for a personal demo of "surface computing." While future computer historians are unlikely to view this technology as being anywhere near as groundbreaking as the CLI or GUI, the multi-touch interface nonetheless serves as an innovative way of interacting with the personal computer.

In December, Sony are set to release their 11" OLED TV in Japan. This TV is only 3mm thick and has a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. It's here friends, Sony's Drive teaser is none other than their 3-mm thin, 1,000,000:1 OLED TV, just announced official with a December 1st Japanese retail date. The 11-inch SonyDrive XEL-1 set features a 960 x 540 pixel resolution, terrestrial digital tuner, 2x 1W speaker, and HDMI, USB, and Ethernet jacks in a package measuring 287 x 140 x 253-mm and 2-kg (3.3-pounds). How much? Well, ¥200,000 or about $1,740 -- That's about $160 per inch of OLED. Rich indeed, but so it goes for first generation technology.

Boeing is testing a robotic helicopter which can lift supprisingly heavy loads. Like its diminutive avian namesake, Boeing's A160T Hummingbird is a whiz at hovering. And it turns out the prototype aircraft can also hoist a hefty load. The unmanned helicopter this week flew for eight hours--its longest flight to date--and as high as 5,000 feet while burdened with a 1,000-pound payload. The test flight goes a long way toward proving the Hummingbird fit for use in military operations, where it could ferry supplies, sensors or weapons to the battlefield, perform surveillance and target acquisition, or even rescue pilots who've been shot down.

HardwareSecrets have posted an article about hard drive capacity limits and what causes them and how to fix them. You may have heard about or even experienced yourself the problem of buying a new hard disk drive to install on your old (and sometimes not that old) machine and facing some size limitation, i.e. your old system does not recognizing the full capacity of your hard disk drive. In this tutorial we will explain why this happens, list all hard disk drive capacity limitations that have ever existed since the PC was created and show you how to fix them.

It seems that many people are still vocal about their hatred of Vista with Reisinger saying that Microsoft should dump the whole thing and start over. While Vista was originally touted by Microsoft as the operating system savior we've all been waiting for, it has turned out to be one of the biggest blunders in technology. With a host of issues that are inexcusable and features that are taken from the Mac OS X and Linux playbook, Microsoft has once again lost sight of what we really want.

Monday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 1-October-2007  14:46:08 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Core PC Components:
TAGAN ITZ 1300W PSU at GideonTech
XFX 8800 GTS 320mb Fatal1ty Edition at Overclock3D
SilverStone Strider ST1000 PSU at TBreak

Cases and Cooling:
Kingwin Revolution Cooler at OverclockerCafe
Coolermaster CM 690 Case at 3DXtreme
GIGABYTE 3D Mercury at TechPowerup
Zalman Reserator XT Hybrid Liquid Cooling System at Virtual-Hideout

Samsung SGH-F500 Ultra Video Mobile Phone at TechARP
Philips 200XW 20 inch WSXGA LCD Monitor at OverclockersClub
Sony HES-V1000 Home Entertainment Server at DigitalTrends

Geeks Century/Centurion CD 200-Pc CD/DVD Organizer at RBMods
Halo 3 at Bit-Tech
Halo 3 at DriverHeaven


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