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 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,20 2005 - tech 
Wednesday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 07:43 PM EDT - Apr,20 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Sober is back online - A new version of the Sober worm has been recently discovered by the companies producing security solutions. Some companies call this version Sober-N, while others called it Sober-M. The worm spreads through a .Zip attachment of an email message written in English or German. The subject of the infected messages is "I've_got your EMail on my_account!" or "FwD: Ich bin's nochmal" and the attachment is your_text.zip, having 73 Kb. Like all previous versions, Sober only infects Windows.
  • Flaw found in McAfee suite - A flaw in McAfee Internet Security Suite 2005 could let employees sharing the same computer break into one another's files, according to security consultant iDefense. The vulnerability, which exists in the default settings applied during installation, gives anyone the same access rights on a PC as an IT administrator. That, in effect, would let someone remove any restricted access specified on a PC, according to a report released by iDefense on Monday. It could also let an employee install software prohibited by his employer.
  • PHP falls down security hole - Several of the flaws were discovered in PHP's EXIF module, used to handle the Exchangeable Image file format (EXIF) specification used by digital cameras. A bug in the module's exif_process_IFD_TAG() function could be exploited by a specially crafted "Image File Directory" (IFD) tag to cause a buffer overflow and execute malicious code with the privileges of the PHP server, according to Mandriva, which issued its update yesterday. A second EXIF module bug could lead to an infinite recursion, causing the executed program to crash.
  • Apache / OpenSSL remote exploit - openssl-too-open is a remote exploit for the KEY_ARG overflow in OpenSSL 0.9.6d and older. Tested against most major Linux distributions. Gives a remote nobody shell on Apache and remote root on other servers. Includes an OpenSSL vulnerability scanner and a detailed vulnerability analysis. Only Linux/x86 targets are supported.
  • Symantec Releases Beta Anti-Spyware Software - Symantec released the public beta version of its integrated Internet security solution today, which provides broad protection from spyware and adware to home users.
  • P2P is Spammers' Trove - Blue Security, a new company developing anti-spam and anti-spyware solutions, has issued a report detailing how Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks allow spammers to harvest e-mail addresses from users without their knowledge.
  • Two Americans Jailed in China for DVD Piracy - Two Americans have been sentenced to jail in Shanghai for selling pirated DVDs over the Internet, China's state-run media reported Wednesday. Police had estimated the group had sold 180,000 DVDs worth roughly $845,000 between November 2003 and July 2004, the report said. However, the judge who presided over the case at the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court said evidence presented by police showed the group had sold 133,000 pirated DVDs worth around $398,000 to customers in more than 20 countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia, it says. Based on the evidence presented, the group's profit from these sales was found to be almost $120,000, it says.
  • Prison terms on tap for "prerelease" pirates - File-swappers who distribute a single copy of a prerelease movie on the Internet can be imprisoned for up to three years, under a bill that's slated to become the most dramatic expansion of online piracy penalties in years. The bill, approved by Congress on Tuesday, is written so broadly it could make a federal felon of anyone who has even one copy of a film, software program or music file in a shared folder and should have known the copyrighted work had not been commercially released. Stiff fines of up to $250,000 can also be levied. Penalties would apply regardless of whether any downloading took place.

OFFTOPIC...

  • IFD Sicks FBI on Take-Two for "Pirated" Games - Ideas From the Deep, a small family-oriented publisher, has accused Take-Two Interactive of publishing and selling illegal copies of a game for which IFD has owned the license for the past three years. Not having sufficient funds for a long legal battle, IFD president Lane Roathe has contacted the FBI instead.
  • New matter looked like "quark-gluon plasma" - A panel of researchers has produced a new state of matter at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. They call it "quark-gluon plasma". The scientists claim in the early universe, possibly for a brief period after the "big-bang" creation of the universe, all matter would have looked like quark-gluon plasma. Another article can be found here.
  • World's largest iceberg "goes bump in the night" - The world's largest iceberg has finally crashed into a massive tongue of ice floating in Antarctic waters. The predicted "collision of the century"- between the B15-A iceberg and the Drygalski ice tongue - had been expected to happen on 15 January 2005 in McMurdo Sound in the Ross Sea. But the icy colossus instead became stranded on a shallow seamount a few kilometres away from the 70-km-long tongue - starving penguins and blocking shipping supply routes to Antarctic bases. Now, after breaking free in early April, the ice giant has finally scraped the side of the long-lived Drygalski ice tongue, an extension of the David glacier into the ocean. An image snapped by the European Space Agency's Envisat satellite on 15 April shows a 5-km-long section of the ice tongue breaking off at its seaward end as the bottle-shaped iceberg brushes past.
  • Congress legalizes DVD censorship - It will soon become legal to alter a motion picture so long as all the sex, profanity, and violence have been edited out, thanks to a bill called the Family Movie Act, an attachment to the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act approved Tuesday by the House. The Senate has already passed its own version, and the President is expected to sign it.
  • New Movie Trailers @ Coming Soon - XXX: State of the Union | The Interpreter (three TV spots for the thriller) | Crash (clip from the Paul Haggis film) | The Holy Girl  (three clips from the drama) | Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (three more TV spots) | The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (four funny new clips) | Three...Extremes (two international trailers for the horror film) | A Lot Like Love (six clips from the romantic comedy) | The Myth (teaser for the new Jackie Chan action adventure) | House of D (ten clips from the David Duchovny film) | Tom Yung Goong (second trailer for the Tony Yaa action film) | Kung Fu Hustle (new 11-minute behind the scenes featurette)

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Nintendo Revolution Under Wraps Past E3 - The next-generation Nintendo console, codenamed Revolution, may not be shown at this year's E3. Eurogamer reports that the Japanese console maker is going to keep the console under wraps to keep the features of the new system out of the limelight a little while longer.
  • Playboy heads to the PSP - Playboy Enterprises will announce plans Wednesday to offer nude and non-nude photo galleries that have been specifically formatted for viewing on Sony's Portable PlayStation.
  • Microsoft wants your feedback to build Longhorn - The Microsoft network product team is investigating ways of resolving peer-to-peer connectivity problems in Longhorn, and we would like to get customer feedback to help validate some of the design proposals. This survey outlines some of the proposals for resolving these connectivity problems, and asks for feedback on them. We would love to get the opinions from a wide range of users, and markets (e.g. consumers, large IT departments, etc) since this would have implications for everyone.
  • Cisco upgrades main carrier router - Cisco Systems is updating its main carrier router with new modular software that will make it easier for service providers to address changing customer, traffic and security needs. The Cisco XR 12000 series starts at $45,500 (L25,300). Upgrade options for existing Cisco 12000 routers start at a list price of $12,500.
  • Nokia's Visual Radio headed for United States - Nokia's Visual Radio has been available in many countries around the world including Finland, the UK, Singapore, Thailand and Germany and will soon be available in the United States. The service merges traditional FM radio with mobile phone interactivity that is based on the content of the broadcast. The announcement was made with Nokia's technology partner, Hewlett-Packard. The partners re determining which of Infinity's 185 radio stations will be the first in the country to offer the service.

HARDWARE... 

  • ATI to Launch New Mobile GPU - ATI has just taken the wraps off of the mobile version of its Radeon Express 200 chipset for Intel-based systems. Like the desktop versions, the Radeon Express 200M will pack a true DirectX 9-class graphics processor derived from ATI's R300 graphics core - a.k.a. the Radeon 9700 - only in this form, it has just a pair of simplified pixel pipelines. Other features of the chipset include PCI Express connectivity and support for DDR2 memory at speeds as high as 667MHz.
  • 7 PCI Express 3D Pro graphic cards - Behardware.com has tested 7 PCI Express 3D Pro graphic cards to measure the improvements compared to the standard versions.
  • GIGABYTE GeForce 6600 TurboForce Ultra Edition -  The performance of this GigaByte GeForce 6600 128MB PCI-Express graphic card is out perform the ATI 9800 series even the ATI X700 Pro and it was very close to the GeForce 6600GT performance
  • Seagate vs. Hitachi 400GB SATA hard drive comparison - GamePC's tests have shown that the Barracuda 7200.8 has a better overall feature set, consumes less power, creates less heat, and runs faster in both disk read and write speeds. It’s a pretty clean sweep, as far as we can see. Granted, the Deskstar 7K400 has been out for over six months already, which some might say gives Seagate an advantage. Still, these are the only 400 GB drives out on the market today, and the Seagate is simply the better of the two.
  • 16X DVD burner comparison (AOpen vs. Gigabyte) - If you've been holding off on upgrading your CD or DVD-ROM now is an excellent storage to bring things up to date with incredible transfer rates, cheap media, and prices for most DVD burners below $60 you really can't go wrong with either drive you choose.
  • eDimensional AudioFX Gaming Headset - TechIMO has posted a review of the eDimensional AudioFX Gaming Headset.
  • Lite-on LVW-5045 Recorder - The only glaring negative is the lack of MPEG-4 video compression, which would have easily increased onboard storage limits by an order of magnitude. Still, even if not for recording, basic MPEG-4 playback support would have been a nice touch.
  • Samsung HD 850 DVD Player - The DVD player is capable of playing your standard DVDs, VCDs, Audio cds, and cd's burnt with MP3 and WMA files on it. The unit is also cable of viewing JPGs, allowing the unit to be used as a digital photo viewer.

GUIDES... 

  • Windows versus Windows or 32-bit versus 64bit - Is it worth it to install the 64-bit Windows and give up your old Windows XP? To answer this question, Softpedia have put together a test, whose main objective was to identify if the performances of the Windows x64 are better than the ones of Windows x32.
  • RAM amount benchmarks - The article is benchmarks for business and content creation applications with 256 ­ 1024 MB of RAM. The tests were run with lots of multitasking, in an effort to simulate real world scenarios as closely as possible.
  • Intel Technology Guide - PC Mechanic has published an Intel Technology Guide.
  • Chaos Theory Benchmarking Scripts - There is a total of 10 initialization files, all ending with the .ini extension. These are split into 2 main groups -- one for using ShaderModel 1_1 in the game and the other for using ShaderModel 3_0 in the game. Each group covers the usual 5 resolutions used for testing video cards -- 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x960 and 1600x1200.
  • Website Hosting From A Home PC - PC Stats has posted a beginners guide about Website Hosting From A Home PC.

SOFTWARE...

  • AutoPatcher XP April 2005 - AutoPatcher is a comprehensive collection of patches, add-ons and registry tweaks that give you peace of mind in the knowledge that your Windows system is up to date, even before you connect it to the Internet. It's designed to quickly patch a system with the most current updates and tweaks available, and requires no user interaction once you have selected what to install. This release is based on the all-new AutoPatcher 5.0. Although it was made with Windows XP SP2 English/Portuguese in mind, it will load on any (English/Portuguese) Windows version (i.e XP SP1), showing only the items which match the running environment. More mirrors can be found here.
  • Updates for Windows Media Player 9 Series and for Windows Media Player 10 - This update (WMP10 / WMP9 XP / WMP9 2k/2k3) fixes some issues (memory leaks, problem with script commands, etc) that may occur in Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 Series and in Windows Media Player 10.
  • After W2k3 SP1 Upgrade MOM 2005 Admin console fails -  A problem has been identified in the MOM Administrator Console. After Microsoft Windows Server 2003 has been upgraded to Service Pack 1, the Administrator Console may fail when the Computer Groups node is selected. This fix resolves the issue.
  • Removing your Norton program using SymNRT - Symantec has a program that removes the programs listed at the beginning of this document from your computer when Windows Add/Remove programs does not work. This program is called SymNRT. SymNRT works with Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. Do not use SymNRT unless Windows Add/Remove programs cannot uninstall your supported program.
  • avast! Home/Pro 4.6.652 - avast! 4 Home Edition is a full-featured antivirus package designed exclusively for home users, non-commercial users
  • Skype 1.2.0.48 - Skype uses P2P (peer-to-peer) technology to connect you to other users. Not to share files, but to talk with them for free. The technology is extremely advanced, but very simple and easy to use. You will be making perfect quality free phone calls to your friends all over the world in no time using your computers sound card, speakers and microphone
  • RealPlayer 10.5 Build 6.0.12.1069 - download
  • K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 1.29 - This package is a combination of three codec packs: K-Lite Codec Pack Full (a slew of different codecs like Divx, etc.), QuickTime Alternative, Real Alternative and other encoders/decoders.
  • FlashFXP 3.1.14.1078 RC1 - FlashFXP (download) is the most powerful and popular FTP & FXP Client for Microsoft Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP on the market today.
  • FileZilla 2.2.13a - FileZilla (download) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.
  • 7-Zip 4.18 Beta - 7-Zip (download) is a file archiver with high compression ratio.
  • Nero Vision Express 3.1.0.0d adds Dolby surround - The 35MBdownload can be found here..
  • AnyDVD v5.1.0.1, CloneDVD v2.8.0.2, CloneCD v5.2.0.2 and Virtual Clone Drive - SlySoft has released new versions of AnyDVD, CloneDVD2, CloneCD5 and Virtual CloneDrive. The software is now out of beta, supports 64bit Windows.
  • CPUCooL 7.3.6 - CPUCooL (download) is a program that monitors temperature, fan speed, and voltages for many motherboards. It provides Cpu cooling under Win9x/2000/XP/NT, allows FrontSideBus changing, optimizes your memory and CPU. This version adds support for NForce3/4 chipsets.
  • NVIDIA Optimized Driver 64bit v1.7671 - The NGO NVIDIA Optimized Driver is a tweaked version of the nVidia Forceware driver. The main purpose is to satisfy the users with a better performance and better image quality. The Driver has support for all Geforce cards. These drivers are for Windows Server 2003 AMD64, Windows Server 2003 IA-64, Windows XP AMD64, Windows XP IA-64.
  • Xtreme G 71.89 HD (ForceWare) - This is the Xtreme G driver which includes many performance and Image Quality tweaks. These are modified NVIDIA ForceWare drivers for Windows 2000 & XP.
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,18 2005 - tech
Nightly Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 08:53 PM EDT - Apr,18 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Multiple flaws in Mozilla - There are a few conflicts related to the running of Java components at a certain security level. The result is the modification of settings so that the javascript can change all by itself the application and the result can be the computer's destabilization or even the revealing of personal information. Among the nine flaws, three of them are in FireFox, and two of them in Mozilla. One of these bugs is refers to execution scripts of the UI code, assigning incorrect privileges. The scripts from a certain page can overwrite the properties and modes of the DOM components. Mozilla Foundation wont' give any other details until April 25. The other problems rated as non-critical might also compromise your system, like allowed execution of the Javascript and cross-site scripting.
  • Vulnerabilities in TCP/IP Allow Remote Code Execution/DoS (exploit code) - Number of networking related vulnerabilities fixed by MS05-019 security update were reported by Microsoft. Those vulnerabilities are: IP Validation, ICMP Connection Reset, ICMP Path MTU, TCP Connection Reset and Spoofed Connection Request. The following exploit code can be used to test the denial of service vulnerability.
  • Malware Evolution: January - March 2005 - Kaspersky Lab presents its quarterly report on malware evolution by Alexander Gostev, Senior Virus Analyst. The report addresses questions such as why email worms no longer seem to be causing epidemics, the increase in worms targeting instant messenger applications, what effect the release of SP2 for Windows XP has had on security, and why adware and spyware are the latest buzzwords in the field of IT security.
  • U.S. Military's Hackers - The U.S. military has assembled the world's most formidable hacker posse: a super-secret, multimillion-dollar weapons program that may be ready to launch bloodless cyberwar against enemy networks -- from electric grids to telephone nets.
  • "Final Fantasy XI" under attack - Square Enix's PlayOnline service has been under a distributed denial-of-service attack since April 9, the company said today. Last Friday, the attacks caused all servers for "Final Fantasy XI" to shut down for approximately three hours. While Square Enix is currently investigating the source of the attacks and attempting to mitigate damages, servers are still being adversely affected at regular intervals.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Flying Cars Ready To Take Off - CBS News has an article, images, and a free streaming video clip of Elwood (Woody) Norris' invention of a working flying machine, AirScooter. He asked one of his test pilots to demonstrate it for 60 Minutes on a hilltop outside San Diego, California. It can fly for 2 hours at 55 mph, and go up to 10,000 feet above sea level.
  • Near-Earth Asteroid 2004 MN4 Reaches Highest Score To Date On Hazard Scale - A recently rediscovered 400-meter Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) is predicted to pass near the Earth on 13 April 2029. The flyby distance is uncertain and an Earth impact cannot yet be ruled out. The odds of impact, presently around 1 in 300, are unusual enough to merit special monitoring by astronomers, but should not be of public concern. These odds are likely to change on a day-to-day basis as new data are received. In all likelihood, the possibility of impact will eventually be eliminated as the asteroid continues to be tracked by astronomers around the world.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Adobe to buy Macromedia - Desktop publishing specialist Adobe Systems is buying multimedia applications maker Macromedia in a $3.4 billion deal geared toward building a software powerhouse.
  • Microsoft Windows XP Codenames: "Eiger" and "Monch" - Microsoft is developing 2 new "Server Centric Computing Clients" these clients are based on Windows XP, so these will be "thin" clients for Terminal server purposes.
  • Finnish Firm Claims Fake P2P Hash Technology - Finnish company known as Viralg Oy claim to have developed software that can create a junk file with the same hash as a genuine p2p download. This, according to the company, can altogether stop the sharing of copywritten files by flooding p2p networks with corrupt/junk data, which then spreads through the network, causing less and less of the original file to be available.
  • Warner Bros. Studios and Microsoft To Release HD-DVD Titles - Today at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, NAB2005, Warner Bros. Studios and Microsoft Corp. announced their plans to collaborate on the release of a broad range of next-generation HD DVD discs using Windows Media Video 9, Microsoft's implementation of VC-1, the proposed Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standard approved by the DVD Forum for HD DVD. Warner Home Video currently plans to release titles in the fourth quarter of 2005. HD DVD represents the first major push to deliver high-definition content to consumers on optical media in the U.S.
  • New services as Skype hits 100 million users - IP telephony firm Skype today claimed that its software has been downloaded by over 100 million computer users. To mark the occasion the company has launched two premium services.
  • Toshiba squeezes 3D images onto flat display - Toshiba today claimed an imaging breakthrough with the development of technology that allows 3-D images to be viewed on a flatbed display without the need for special glasses .Viewing the display from an angle allows the viewer to experience 3-D images that appear to stand out several centimetres from the surface of the display.
  • New 512MB/1GB MP3 players with FM Tuner from MSI - The Inquirer has information that MSI plans to introduce 2 new MP3 players, of the Mega Stick Series. They will be shipped in two versions, one with 512MB and another with 1GB, both of them featuring an FM Tuner (with 15 FM presets).

HARDWARE... 

  • Intel Launches Game-Oriented Duel Core Processors - Intel has officially launched its new Intel Pentium processor Extreme Edition featuring the PC chip company's first duel core processor. This first release is being targeted specifically for PC gaming enthusists.
  • Long-range Internet Chip from Intel - Renowned chip manufacturer Intel on Monday launched a chip for a long-range wireless Internet service, WiMAX. The chip is powerful enough to send a signal several miles, Intel claimed. The new Intel chip can be used to receive and transmit a wireless broadband signal. It will also facilitate delivery of broadband Internet access to remote areas not currently served by DSL or cable.
  • Seagate announces new notebook drives - Seagate has announced a new line of Momentus hard drives that bring higher capacities and support for NCQ to notebooks. . The Momentus 7200.1 and 5400.2 are available in SATA and with capacities up to 100 and 120GB, respectively. Seagate also announced the Momentus 4200.2, which is available in capacities up to 120GB but is ATA-only and lacks NCQ support
  • ATI RS482 and RC410 to arrive in June - ATI will release its RS482 and RC410 next-generation integrated PCI Express (PCIe) chipsets for the Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel platforms this June. The company will also debut its new southbridge, the SB450, which will include high-definition audio.The chips will be built using a 0.11-micron process and ATI plans to price them below US$30, the motherboard makers stated.
  • Dell Inspiron XPS Gen 2 with GeForce Go 6800 Ultra - Basically, the Dell Inspiron XPS utilized a desktop Pentium 4 CPU with an Intel 865PE chipset. The Dell Inspiron XPS had the option of either a 128MB ATI Mobility RADEON 9700 or a 256MB ATI Mobility RADEON 9800.
  • AMD's Sempron 3300+: 90nm Budget Computing - If you're debating between a Sempron 3100+ and a 3300+, the two often times perform identically to one another. Some applications will favor the Sempron 3100+'s larger L2 cache, while others will favor the higher clock speed of the 3300+. We generally prefer the 3300+, thanks to its cooler running 90nm process, but the two do perform very similarly and are hard to tell apart in real world usage. Compared to Intel's Celeron D, the Sempron continues to be the better buy and overall, the better performer. According to Intel's roadmaps, a 3.2GHz Celeron D is due out soon, but until then, the Sempron manages to hang on to the budget CPU throne.
  • Turtle Beach Video Advantage USB - The Video Advantage USB is a pocket sized black box which acts as a go between for your analog video devices and your computer. It sports a multi-pin connector port on one end, which hooks to an A/V cable (with included S-Video support), and a USB 2.0 connector on the other. Its main function, working in conjunction with a software suite installed upon your computer, is to capture the analog video as it plays from your VCR or camcorder and convert the signal to a digital format such as AVI, DV or MPEG.

GUIDES... 

  • Choosing a Portable MP3 Player - MP3 players are everywhere! It seems that the number of makes and models in this market is growing daily, with features and capabilities intended to appeal to just about anyone shopping for one of these devices.
  • Ultimate Testing of Recordable DVD Media Discs - What are the major criteria for your decision when you shop for blank recordable DVD discs? Is it the brand name of the manufacturer? Or the maximum claimed write speed? Or the price per piece? The chaps over at X-Bit Labs have decided to check out over 40 different discs available in the market today to see how good they are.
  • Optimize XP - A Windows XP Optimization Guide v1.9.3 -  This guide will help you improve your overall system performance. I avoid using or recommending "all-in-one" Windows XP Tweak programs since many blindly adjust settings that have no affect on performance and can cause future problems. Windows Update KB893066 (4/12/05) breaks the old SP2 TCP Slowdown Fix, if you had the old one installed or recently installed KB893066, you will need to download this new one and repatch.

SOFTWARE...

  • Microsoft Windows Rights Management Services with Service Pack 1 - Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) 1.0 Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Microsoft Windows Server 2003, a security service for Windows Server 2003, is information protection that works with RMS-enabled applications to help safeguard digital information from unauthorized use – both online and offline, inside and outside of the firewall.
  • Visual Studio Beta 2 released - Visual Studio Beta 2 released, it is available on MSDN subscriber Downloads.
  • Apache 2.0.54 - Apache 2.0 (download) offers numerous enhancements, improvements and performance boosts over the 1.3 codebase. The most visible and noteworthy addition is the ability to run Apache in a hybrid thread/process mode on any platform that supports both threads and processes.
  • Opera 8.0 final released (Build 7561) - Opera (download final w/o Java / another mirror) is the most full-featured browser on the market. It includes tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking, integrated searches, password manager, E-mail program, IRC chat, and much more.
  • Anti-Spyware Blocker 4.81 - Anti-Spyware Blocker can detect and eliminate spyware, Trojans, keyloggers, adware programs, browser hijackers, cookies, spybots, trackware, and other malware, even new and unknown ones, on your PC.
  • KoolMoves 4.7.1 - KoolMoves (download) is web animation software that creates Flash movies and frames for animated gifs.
  • iuVCR 4.9.4.364 - iuVCR is a Windows XP/2000 (Windows 98 and Windows ME also supported but not recommended) intended universal video recording program supporting the new DirectShow standard for multimedia.
  • Zoom Player v4.50 beta 4 - This new beta adds two new interesting features. The first being the new Advanced Play List control interface and the second is the Magnetic Hard Docking feature (little magnet buttons on the Play List Editor and Equalizer user interfaces).
  • DVDIdle 5.83 - DVDIdle is a unique tool that extends life of DVD-ROM 2-8 times.
  • Nero Burning Rom 6.6.0.12 - This new version (download / US mirror) added the LightScribe icon to the Nero toolbar and fixed some bugs: Data DVD writing on a DVD-R DL medium was not working in some cases, Nero did not remember renamed ISO9660 Level 2 names, Nero terminated if the path to a source file was too long, Improved the handling for the label creator when the text style did not fit the template.
  • NiBiTor v2.1 - This tool allows users to tune and edit the NVIDIA GeForce BIOS. This to gain some extra performance and stability on the NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards.
  • ATI Tray Tools 1.0.2.600 - ATI Tray Tools is a small utility that can be found in the windows tray which then allows instant access to options and settings.
  • SpeedFan 4.23 - SpeedFan (download) monitors temperatures, through available hardware monitor chips which expose their temperature sensors connected to different places inside your computer, and, according to your setup, does its best to keep those temperatures at your desired value.
  • Installation Utility 6.3.0.1008 - The Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility installs to the target system the Windows* INF files that outline to the operating system how the chipset components will be configured.
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,17 2005 - tech
nVidia nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition - tech
(hx) 08:10 AM EDT - Apr,17 2005 - Post a comment
TweakTown informed us they take a look at nVidia nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition. The article reveals what the Intel Pentium 4 version of the nForce 4 chipset offers, what its performance is like against the 925XE chipset from Intel and give you a general understanding of the new chipset which will help you decide if its worth while moving to the newest Intel player on the market or stick with old faithful. Here's an exerpt:
Looking from the performance side of things the nForce 4 performs extremely close to the 925XE with it just falling short in a lot of tests and that's when we placed the nForce 4 Intel Edition not only up against a full retail version of the 925XE but what we feel is the fastest 925XE motherboard available so nVidia really were going into a strong battle.

With all the new technology that nVidia have implemented into their memory controller, we found that it was slightly slower then the 925XE setup but without comparing the nForce 4 Intel Edition to another reference it's hard to say that it isn't an overall faster controller. Memory performance is something we will have a closer look at when we get our hands on a retail version of the nForce 4 Intel Edition as well as if we'll have more joy overclocking memory on the nVidia platform over the Intel chipset - which we suspect we might.
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,15 2005 - tech
Friday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 11:39 AM EDT - Apr,15 2005 - Post a comment / read (2)

SECURITY...

  • Napster DRM Cracked - Neowin previously reported on the work done by Cody Brocious to get iTunes working on Linux; in a soon to be released updated version, Cody and his group have announced plans to support the Napster Music Store as well.  However, in the process of making PyMusique work with Napster, the group have broken the Digital Rights Management (DRM) system that the company uses. Unlike Apple's iTunes, the DRM is applied "server-side", making the decryption process a lot more complicated. The team have formulated a method for removing the DRM on WMA files allowing them to play on non-Windows systems.
  • IM worm hits Reuters - Reuters was temporarily forced to shut down its instant messaging service Thursday after a computer worm spread across its network. The culprit - Kelvir-U - is a variant of a worm family that targets MSN and Windows Messenger clients and previously posed no risk to Reuters' tightly-controlled messaging network. This is the first incident where a virus has targeted a privately controlled user community, IM security firm IMlogic reports.
  • Fortinet in court for hiding Linux in its code - Fortinet was accused of using cryptographic techniques to conceal the presence of Linux code in its FortiGate and FortiWifi products, as well as not releasing its source code under the terms of the GPL.
  • Record industry sues 400 campus downloaders - The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has filed copyright infringement lawsuits against 405 students accused of sharing digital content across a high-speed university computer network known as Internet2.
  • Arrests Made in Nintendo Sting - Police arrested four people in connection with videogame piracy in New York and New Jersey yesterday, according to The Associated Press. Officers of the law confiscated more than 60,000 pirated products from Nintendo, including Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers, Duck Hunt, among others, according to official reports filed by federal authorities at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. So, how did this merry band of digital thieves slip up? They tried selling the truckload of stolen goods to undercover FBI agents, that's how.
  • Bush fears his personal e-mail would be made public - President Bush said Thursday that he does not send e-mail, not even to his twin daughters, because he fears "my personal stuff" would be made public.
  • Unchecked blogs a boon to hackers - Blogging sites that fail to check software stored by users are proving useful to hackers, according to web monitoring firm Websense. The company claims to have identified hundreds of cases of hackers using blogs to store Trojan software and other malicious code, because blogging firms seldom check to see what code they are hosting.
  • Multiple TCP/IP implementations do not adequately validate ICMP error messages - Multiple TCP/IP implementations do not adequately validate ICMP error messages. A remote attacker could cause TCP connections to drop or be degraded using spoofed ICMP error messages.

OFFTOPIC...

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Microsoft Reveals Longhorn Details - Allchin, group vice president of Microsoft's Platforms Group, described Longhorn as nothing less than "the OS platform for the next ten years." It's on track for Beta 1 release this summer and final release for the 2006 holiday season. Although the Avalon graphics system, Indigo Web services system, and WinFS file system (now slated to ship sometime after Longhorn) have gotten the most attention, Microsoft's design goals focus on six key points, Allchin says: 1. It just works, 2. Safe and secure, 3. Easy to deploy and manage, 4. Client experiences - at work, at home, and on the go, 5. The right server for your business, 6. OS platform for the next ten years.
  • AMD may cut Sempron prices in early May - AMD plans to lower the unit prices for Socket 754 Sempron processors in early May, with the maximum cut being 15%, according to Taiwan motherboard makers.
  • AMD Confirms AMD Dual-Core Opteron Launch on the April 21st - AMD CEO Hector Ruiz said Wednesday during the company's first quarter fiscal 2005 conference call that the company's first server dual-core chips with two processing engines will be formally announced on the 21st of April, 2005
  • Seagate Readies New Hard Drive Technology - Seagate Technology is developing a perpendicular recording technology for hard drives and intends to be one of the first companies to use it in its products, the company said this week.

HARDWARE... 

  • Acer TravelMate 8104WLMi - Sonoma laptop - Beating at the heart of the 8104WLMi is a 2GHz Pentium M CPU, backed up by 1GB of 533MHz DDR2 memory. The PCI Express support in Sonoma is highlighted by the inclusion of an ATI Mobility Radeon X700 graphics chipset with 128MB of memory.
  • Acer n35 GPS PDA - The Acer N35 is the second PDA I've looked at to feature a GPS receiver actually integrated into the PDA, the first being the Mio 168. For the GPS enthusiast this is great as it avoids the need to have any trailing wires to an external GPS receiver or having to rely on a Bluetooth unit that
    runs on batteries. While the Mio 168 used CoPilot as its navigation software, Acer has plumped for Destinator 3.
  • AMD Sempron 3300+ CPU - When we look at the grid above, the Sempron 3300+ brings a couple of new things to the table compared to the elder 3100+. Based on the "Palermo" core, AMD is manufacturing the 3300+ at .09 microns with half of the L2 Cache complement of the .13 micron 3100+. With 128KB of L2 cache, the Sempron 3300+ is clocked 200MHz faster than the 3100+, running at 2.0GHz. Additionally, AMD has added support for SSE3 instructions, something only the Celeron offered up until now, as far as budget CPUs go anyway. Another review can be found on HotHardware.
  • SimpleTech PC2-4200 DDR2 - The chips scaled very well. As mentioned, I was able to take them above 350 MHz into Windows, however at an increased latency, 5-5-5-12, and increased voltage, 2.2V. Stability testing was out of the question as the processor would just throttle the FSB down as load picked up. Otherwise, 333 MHz was completely stable and at a 4-4-4-12 latency - over 25% faster than the rated speed and at nearly the same latencies. I was very impressed for what I was told is just standard, no frills memory.
  • Swiftech H20-120-T TEC Liquid Cooling Kit - The maximum achievable speed with a 3.0GHz D0 stepping Prescott was 4.35GHz with a full load temperature of 62 degrees Celsius at which point the processor starts to throttle. I expect this kit to work much better with the newer E0 and N0 stepping Prescott cores along with the much cooler Athlon 64 CPUs.
  • Samsung SyncMaster 915N - Samsung steps up to the gaming plate with 915N for the gamer that wants to have a larger screen. This monitor is rated at 8ms response time! They also now make smaller monitors that also have 12ms response time. The only problem I have seen with this product line is so far they are VGA interface only and do not support DVI. On the other hand leaving DVI out does let Samsung sell this monitor at a less expensive price. This monitor can be found under 400.00 dollars from many online retailers.
  • Lexmark P315 printer - These mini ink-jet printers are designed specifically for photo printing and offer little, if anything, in the way of plain paper print. Lexmark's P315 goes one step further by dispensing with the PC altogether. You can print from a variety of memory cards or from any camera that supports the PictBridge standard, but you can't print from a desktop, notebook or PDA.
  • Samsung CLP-510N Laser Printer - Samsung has come out with a very good printer with the CLP-510/510N series of printers. The print quality of the printer is excellent on the black print, and the color rivals inkjet photo quality printers when using the glossier paper designed to print photos on. The real question will be once you get to 50,000 pages - do you buy a new drum and transfer unit for $300.00 for the set or do you just buy a new printer?
  • LTB AC97-M 5.1 Surround Headphones - They're excellent headphones, sound great, are very comfortable, & I would certainly buy them over the Theatre 6's because of their smaller size & integrated microphone.
  • AL Tech MediaGate MG-25 Portable Media Center - As you may have guessed, this is more than just an external hard drive. This "MPEG4+MP3 jukebox" allows you to store images, videos, and music on the internal hard drive, organizing and playing them back however you like. It's significantly cheaper (and smaller) than any HTPC and with the exception of games and the possible use of applications, can do all the same things.
  • Sony PSP - Certainly, its not flawless with the dead pixel issue and Sony's insistence on using Memory Stick when SD cards are already available in 1GB flavours, though having said that, Memory Stick is their proprietary card and this is their unit so they can do what they like… those of us who have loads of SD cards and no Memory Sticks will just have to go and buy some, eh?

GUIDES... 

  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT Buyer's Guide - The default configuration of the GeForce 6800 GT  comes with a 350MHz core and 256MB of 1,000MHz memory. The core contains 16 pixel pipelines, the maximum number available for the GeForce 6 series design. Even with these impressive specifications, the GeForce 6800 GT plays second string to video cards like the GeForce 6800 Ultra and the Radeon X850.
  • 3D performance with Splinter Cell Chaos Theory part 2: ATI mainstream cards - check it out
  • A Windows XP Optimization Guide - This guide will help you improve your overall system performance. I avoid using or recommending "all-in-one" Windows XP Tweak programs since many blindly adjust settings that have no affect on performance and can cause future problems.

SOFTWARE...

  • xp-Antispy 3.94 - The xp-AntiSpy is a little utility that lets you disable some built-in update and authentication 'features' in WindowsXP. This new version fixes some minor bugs. (thanks Csimbi)
  • Sysinternal's Process Explorer 9.03 - The unique capabilities of Process Explorer make it useful for tracking down DLL-version problems or handle leaks, and provide insight into the way Windows and applications work.
  • Sysinternal's Regmon 7.0 - Regmon is a Registry monitoring utility that will show you which applications are accessing your Registry, which keys they are accessing, and the Registry data that they are reading and writing - all in real-time.
  • Sysinternal's FileMon 7.0 - FileMon monitors and displays file system activity on a system in real-time. Its advanced capabilities make it a powerful tool for exploring the way Windows works, seeing how applications use the files and DLLs, or tracking down problems in system or application file configurations
  • G-Force 2.8.1 - G-Force (download) is a music visualization plug-in for media players and can also visualize auxiliary or "line-in" audio. G-Force features fast anti-aliased effects, millions of possible visual combinations, savable and scriptable effects, and unparalleled expandability.
  • RightMark CPU Clock Utility v1.5 - RightMark CPU Clock Utility (RMClock) is a small GUI application designed for real-time CPU frequency, throttling and load level monitoring and on-the-fly adjustment of the CPU performance level of the supported CPUs via processor's power management model-specific registers (MSRs). In automatic management mode it continuously monitors the CPU usage level and dynamically adjusts the CPU frequency, throttle and/or voltage level as needed.
  • nLite 0.99.9 Beta - nLite lets you choose which components to remove from your Windows 2000, XP or 2003 before installation.
  • SpyBot-Search & Destroy 1.4 RC1 - Spybot-S&D 1.4 Release Candidate 1 is available. If you want to test it, they recommend you take a look at their beta forums.
  • Maxthon (MyIE2) v1.2.3 - Maxthon (MyIE2) (download combo / standard) is a powerful web browser with a highly customizable interface. It is based on the Internet Explorer engine (your most likely current web browser) which means that what works in IE, works the same in Maxthon but with many additional efficient features.
  • eXeem 0.24 Public Beta - eXeem (download) is a brand new Peer-To-Peer program, which is based on the BitTorrent idea.
  • CloneCD and CloneDVD betas - Slysoft has released beta versions of CloneCD and CloneDVD. The main change in the versions is support for 64-bit Windows XP. To achieve this the ElbyCDIO has been rewritten.
  • Nero CD-DVD Speed V3.80 and Nero InfoTool V3.01 - This tool can be used to test the capabilities of your CD or DVD drive and we use this software in our reviews to test the performance and make comparisons. Some of the tests include: Transfer rate, Seek times, CPU usage, Burst rate, DAE quality, Spinup/spindown time.
  • BenQ 1620 firmware - The firmware update brings the firmware revision to B7V9 and improves compatibility with the Nforce chipset, as well as fixing an issue with nero's simulation mode. Support for MJC 16x +R media, Gig 16x DVD-R media and Ritek 16x DVD-R F1 media has also been added.
  • SIS AGP Driver v.1.21 - SIS have released a new AGP driver v1.21 supporting most of their chipsets. The only updated AGP driver contained in this driver pack appears to be the 64-bit AGP driver, all other drivers are identical to those included in the 1.19 driver pack (1.17 in the case of WinXP) (thanks Warp2Search)
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,14 2005 - tech
NVIDIA ForceWare Drivers v71.89 - tech
(hx) 10:47 AM EDT - Apr,14 2005 - Post a comment
A new WHQL Forceware graphics drivers v71.89 (Win2k/XP ~ 19.4MB) are available for download from the official NVIDIA download page. These new drivers add support for the GeForce 6200 with TurboCache, NVIDIA PureVideo, and NVIDIA SLI Microsoft  DirectX 9.0c and OpenGL 1.5 and resolves problem with overclocking not working when running GPUs in SLI mode.
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,13 2005 - tech
Wednesday Tech Madness - tech
(hx) 05:27 PM EDT - Apr,13 2005 - Post a comment / read (3)

SECURITY...

  • NSF establishes cybersecurity center - Finding ways to keep computers, networks and data more secure from electronic attacks and theft is a key goal of a new cybersecurity Science and Technology Center being established later this year by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  In an announcement yesterday, the Washington-based NSF said the new cybersecurity center will receive about $19 million in funds over five years to help better protect data and hardware from electronic intrusions, fraud and other cybersecurity problems. The center is being established in response to continuing data theft and fraud incidents that threaten computer users and systems.
  • Possible Unpatched Office Flaw Investigated -
  • Exploit Code Posted for Microsoft Jet DB Engine Flaw - A private security research outfit on Tuesday warned that a "highly critical" vulnerability in the Microsoft Jet Database Engine (exploit code) could be exploited by malicious hackers to hijack a compromised system. The flaw, which was discovered by HexView Security Research and Assessment, affects fully patched systems with Microsoft Access 2003 and Microsoft Windows XP, including Service Pack 2.
  • QuickTime for Windows malformed GIF DoS - QuickTime for Windows has problems with malformed GIF images. Open test.gif with PictureViewer and it will crash. DrWatson is reporting access violation.
  • OpenOffice.org details vulnerability - OpenOffice.org has confirmed a buffer overflow issue that could allow for remote attacks. The problem in its freely distributed productivity applications has been fixed, the organization said late Tuesday. But no patch has yet been publicly issued.
  • LexisNexis acknowledges more ID theft on 310,000 people - LexisNexis, which compiles and sells personal and financial data on U.S. consumers, said Tuesday that personal information on 310,000 people nationwide may have been stolen. That number is nearly 10 times higher than the figure LexisNexis disclosed last month when it first reported that its databases had been breached.
  • US - Legal test of Internet2 underway - The U.S. recording industry is resorting to courts to stop students from alleged illegal distribution of music and movies over the ultra-fast Internet2. Internet2 is not available to the general public, but leading universities use it for research into the next generation of the Internet.  In a suit to be filed Wednesday, the Washington-based Recording Industry Association of America has accused hundreds of college students of illegally using Internet2.  "Right now the Internet2 is a zone of lawlessness when it comes to theft of music and movies and that just can't be allowed to continue," RIAA President Cary Sherman told CBS News.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Super-sensitive explosive detector developed - A device capable of detecting concealed explosives and landmines with more sensitivity than a trained dog has been developed. The new detector, which works at a distance, could potentially be used to identify suicide bombers or find explosive booby-traps, the researchers suggest.
  • Britney Spears Says She's Pregnant - Britney Spears announced on Tuesday that she was pregnant with her first child, ending months of speculation over whether the pop princess was launching a new career as a mother.
  • Pandemic-causing "Asian flu" accidentally released - The virus that caused the 1957 "Asian flu" pandemic has been accidentally released by a lab in the US, and sent all over the world in test kits which scientists are now scrambling to destroy. There are fears the virus could escape the labs, as the mistake was discovered after the virus escaped from a kit at a high-containment lab in Canada. Such an escape could spread worldwide, as demonstrated in Russia in the 1970s.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Microsoft, MTV team up to promote new Xbox console (update 3) - Microsoft Corporation plans to unveil the latest version of its Xbox video game console in a special presentation on MTV on May 12, 2005.  Microsoft said that the video game system would be unveiled in a 30-minute special programme, MTV Presents: The Next Generation Xbox Revealed, on MTV channels across the US, Asia Pacific and Europe within a 24-hour timeframe.
  • Analysts: 3 million Xbox 360s shipped by Xmas - According to Forbes, Goldman Sachs is predicting that the next-gen Xbox, now increasingly referred to as the Xbox 360, will "be available for retail sale in October or November at a retail price of about $249 to $299." Goldman says it "expects" Microsoft to have shipped around 3 million units by year's end and reiterated its "outperform" rating for Microsoft Corp. stock, which closed at $25.32 today.
  • Yahoo offers free hosting to small businesses - The Internet company on Wednesday introduced a new service that lets any small business sign up for a free Web page to appear in Yahoo's local directory. The move will help otherwise unwired small businesses come online, said Paul Levine, Yahoo's general manager of local services, as well as help consumers find more local information.
  • WinHEC 2005 - On April 25th-27th Microsoft will deliver its anual event for developers of hardware for Windows-based computers. With over 100 hours of technical conferences the event promises to be an interesting one. Microsoft are expected to announce the general availability of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions at WinHEC this year.
  • Apple To Roll Out Next OS X Operating System Version - The program, which is named Macintosh OS X 10.4 Tiger and which will sell for US$129, has a variety of consumer-oriented features and some new internal technologies, including enhanced graphics support and increased ability to handle memory as well as improved compatibility with Microsoft's Windows operating system.
  • Gordon Moore: Moore's Law is Dead - Moore's Law will not hold forever, claims Gordon Moore. In a Techworld article, he points out the limitations of the law, in particular, the limitations as we approach the size of atoms. He helpfully explains, however, that the law will hold for a few years yet. (thanks Slashdot.org)
  • Group cuts antipiracy software royalties - MPEG LA, which includes Sony and Philips Electronics, said Wednesday it will cut the proposed tariffs for antipiracy technology by one-third to 65 cents per mobile phone or other electronic gadget. Calls for the reductions stemmed from concerns that high royalties might stifle the markets for digital music and video.

HARDWARE... 

  • MD Dual Core desktop processor details - According to Hexus.net, it will be available at least in the following models: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+, AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+, AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+.  Their source in Greenbriar also confirms that AMD currently has no plans to introduce "FX" variants of its dual-core desktop processors. The flagship AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ will have both its cores operating at 2.4GHz, the same frequency as the AMD Athlon 64 4000+, and we'll be surprised if this doesn't rape the already impressive Pentium Extreme Edition 840.
  • Special HW roundup - Opteron 866 Tested - The 866 Stepping E0 runs at 2.2Ghz, the speed of an Athlon 3500+ but with twice the cache and with SSE3. The tests were done on a Tyan Thunder K8WE S2895 dual opteron board with a nForce Pro 220 chipset. When compared to an Opteron 248, the 866 was a winner in all tests - PC Mark, Aqaumark, 3Dmark 03, Super Pi, Content Creation and Business Winstone and Sandra.
  • Corsair XMS Xpert CMXP512-3200XL - It is the LED displays that make the XMS Xpert modules so special. Not only do they display the data that Corsair has pre-programmed them to show, but you can actually edit the data displayed by using the provided software. The Corsair Memory Dashboard controls the displays, and also provides a wide range of other information about your memory such asclock speed and memory timings. This works with all types of memory, although you get less information than you do with the XMS Xpert modules.
  • SuperTalent PC3500 Cas 2 Memory - Gruntville.com has posted a review of SuperTalent PC3500 Cas 2 Memory.
  • OCZ DDR Booster - OCZ DDR Booster Diagnostic Device with Patent pending PowerClean TechnologyT allows users to supply cleaner power to their memory modules, resulting in more stable memory. Additionally, users are able to view memory module voltage with the digital LEDs o=ADn the DDR Booster, allowing simple and inexpensive troubleshooting of the memory modules. Each OCZ DDR Booster allows VDIMM adjustments up to 3.9V* and is compatible with most DDR1 motherboards.
  • Asus K8V-X Motherboard review - CoolTechZone has posted a review of Asus K8V-X motherboard.
  • DFI nForce4-DAGF Motherboard OC preview - If DFI can make the user manual a bit more extensive I'm convinced that the nF4-DAGF can be the value board, certainly at this price, which packs quite an OC punch. DFI is coming after MSI here.
  • MSI K8T-Neo FIS2R Motherboard - The MSI K8T-FIS2R is a worthy contender for anyone who is looking to build a system on a strict budget, and for the approximate price of $60.00, this is definitely the board to get over its FSR equivalent.
  • Sapphire Radeon X850 XT PCIe - Overall, the Sapphire Radeon X850 XT is a mixed bag. The performance is great, but the level of value is low, which happens to be the case with all high-end cards regardless of brand or VPU/GPU. If you are willing to do a little overclocking to PE speed, have a $500 budget and want the best ATI performance available, then this is a no-brainer Another review can be found on ViperLair.
  • HIS X850XT and X800XL Graphics Cards ­ iTURBO is back again - The X850XT and X800XL PCI Express graphics cards from HIS both offer very good performance at 1024 x 768 and with standard image quality. It is only when we increase the resolution and add on AA and AF that the X800XL begins to struggle a little and the X850XT just laughs back at the system and asks for more as it dishes out brilliant gaming performance in the latest games. The X800XL from HIS is going to be a very good choice for gamers who want to play games around the 800 x 600 – 1280 x 1024 level without AA and AF turned on or if they do, only a mild level turned on.
  • Gigabyte GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe - If you are in the market for a high-performing, silent video card, you may want to check out the Gigabyte GV-RX80256D X800 Turbo Silent Pipe video card. This card sports a completely silent, custom heat-pipe cooling apparatus, it overclocked well, it performed well, and it won't break the bank.
  • Asus Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A - The Asus Extreme N6600TOP/TD/128M/A PCI Express x16 videocard uses a vanilla GeForce 6600 GPU, but backs it up with Samsung GDDR3 memory (128MB, 2.0ns DRAM). ASUS has also set the GPU and memory clock speeds of this card considerably higher than that of a stock GeForce 6600, accordingly the speeds are 400Mhz core and 900MHz memory. The Asus Extreme N6600Top videocard natively supports TV-Output as well as dual analog monitors (care of the included DVI-analog converter). The N6600TOP installs into a PCI Express x16 slot, and is SLI compatible too.
  • eVGA 6800 Ultra - PCI-E Video Card - eVGA ships this card at its stock speeds of 400MHz (GPU Core) and 550MHz (Memory clock). For those looking to squeeze more performance out of things, you can use NVIDIA coolbits or a utility like Powerstrip to raise the speeds to slightly faster levels – we nailed 435MHz on the core and 675MHz for memory which yielded an overall performance increase of 10-12percent depending on the application. Your results may differ depending on a number of variables such as Power, cooling and RAM.
  • Gigabyte GeForce 6600GT PCI-E - The GV-NX66T128D also has a lot of nice features and bundles such as temperature monitoring, V Turner II, games CD, SLi bridge and etc. With the fair price tag on the GV-NX66T128D, it is a good card to buy no matter if you plan to run single setup or SLi setup.
  • eVGA 6800U SLI - Gamer's depot does the funky SLI with two eVGA GeForce 6800 Ultras and a DFI SLI motherboard. Benchmarks with a few games in SLI mode and single mode is compared to a ATi 850 XT.
  • ATI All-In-Wonder X800 XT - Beyond3D has posted a review of ATI All-In-Wonder X800 XT.
  • MCE TV Tuner Roundup Featuring ATI's Theater 550 & NVIDIA's NVTV - For this article, Anandtech took 6 of the most popular MCE compliant TV tuners and pitted them against one another, trying to figure out if there's any difference between them all, and if there's one clear winner. The cards included in this roundup are: ATI's eHome Wonder, ATI's TV Wonder Elite, AverMedia M150, eMuzed Maui-II PCI PVR, Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250,NVIDIA's dual tuner NVTV.
  • Hardware MPEG2 TV Tuner Comparison - Since MPEG2 encoders can't decode cable signals on their own, TV tuner cards also need a decoder. ATI's Theater 550 Pro integrates the MPEG2 encoder and TV decoder into a single chip design, while the NVTV and PVR-150MCE-l.p. use Philips and Conexant decoders, respectively. A single-chip design can reduce board complexity, but shouldn't offer any tangible benefits to end users over two-chip designs.
  • PowerColor Theater 550 Pro Capture Card (ATI Reference) vs Hauppauge PVR150 - ATI made a decent chip for PVR enthusiasts. The chip has had a rough start with early drivers not exploiting all the features. Even today there are a few outstanding issues for me, the lack of a sharpness control being one of biggest. Microsoft's specifications for MCE logo certification of capture devices requires that the sharpness control be exposed, so hopefully ATI will add this soon.
  • Samsung DVD-R/RW–TS-H552B review - ipKonfig.com takes a look at the Samsung DVD-R/RW–TS-H552B burner.
  • Toshiba SDR-5372 DVD Writer - Looking at the specifications of the SDR-5372, shows a drive that's cutting edge in some areas, but a little behind the pack in others. DVD+/-R discs can be written at 16x, which is up there with the best, while the aforementioned 5x DVD+R DL performance is bettered only by the Asus DRW-1608P. But it's when we get to the re-writing speeds that this Toshiba looks a bit shaky, with only 4x performance for both DVD+RW and DVD-RW media. CD performance is respectable, with CD-R discs burned at 48x and CD-RW media written at 24x - again, up there with the best.
  • USB 2.0 Hi-speed Flash Drive Roundup - The "sweet spot" for price/size ratio seems to be around the 512MB mark. (Although 1GB is a bit pricier, it is still within the reach of many people as well...) Speeds have also doubled as well. The fastest drives in this round-up have a maximum read speed between 20 and 22MB/sec (in contrast to last year's winners which topped out at 10MB/sec...)
  • Sunbeamtech Silent Anodized LED Fans - As the manufacturer states on the packaging, the "silent" fans are pretty quiet. Although not perfectly silent, at 20db you should not expect to hear these fans over other system noises. With the low noise, comes a relatively low air flow, but for most users a few fans rated at 23CFM such as these, will cycle plenty of air through the computer case.
  • Cooler Master Aquagate Mini R120 - InsaneTek takes a look at the Cooler Master Aquagate Mini R120.
  • AquaBox Passive Watercooling - Initially I was a skeptical about the design concept as I worried how well a passively cooled system can cool down a modern CPU, in our case an Athlon 64 4000+, but what if I tell you that we never ever topped 35 Degrees C with this kit, in complete silence!?
  • Logitech MX-1000 Cordless Laser Mouse - Futurelooks posted a review of the Logitech MX-1000 Cordless Laser Mouse.
  • Logitech Ultra-X keyboard - The keyboard is unusual because, as the name implies, the Ultra-X is extremely flat and thin. It accomplishes this amazing flatness and thinness by using laptop computer style flat-cap keys, as opposed to traditional large cap keys. Therefore, this keyboard looks and feels very much like a laptop keyboard when in use, although unlike most laptops the keys are full-sized and spaced exactly like traditional desktop keyboards. If you don't like laptop keyboards at all, you probably won't like the Ultra X.
  • Gigabyte AirCruiser GN-BC01 802.11g Wireless Desktop Router - This device incorporates a fully wireless home router/Internet sharing device onto a PCI card which you install directly into your desktop PC. The internal form factor of the Wifi Router AirCruiser GN-BC01 is new to us though, so we're interested to see how it performs and what kind of range it gets compared to conventional external wireless networking routers.
  • Samsung SyncMaster 193P LCD - The 20ms response time makes this monitor not a viable option for hardcore gamers. While games are playable on the 193P most gamers would opt for a CRT instead. It does however work well in slower paced games like EQ 2 and WoW. Samsung did a nice job of covering up the response time handicap.
  • ColorVision SpectroPRO2 Monitor & Printer Calibration Suite - hardCOREware has published a ColorVision SpectroPRO2 Monitor & Printer Calibration Suite review.
  • SavRow Katana 3D-9 Portable Workstation - In terms of performance, the Katana clearly is comparable to a desktop PC. You sacrifice some speed but for DCC this is probably the fastest portable money can buy right now, largely in part because of its high-spec NVIDIA Quadro FX Go1400 graphics accelerator. Other firms will be close behind, and using the same chassis, too, since it's one of the few available that can take two hard disk drives and two optical drives. But simply put, SavRow got there first.
  • Oakley THUMP 256MB MP3 Player Sunglasses - The Oakley THUMP sunglasses are one hot item. The MP3 player functionality built into sporty sexy Oakley sunglasses really makes for a great experience. The glasses are comfortable, the ear buds sound great, and the player is generally extremely simple to use. For sports enthusiasts, tech gadget fanatics, or anyone looking to have the first of its kind electronic device the THUMP is definitely the way to go.
  • Fossil Wrist PDA FX2008 - The Fossil Wrist PDA FX200 features not only a digital chronograph but a micro-sized Palm OS PDA all wrapped up in a stylish polished steel exterior. But will this marriage of timepiece and tech hardware appeal to the gadget-hungry masses?
  • Nikon Coolpix 7900 - It's not just the seven megapixel CCD that's making the pictures look this good. It's a combination of resolution, lens quality and one of the best processing engines around

GUIDES... 

  • Diagnose XP - A Windows XP Diagnostic Guide - Diagnosing System problems can be very complicated and time consuming. There are no simple solutions. Windows XP systems should never Lock-up (freeze), display Blue Screen Stop Errors or Randomly Reboot. These are all warning signs something is wrong or misconfigured with your system. The following guide will help you troubleshoot the most common causes of system problems. Unless you are a highly trained, experienced PC Technician do not skip any of the following steps.

SOFTWARE...

  • Turbolinux 10 for AMD64, Intel EM64T is a free download  - This promotion implements the first phase of Tubolinux's strategy to expand the use of Turbolinux 10 for AMD64/EM64T into the global marketplace". The company also claims that "kernel and various applications have been optimized for 64-bit CPU. Moreover, newly built applications will be free from 32-bit memory and I/O limitations. Turbolinux 10 can be downloaded from here (free reg.required)
  • Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager public beta - Simplify and strengthen your backup strategy with Data Protection Manager (DPM) (download 668MB), the new Microsoft server software solution for rapid and reliable data recovery. Lower your total cost of ownership with efficient and near-continuous data protection.
  • Adobe Reader 7.0 for Linux -The full Adobe Reader 7.0 version is the first upgrade Adobe Systems, Inc. has produced for Linux users since Adobe Reader 5.0.9 for Linux in 2002. Linspire users can immediately install Reader 7.0 for Linux free with one click at this link.
  • The GIMP 2.2.6 - The GIMP (GNU/Image Manipulation Program) is a very nice graphics manipulation application that works on many operating systems, in many languages, on many file formats and is used for a variety of computer imagery purposes.
  • Malicious Software Removal Tool 1.3 - The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool checks Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003 computers for and helps remove infections by specific, prevalent malicious software - including Blaster, Sasser, and Mydoom.
  • WinPatrol 9.1.0.0 - Scotty the Windows Watch Dog sniffs out malicious "mysteryware" and parasites that may assault your computer. WinPatrol puts you back in control of your computer so you'll know what programs are and should be running at all times.
  • PeerGuardian 2 Beta 5 - PeerGuardian 2 is Methlabs' premier IP blocker for Windows. With features like support for multiple lists, a list editor, automatic updates, and blocking all of IPv4 (TCP, UDP, ICMP, etc), PeerGuardian 2 is the safest and easiest way to protect your privacy on P2P. (thanks NeoNSX)
  • Outpost Firewall PRO 2.6 (451/402) - The new version provides an alternative method for controlling the content of web pages directly from the browser, thanks to a new browser adjustment plug-in. This plug-in allows users to manage the settings for ads and active content plug-ins from a special panel in Internet Explorer. The panel contains options with the settings for ads and active content plug-ins that are similar to those displayed in the Outpost Firewall interface. These options allow users of Internet Explorer to apply their security settings "on the fly," directly from the browser window.
  • DC++ 0.674  - DC++ (download) is an open source C++ client for the Direct Connect protocol. Direct Connect allows you to share files over the Internet without restrictions or limits.
  • PSPad 4.3.3 Beta Build 2065 - PSPad editor is freeware programmer editor.
  • Uxtheme Multi-patcher 4.0 - This program will patch your uxtheme.dll file so you can use any 3rd party visual style on Windows XP/SP1/SP2 and Windows Server 2003/SP1. File protection dialogs should be cancelled and a reboot is required after using this patch.
  • ICQ 5 5.04 Build 2321 - With ICQ Instant Messenger (download) you can video/audio chat, send email, SMS and wireless-pager messages, as well as transfer files and URLs. If you're away from your personal computer you can still chat with friends and contacts, even where the ICQ client is not installed, by using the web-based ICQ2Go that works from any computer.
  • CloneCD 5.2 Final - CloneCD is the ideal tool to make backup copies of your music- or data CDs, regardless if they are copy protected or not.
  • AnyDVD 5.0 Final - AnyDVD is a driver, which descrambles DVD-Movies automatically in the background. This DVD appears unprotected and region code free for all applications and the Windows operating system as well.
  • DVDFab Platinum 2.83 - DVDFab Platinum is all you need to backup your DVDs. This powerful product includes all the functions of our products: DVDFab Express and DVDFab Gold.
  • CloneDVD2 v2.8.0.0 - CloneDVD 2 (download) copies movies in unparalleled picture quality. If it's only the main movie or a complete DVD - CloneDVD compresses even long footage in brilliant quality and at high speed: A special transcoding technology compresses your choice of DVD titles according to your audio and language selection automatically to a freely adjustable target size.
  • Sateira CD&DVD Burner v2.13 - Sateira has updated its CD/DVD burning solution, the Sateira CD&DVD Burner, to version 2.13. This new version has an updated burning engine.
  • SpeedFan 4.23 - SpeedFan is a freeware program that monitors fan speeds, temperatures and voltages in computers with hardware monitoring chips.
  • [!] Hyperion 4in1 drivers v4.56v - The new version 4.56v (thanks BetasIntercom.net) updates the AGP driver to version 4.43f. The new AGP driver simply includes new IDs for new VIA host bridges. So this driver update is not really very exciting to be honest. In fact there isn't really any reason why you would need to update your system with them. If it ain't broke don't fix it. But if you are building a PC or you haven't updated in a while then these latest ones are the ones you should use.
  • VIA - WinXP Serial ATA RAID Controller Drivers - VIA has released a new SATA RAID controller drivers - VT6410 IDE RAID controller ( VT6410 )
    Discrete Serial ATA RAID controllers VT6420/1 ( VT6420 VT6421 ), VT8237 Integrated Serial ATA RAID controller ( VT8237 VT8237.
  • Realtek Audio Driver v3.71 - Here's a new Realtek Audio Driver v3.71 (mirror) for ALC65x and other AC97 Codecs.
  • NGO NVIDIA Optimized Driver v1.7650 - These drivers are modified Forceware drivers, meaning they are NOT supported or endorsed by nVidia, or any 3rd party OEM manufacturers. They are not covered by any warranty or guarantee, and you install them at your own risk. Currently these drivers are for all GeForce based desktop cards.
  • NVIDIA nForce 6.53 (Remix) - This is a 3rd party remix (user compilation of several driver sets) package of the NVIDIA nForce drivers based on the build number 6.53 Nvidia Unified Drivers build.
  • Forceware 71.91 - Forceware 71.91, leaked from Alienware, is available for download.
Microsoft's April 2005 Security Updates - tech
(hx) 05:17 AM EDT - Apr,13 2005 - Post a comment
Microsoft on Tuesday released a slew of security patches, five of them critical, as part of its monthly update. The updates include "critical" fixes to Windows' TCP/IP networking, Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, Office and Exchange Server. "Critical" is the company's highest severity rating. Three other Windows security holes are rated as "important," the next highest rating.
Critical Bulletins:
- Vulnerabilities in TCP/IP Could Allow Remote Code Execution and Denial of Service (893066)
- Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (890923) 
- Vulnerability in Exchange Server Could Allow Remote Code Execution(894549)
- Vulnerability in MSN Messenger Could Lead to Remote Code Execution (896597)
- Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Word May Lead to Remote Code Execution (890169)
 
Important Bulletins:
- Vulnerability in Windows Shell that Could Allow Remote Code Execution (893086)
- Vulnerability in Message Queuing Could Allow Code Execution (892944) 
- Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel Could Allow Elevation of Privilege and Denial of Service (890859)
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,11 2005 - tech
Nightly Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 09:11 PM EDT - Apr,11 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Fake Microsoft update site traced to Australia - A mass email being circulated by hackers purporting to be a Microsoft Windows update alert directs computer users to a fake website where a Trojan virus is installed, security experts have said.  "This email spoofs users into thinking that they must update their Windows software," Websense said. "Upon clicking on the link, users are forwarded to a fraudulent website. This website is hosted in Australia, and was up at the time of this alert. The website appears very similar to the real Windows Update site." When a user attempts to perform the update, a Trojan horse virus is installed that allows hackers access to the infected computers, the company said. Another article called "Hackers Exploit Windows Update Publicity" can be found here.
  • Cisco Patches IOS Security Flaws - Routing and switching giant Cisco Systems has released patches for a pair of denial-of-service and system-access flaws affecting a range of IOS-based devices. The most serious of the two flaws was discovered in the way the Cisco IOS (Internetwork Operating System) processes certain IKE (Internet Key Exchange) Xauth messages when configured to be an Easy VPN Server.
  • OpenOffice DOC document Heap Overflow - There is a vulnerability in StgCompObjStream::Load() function, When reading DOC document information of format,memory is allocated by DOC provide length.  DOC provided a 32 bits integer,and will use the low 16 bits of this number to allocate memory,
    but when reading doc information,still use the 32 bits number as length,this maybe cause heap overflow, and when free happened ,will cause write pointer,maybe cause arbitrary code excute.
  • Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Buffer Overflow - The game is affected by a buffer-overflow in the visualization function
    called G_Printf().
  • PopUp Plus Plugin for Miranda Instant Messenger Buffer Overflow - One of Mirandas' widely used plugins (PopUp Plus), is vulnerable to a buffer overflow condition. While the option "Use SmileyAdd Setting" is enabled on the application menu (Popups > Plus), a remote attacker could trigger the buffer overflow by sending roughly 530 characters as an instant message. EIP gets overwritten at 523 chars exactly.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Movie trailers @ ComingSoon - War of the Worlds (new TV spot for the anticipated movie), The Amityville Horror (second TV spot), BloodRayne (TV spot for the game adaptation), Madison (three clips from the Jim Caviezel drama), Day Watch (Nochnoy Dozor 2), The Hithchiker's Guide to the Galaxy (new behind the scenes featurette), A Wake in Providence (indie romantic comedy), Kingdom of Heaven (new TV spot, featurette and three clips), Ladies in Lavender (new trailer for the drama), Night of Henna (independent drama).
  • Intel offers $10,000 for Moore's Law magazine - The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant has posted a $10,000 bounty on eBay for someone who can provide it a pristine April 19, 1965, copy of Electronics Magazine. That issue of the magazine contained an article by Intel co-founder Moore that described how the number of components on integrated circuits was doubling every year.
  • Computer keyboards havens for superbugs - Computer keyboards are havens for some nasty superbugs that can live nestled in among the keys for at least 24 hours, a new study finds. And that's especially bad news for hospitals. There, these germs can take the form of antibiotic-resistant germs that can contaminate the hands of nurses or doctors and then are passed on to patients.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • [!] Microsoft And MTV To Provide Exclusive Peep At Xbox 2 - MTV and Microsoft today announced a global marketing alliance to unveil the next-generation Xbox video game system on MTV channels in the United States, Asia Pacific and Europe, all within a 24-hour window -- a first for the video game industry. The global broadcast will premiere Thursday, May 12, at 9:30 p.m. EDT in North America and on Friday, May 13 in other regions around the globe (local air times below). Certainly, Sony has scheduled a press event at its Culver City, Los Angeles Sony Pictures facility on that date and time.
  • Intel to put ads inside video games - The New York Times reports that chip giant Intel has struck a deal with an ad agency to put advertising inside video games. But it's not just Intel that's hoping to ride this not entirely new idea. According to the report, Coca Cola, Dunkin' Donuts and other chains will do the same.
  • Microsoft Files 8 Counterfeit Lawsuits - Microsoft on Monday said it was filing lawsuits against eight computer system builders and resellers in seven U.S. states, accusing them of distributing counterfeit and unlicensed software and software components.
  • Sanyo, IBM Develop Fuel-Cell System for ThinkPads - IBM and Japan's Sanyo Electric said Monday they would jointly develop a methanol fuel-cell system for the U.S. technology giant's ThinkPad notebook personal computers. The two companies said in a statement they would develop a micro direct methanol fuel cell system that could supply up to eight hours of power per cartridge for current and future ThinkPad models.
  • Experimental Transistor Breaks 600 Gigahertz -  A new type of transistor structure, invented by scientists at the University of Illinois, has broken the 600 gigahertz speed barrier. A new type of transistor - built from indium phosphide and indium gallium arsenide - is designed with a compositionally graded collector, base and emitter to reduce transit time and improve current density.
  • Wireless USB 1.0 spec to be finalized next month - Version 1.0 of the Wireless USB (Universal Serial Bus) specification, which is being promoted as the successor to the USB data transfer method between electronics devices, should be approved by mid-May, Intel (Profile, Products, Articles) said last week. The Wireless USB specification is for 480Mbps transfer speed over distances of about three meters and it will work at lower speeds up to a distance of about 10 meters.
  • Ipod Overrated? - For a tech toy praised up and down as being the "best" MP3 player, how has everyone managed to miss its shortcomings?

HARDWARE... 

  • Intel dual-core 840 CPU and 955X chipset due this month - Intel will move up the launch date of its dual-core series Pentium Extreme Edition 840 CPU and 955X chipset to the middle of this month, according to Taiwan motherboard makers. The dual-core products, which are aimed at the high-end segment, were previously set to arrive by the end of next month, said the makers. Intel's 955X chipset is expected to hit the Japan market next week at the earliest, the makers noted. The dual-core 840 CPU that supports Hyper-Threading will be priced at US$999, said the makers, adding that quotes for the 955X chipset should be US$50.
  • AMD Athlon64 3200+ Winchester Processor - XYZ Computing has posted a new article on the AMD Athlon64 3200+ Winchester Processor
  • Corsair XMS Xpert 1GB PC3200 (TWINXP1024-3200XL) - Bjord3D takes a look at the TWINXP1024-3200XL, which consists of a pair of 512 MB PC3200 memory modules capable of latency settings of 2-2-2-5 and their detachable programmable displays.
  • Corsair PC2-4300 CL3 Pro Series Memory - Although there is power and even greater potential in this memory, it doesn't come cheap. The 1GB dual channel kit goes for about $370 USD.
  • Asus K8V-SE Deluxe Motherboard - The K8V-SE Deluxe is a fairly satisfying board when you look at it from features perspective. It has pretty much all the features onboard that you can imagine and expect to have on a high-end board. The BIOS is also feature-rich and should satisfy even the most extreme user.
  • EPoX EP-5LWA+ i925XE Mainboard - EPoX, with its EP-5LWA+ i925XE motherboard, has done things a little differently that most other tier-1 manufacturers. Whereas they're happy to load on every conceivable feature known to man and bundle in everything but the kitchen sink, EPoX has been more conservative. The end result is a motherboard that's comparatively light on features, but, crucially, comes in at L30 or so cheaper than the competition. L120 or so buys you a capable Alderwood board that's laid out well, has decent overclocking options and utter stability.
  • Gigabyte GeForce 6600 GT SLI performance - In the end, the GeForce 6600 GT SLI proposition doesn't seem very convincing unless you are a serious workaholic who requires more than two monitors to multitask (with dual graphics cards, you can have up to four monitors in the Windows environment), as well the need for gaming power somewhat equivalent of a GeForce 6800 GT to reward yourself after a hard day's work. In this case, the GeForce 6600 GT SLI combo gives you the best of both worlds as an affordable quad-monitor setup (minus the displays themselves) and packs a fair bit of firepower too.
  • ABIT RX700 PRO-256PCIE Radeon X700 PRO Video Card - The RX700 series from Abit forms part of their mainstream graphics card line and probably represents what they would consider to be the upper level of that range. As part of this review, we shall compare the RX700 Pro-256PCIE to ATI's reference designs for the X700 Pro and XT boards.
  • HIS Excalibur X850 XT PE IceQ II 256MB - OcPrices have just finished looking at the fastest ATi graphics card currently available - the X850 XT platinum
  • NU HDW-164 external DVD-writer -  The drive can also burn DVD±R/+R9 DL media at higher speed than certified. Next point – the writing quality on CD-R's are excellent. The media support and compatibility on DVD±R is very good, but there is some room for improvement on the quality. DVD+R/R9 DL/RW media will be burned with the booktype DVD-ROM, which is an advantage concerning compatibility on i.e., DVD Standalone devices.
  • Crucial Gizmo! Hi-Speed 512mb USB Flash Drive - XtremeResources have just published a review of Crucial's Gizmo! Hi-Speed 512MB USB Flash Drive.
  • ZyXEL Prestige 2602HW ADSL VoIP Router - ZyXEL has always ensured that its range of Prestige ADSL routers has more features than you can shake a stick at and its latest model, the 2602HW, keeps this tradition going admirably. Along with a full range of security features and 802.11b/g wireless access point capabilities it also provides support for VoIP enabling you to make and receive calls over the Internet for a fraction the cost of standard PSTN calls.
  • Actiontec 54 Mbps Wireless Network Camera - The design is similar to a regular security camera except that it has an antenna that is used for wireless connectivity. The forward portion of the camera can be rotated to adjust focus. This portion is called the Focus Ring, as the focus ring is rotated the lens produces either a blurrier or sharper image. On the right of the lens, there are four LEDs that display status of the camera
  • iPod mini - 2nd Gen 6GB - The original mini saw introduced the click wheel which integrated the four navigation buttons, later adopted by the 4th-gen iPod and the iPod photo. While the original sported a 4Gb hard disk, the mini's competitors such as Creative's Zen Micro and the iRiver H10 responded by putting 5GB hard disks. Now Apple has hit back by leapfrogging them with a 6GB drive, only for Creative to respond again with 6GB Zen Micro.

GUIDES... 

  • ATI Radeon To ATI FireGL Mod Guide Rev. 4.3 - Adrian's Rojak Pot has posted rev. 4.3 of their ATI Radeon To ATI FireGL Mod Guide.
  • Graphic Cards 101 - A beginner's quickguide - Deciding on what kind of graphics card to purchase or upgrade to can be quite confusing, for those who aren't too familiar with the technical aspect of computer hardware. There are some aspects to think about and research before purchasing. First thing is to determine the video card usage. Computer usage and video card needs can be placed in four categories; Standard computing, multimedia and graphic design, light gaming and hardcore gaming.
  • Understanding Your Computer - This is the first article in the Understanding Your Computer series from aworldofhelp.com.
  • Forceware driver comparison 2005  - check it out!
  • Optimize XP - A Windows XP Optimization Guide v1.9.1 - Clean Spyware and Viruses + Optimize Windows XP to improve home, work and gaming performance safely. Windows XP's default configuration is far from optimized. This guide will help you improve your overall system performance.
  • Windows XP Tweaking Companion Version 1.05 - TweakGuide has posted version 1.05 of their Windows XP Tweaking Companion. The changes include a new chapter on CCleaner, correction of some dead links, and refinement of various advice in the guide. I strongly recommend all XPTC users update to this version of the guide, and if you haven't yet downloaded this free 170-page PDF guide now's a great time to grab a copy.

SOFTWARE...

  • K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 1.28 - K-Lite Mega Codec Pack combines the contents of three codec packs: K-Lite Codec Pack Full, QuickTime Alternative, and Real Alternative. It also includes some extra features: BSplayer.
  • XPize uAE 1.0 - XPize is a resources transformation pack for Windows. It replaces most of the non-XP icons, avis and bmps that Microsoft has always overlooked. The installer simply automates the process of replacing resources in critical system files, making your XP's look better. XPize is compatible with Windows XP, 2003 and MCE Editions. The installer also comes with an Updater, which you can use after visiting Windows Update. XPize uAE 1.0 has been optimized for unattended installations.
  • LinkSync (Formerly F2e-Sync) 1.0 - LinkSync is a major re-write of F2e-Sync. It now support multi syncing from one to many browsers on the fly. Supported browsers are as follows: IE /maxthon detection, Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape 8, K-Meleon, Opera 8.
  • xplorer2 Lite 1.2.0.1 -  It is a complete little file manager, albeit lacking a bit in bells and whistles.
  • ICQ Lite 5.04 build #2321 - Release notes / download.
  • WinRAR 3.50 beta 2 - A new beta version of WinRAR is available for download.
  • DVD Identifier v3.6.3 - DVD identifier (download) offers a reliable method of accurately identifying the disc's REAL manufacturer. This information will also help you in determining which discs are most suitable for your dvd recorder.
  • Central Brain Identifier 7.5.0.0 Build 0409 R1 - Central Brain Identifier 7.5.0.0 Build 0409 R1 is available for download. New features include: identification of six more models of AMD Athlon 64 processors based on the Venice core, bugfixes.
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,08 2005 - tech
Nightly Tech Madness - tech
(hx) 09:06 PM EDT - Apr,08 2005 - Post a comment / read (1)

SECURITY...

  • Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification - On April 12, 2005, the Microsoft Security Response Center is planning to release: 5 Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Windows, 1 Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft Office, 1 Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting MSN Messenger and 1 Microsoft Security Bulletin affecting Microsoft Exchange.
  • Warning over fake Windows update - Users are being warned to watch out for a fake Microsoft security update. Circulating as an e-mail the fake message points people at a bogus website that claims to host critical security updates. But anyone downloading from the site will get a virus installed that opens a backdoor into their computer the program's creators can exploit. Security firms and Microsoft urged users to ensure they visit legitimate sites when downloading updates.
  • Macromedia Issues Workaround for ColdFusion MX Flaw - Software developer Macromedia late Thursday released a temporary workaround to fix a critical security vulnerability in its flagship ColdFusion MX product. San Francisco-based Macromedia Inc. said the patch affects users of ColdFusion MX 6.1 for JRun4 (Updater 1). ColdFusion 7.0 is not affected. The flaw, which was discovered and reported by the ESP Group LLC, can be exploited by malicious people to disclose some potentially sensitive information, Macromedia said in an online advisory.
  • Firefox Patch on the Way for JavaScript Engine Flaw - The Mozilla Foundation plans to release a new version of its flagship Firefox browser as early as this weekend to patch a known JavaScript Engine flaw. The flaw, which puts users at risk of information disclosure attacks, already has been fixed in nightly builds, and volunteers at the foundation said a final release on Firefox 1.0.3 could come as early as Friday evening or a bit later.
  • Microsoft hands out antidote to poisoned URLs - In response to a heightened security alert, Microsoft has updated its customer advisories for protecting its server software against DNS cache poisoning attacks. The software giant revised its recommended settings for some Windows Server products late Wednesday, clarifying which default configurations could leave computers open to the DNS poisoning threat.
  • Fewer Permissions Are Key to Longhorn Security - Microsoft claims that LUA (Least-Privilege User Account) will make life tougher for hackers and virus writers by limiting access to administrator permissions on Windows systems. But the company has been mum in recent months about its plans for implementing LUA in Longhorn, and it is considering incentives to encourage adoption of LUA (pronounced "loo-ah") by skeptical independent software vendors, including a new logo program for LUA compliance, according to interviews with independent software vendors and industry experts.
  • Vulnerability in WINS Allow Remote Code Execution - This exploit can be used to trigger the vulnerability and thus to confirm whether you are vulnerable or not.
  • BPO staffers hack bank A/Cs, steal Rs 1.5 cr - Cyber crime has moved to the next level in Pune. Close on the heels of the Webcam Kulkarni scandal, in which a tenant secretly filmed girl students staying in his hostel using hidden cameras, the Pune police have unearthed a major siphoning racket involving former and serving callcentre employees. They allegedly transferred a total of Rs 1.5 crore (US $3.5 lakh) from a multinational bank into their own accounts, opened under fictitious names. The money was used to splurge on luxuries like cars and mobile phones.
  • Medical group: Data on 185,000 people was stolen - A California medical group is telling nearly 185,000 current and former patients that their financial and medical records may have been exposed following the theft of computers containing personal data. Given the number of people affected, the theft from the San Jose Medical Group ranks among the largest in the nation. It follows a rash of other breaches that.
  • Top twelve spammers revealed - The United States is still the world's largest spam generator, but other countries are catching up fast. Since the start of the year over 35 per cent of the world's spam has come from computers inside the US, according to figures from security specialists Sophos. South Korea is in second place with nearly 25 per cent and the UK is ranked ninth at 1.6 per cent.
  • Nine years in slammer for US spammer - A Virginia circuit judge has sentenced a convicted spammer to nine years in jail, the first custodial sentence to be issued to a bulk emailer in the United States. Jaynes was sending out at least 10 million emails a day using 16 broadband lines, grossing between $400,000 and $700,000 a month on expenses of around $50,000 - a handsome profit. Jaynes snared one punter for around every 30,000 emails sent.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Life's top 10 greatest inventions - The New Scientist has an interesting article up listing the Top 10 most amazing things to have evolved.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • PSP Sees Explosive Sales, 1/2 Million Units - Sony has announced that in the first two days of sales, 500,000 PSPs were sold in America. The PSP, which sells for $249, generated $150m for retailers in the first week.
  • AMD's dual-core Opteron due this month - AMD will announce at an event on April 21 in New York that the first dual-core Opteron processors are available, months ahead of schedule, sources familiar with the situation said. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chipmaker also is expected to announce its dual-core chips for personal computers will go on sale in June.
  • Patent litigants target DVRs - Forgent Networks, which has so far garnered more than $100 million dollars in fees on its so-called JPEG patent, is going after the digital video recorder industry. The Austin, Texas-based maker of licensing and scheduling software owns four patents it claims give it the right to collect royalties on computers or similar devices, such as those made by market leader TiVo, that record, store and play back video- and audio-transmitted signals.
  • CherryOS Opens Up Code to Doubters - CherryOS, the Mac emulator for Windows that has been dogged by controversy, is to be released as an open-source project on May 1, according to its creator.
  • Nero integrates Dolby Digital 5.1 sound into NeroVision Express 3 -  Nero announced today that Dolby Digital 5.1 sound creation has been integrated into NeroVision Express 3, an application of the award-winning Nero 6 software.
  • Google Intros Q&A Service - Google today began delivering factual answers for some queries at the top of its results page to save users from having to navigate over to other sites and look for the information.

HARDWARE... 

  • Alienware Area-51m 7700 notebook - So, the Area-51m 7700 doesn't represent the freshest design in notebook technology, but sometimes beauty can be more than skin deep. Peeling back the epidermis of the 7700, you'll find the kind of spec that a modern desktop gaming PC wouldn't be ashamed of. Central processing duties are handled by a 3.6GHz Intel Pentium 4, while 1GB of 533MHz DDRII memory is also thrown in for good measure - so far pretty much the same spec as the Rock Xtreme Ti. There's also a pair of matched 60GB 7,200rpm hard disks striped in a RAID 0 array for maximum performance.
  • Corsair XPERT TWINXP1024-3200X - For those with windowed cases, wanting high-speed, low-latency memory, regardless of overclocking experience, this is a product for you.
  • MSI NX6800GT-T2D256E Geforce 6800GT -  Stats has posted a review of MSI NX6800GT-T2D256E Geforce 6800GT videocard.
  • HIS X850 XT IceQ II Dual DVI VIVO 256MB PCIe - The HIS X850 XT IceQ II Dual DVI VIVO 256MB PCIe is yet another high-end ATI-powered card from HIS that costs a premium but delivers a lot of horsepower to your computer.
  • Thermaltake Shark Aluminum Gaming Case - Well, there you have it. The negative points are very minor and not worth repeating! The Shark kept our system cool, motherboard temperatures were never more than a couple of degrees above ambient room temperature. The Athlon 64 3500+ in this test system reached a maximum temperature of 35C and the Raided Raptors kept themselves cool in the mid 40's. My SLI'd 6600GT's were also at a record low of 42C.
  • Zalman CNPS7700-Cu CPU Cooler - The CNPS7700-Cu is exceptionally well built (the near perfect machined lapped base of the heatsink is proof enough) and installation for the various sockets is a breeze. Performance is impressive for this near passive solution and because of the heatsink's extreme flexibility for all users (Sorry Socket A users!).
  • HP Laserjet 4350n Network Laser Printer - In its basic form with or without a network server - the 'n' version reviewed here includes an internal JetDirect card - the printer is a substantial machine following conventional lines. A paper feed tray pulls out from the bottom and takes a full 500-sheet ream. The paper then follows an 'S' print path, to exit onto the machine's top surface.
  • Acer AT3201W 32in Widescreen display/TV - Featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio and a High Definition TV (HDTV) ready native resolution of 1,366 x 768, as well as a wealth of connectivity options, the specs on the AT3201W seemed impressive, especially considering the L999 including VAT asking price.

GUIDES... 

  • Mikhailtech Basic System Buyer's Guide - April 2005 - Thanks to dropping prices, this month we were able to give our video card a slight boost. We're still recommending a Sapphire Radeon 9600 PRO, however this time around we were able to get the 256MB (vs. 128MB) version. The extra memory helps in certain cache-intensive, high content games (such as World of Warcraft). Having full DX9 and OpenGL 1.5 support as well as 400MHz core and 446MHz memory clocks allows this card to play all the latest titles at least on medium settings. We're only a few dollars shy of a 9800SE (though it's a toss up between getting the 128-bit or 256-bit version) or a vanilla GeForce 6600 (non-GT). Hopefully next month we'll be able to make the switch.
  • PCI Express 101 - Viperlair look at PCI express and tell you the advantages and disadvantages over AGP.
  • ATI Catalyst 5.3 and 5.4 Performance Analysis - If you find that your favorite game has been added to the Resolved Issues list, you will find yourself updating though unless you upgrade every month for the sake of it, a lot of people will find themselves still sitting comfortable on the 5.2 release in February.
  • NGO Comparison: ATI Catalyst 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 - NGO ran each test three times to verify results. And they installed the latest patch for every game and application.
  • ATI Catalyst Tweak Guide (updated) - The changes are not major and primarily relate to fixes for several games including KOTOR 2, Splinter Cell:CT, enhanced HDTV support and some minor changes to the ATI Control Center.

SOFTWARE...

  • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition RTM: First Impressions - Installing XP Professional x64 Edition went very smoothly, and is exactly how you would install 32-bit Windows XP when booting off the CD. Note, you can't install any Windows x64 operating system from within 32-bit Windows (although it will run through 64-bit Windows).
  • Skinning Windows x64: WindowBlinds 4.51 Review - Stardock's WindowBlinds is an alternative approach to skinning Windows. Instead of using the Windows XP Visual Style engine, they use their own. The immediate advantage of this is updating Windows won't get rid of your skins. The WindowBlinds skinning engine also turns out to use less resources then the built-in Windows XP one, and runs faster. Among the many changes in WindowBlinds 4.51, is full support for Windows x64.
  • Update for Windows Server 2003 (KB891793) - This update (download patch 32-bit / 64-bit) contains the latest Microsoft Storport storage driver. Microsoft recommends that customers use the latest version of the driver, as several Storport-related issues have been fixed since the release of Windows Server 2003
  • Microsoft Photo Story 3 for Windows XP - Free Download - download
  • Real Alternative 1.35 - Real Alternative will allow you to play RealMedia files without having to install the official RealPlayer.
  • Fraps 2.5.5 (shw) - Fraps (download) is designed as a generic tool for DirectX and OpenGL games. In its current form Fraps performs many tasks and can best be described as: Benchmarking Software, Screen Capture Software and Realtime Video Capture Software.
  • SKYPE 1.2.0.41 - Just like KaZaA, Skype uses P2P (peer-to-peer) technology to connect you to other users – not to share files this time, but to talk for free with your friends.
  • Miranda IM 0.4 - Miranda IM is a multi protocol instant messenger client for Windows. It is designed to be resource efficient and easy to use. It uses very little memory, requires no installation and can easily be carried around on a single floppy disc.
  • MSN Messenger 7.0 final - Get the final version now - download. With the release of version 7 comes new features such as animated Winks (derived from 3 Degrees, a Nudge feature to wake your contacts up and the ability to show your contacts what music you're currently playing.
  • Maxthon (MyIE2) v1.2.2 - Maxthon (MyIE2) (download combo / standard) is a powerful web browser with a highly customizable interface. It is based on the Internet Explorer engine (your most likely current web browser) which means that what works in IE, works the same in Maxthon but with many additional efficient features. This new version fixes a potential security flaw.
  • DVD-S550 to V.38 firmware - Yamaha has updated the firmware for their DVD-S550 standalone DVD and DivX player. The latest version is V.38 and fixes a bug in the OSB menu.
  • NGO ATI Optimized Driver v2.4 - The NGO ATI Optimized Driver is a tweaked version of the ATI Catalyst driver. The main purpose is to satisfy the users with a better performance and better image quality.The Driver has support for all Radeon cards. (even Mobility and FireGL cards)
  • DNA-ATI 3.8.5.3 (Catalyst 5.3) - These are modified/hacked ATI Catalyst drivers, use them at your own risk. The drivers have been optimized with two things in mind, better Image Quality and more/stable frames per second when compared to the Beta Catalyst drivers from ATI
  • DNA-Force 1.1.7590 (NVIDIA ForceWare) - These drivers are modified Forceware drivers, meaning they are NOT supported or endorsed by nVidia, or any 3rd party OEM manufacturers. They are not covered by any warranty or guarantee, and you install them at your own risk. Currently these drivers are for all GeForce based desktop cards.
  • ForceWare 76.44 WHQL - The good news is that it is a WHQL approved driver (Microsoft tested and verified & Dated 30th of March 2005). The bad news is that it's only for GeForce series 6. This driver has an included modified.inf file (courtesy of laptopvideo2go) for non-GeForce series 6 users. The driver can also be found on Station-Drivers and Tweakrus.com
  • Forceware 76.50 & 76.81 Win2000/XP - Another ForceWare driver set leaked, this time from the German site ComputerBase. Opposed to the yesterday released 77.44 ForceWare drivers these however are not WHQL certified. The .inf file obvisouly has been modified to give it support to the most GeForce graphics cards out there.  In related news, there's also Forceware 71.86 driver (found at the Dell site) and modded to be installable on most cards.
Budget LCD Roundup April 2005 - tech
(hx) 06:08 AM EDT - Apr,08 2005 - Post a comment
The chaps over at FiringSquad have compared 10 cheap LCD monitors from various manufacturers, ranging from $230 to $399 in street price:
We came to this article with a few hopes. One of these was that today's high-speed LCD panels would be sufficient for gaming, and we're glad to say that is true. While you'll still be able to find smearing when you look for it, today's higher-end panels are fast enough so that you can game at a very high skill level without encountering any problems. We had also come to this article expecting most monitors to be largely similar in performance, but our tests showed that it clearly wasn't the case. The quality of the associated circuitry and backlight all affect the final picture quality. All of these monitors had similar paper specifications, but in this round-up, there were only two 17" LCD monitors that we would actually buy with our hard-earned cash: the Dell 1703FP (now replaced by the 1704FPV) and the NEC LCD1770NX, and only one of those, the NEC LCD1770NX would we buy for gaming. We think everyone will agree that the importance of having monitor reviews at FiringSquad is paramount.

We still have unanswered questions. It was incredible that the Samsung 915N did as well as it did for both gaming and still images. Without DVI support it's impossible for FiringSquad to recommend the Samsung 915N, but Hyundai's ImageQuest L90D+ looks like a potential candidate. With a similar design to the Samsung with the addition of a DVI connector, it is possible that the $370 19" Hyundai may very well be a gaming monitor of choice. Clearly we'll need to bring more monitors into our labs.
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,07 2005 - tech
ATI CATALYST Drivers v5.4 - tech
(hx) 05:19 PM EDT - Apr,07 2005 - Post a comment
ATI has released a new ATI Catalyst drivers (release notes / download ~ 24.6MB) bringing them up to version 5.4. The package contains: RADEON display driver 8.121, Multimedia Center 9.06.01, Catalyst Control Center 5.4 (requires .NET Version 1.1 Framework), HydraVision Basic Edition 3.25.9006, Remote Wonder 3.01, WDM version 5.01 (6300) and Southbridge/IXP Driver.
Issues Resolved in CATALYST Software Suite 5.4
  • 3DMark2001: A black screen is no longer displayed when launching 3DMark2001 after launching Aquamark3 when the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER is installed
  • Pacific Fighters: Playing the game after playing any track for a short period of time and having the landscape detail set to perfect no longer results in the clouds becoming blocking when flying
  • Sail Simulator 4: Attempting to play the game under Windows XP with an ATI RADEON 9800 XT installed no longer results in the operating system failing to respond and rebooting
  • SolidWorks 2004: Display corruption is no longer noticed when setting the AA to 6X and AF to 16X
  • Splinter Cell Chaos Theory: Depth buffer corruption noticed on the ATI RADEON X800 PRO is now resolved
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: Loading the Dantooine level of the game under Windows XP no longer results in slow game performance
  • Using the ATI Problem Report Wizard under Windows XP SP2 with an ATI RADEON X850 XT installed no longer results in an error message appearing when clicking the Finish button for the problem report
  • CATALYST CONTROL CENTER: An option to select Yes or No to changes made in SMARTGART is now displayed when clicking the Apply button in SMARTGART
  • CATALYST CONTROL CENTER: Playing a video clip in the background and entering the Overlay page found in the Video section no longer results in the default value for the Hue not being reapplied unless the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER is closed and re-launched
  • CATALYST CONTROL CENTER: Selecting Germany as the language no longer results in some of the text overlapping each other on the Unlock button
  • CATALYST CONTROL CENTER: Selecting Netherlands (Dutch) as the language no longer results in some of the text in the Hotkey manager being cut off
  • CATALYST CONTROL CENTER: The Bus setting information is now displayed in the Graphic Hardware section of the Information Center found
  • CATALYST CONTROL CENTER: The Display Manager Wizard no longer contains a Component Video single display setting message, when multi-display desktop mode is selected
  • CATALYST CONTROL CENTER: Custom modes can only be applied if the display device can support the mode selected
  • Attempting to apply a higher refresh rate to a non-DDC monitor no longer results in the refresh rate reverting to 60hz.
  • SXGA+ LCD panel flicker is no longer noticed when the frame buffer (UMA size) is set to 32MB or 64MB
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,06 2005 - tech
Wednesday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 04:58 PM EDT - Apr,06 2005 - Post a comment / read (4)

SECURITY...

  • Service Pack 2 Downloads on April 12 - Starting next Tuesday, April 12, computers running Microsoft Windows XP without Service Pack 2 installed will not be able to block the upgrade. Word is: "“Because of these significant improvements, Microsoft views Windows XP SP2 as an essential security update and is therefore distributing it as a "critical update" via Windows Update (WU) and the Automatic Updates (AU) delivery mechanism in Windows. Microsoft strongly urges customers with Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1-based systems to update to Windows XP SP2 as soon as possible."
  • Firefox Javascript Flaw Documented - There is a security alert over at Secunia regarding a bug in Firefox's JavaScript engine The vulnerability is caused due to an error in the JavaScript engine, as a "lambda" replace exposes arbitrary amounts of heap memory after the end of a JavaScript string. Successful exploitation may disclose sensitive information in memory.
  • CA security system vulnerable to DoS attacks - A flaw has been discovered in Computer Associates' eTrust Intrusion Detection System that could make the system vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks, according to an advisory by security research company iDefense. The flaw enables a writer of malicious code to disable CA's eTrust Intrusion Detection System 3.0, which in turn weakens a company's defense against a DoS attack, said Michael Sutton, director of iDefense Labs.
  • DNS Cache Poisoning Spreads Malware - As of April 4, 2005 the SANS Internet Storm Center has raised their alert level to Yellow following a rash of active DNS poisonings. The infected DNS servers are re-directing users from popular sites such as Google or American Express to malware infecting advertising sites.
  • Warning on iPod threat - Portable media players like the iPod pose a significant security risk according to figures from software auditors Centennial Software. Nearly nine out of ten of the 220 IT managers questioned took no action to prevent such devices coming into the workplace even though over half of them recognised storage devices like the iPod as a threat.
  • Mobile Trojan kills smart phones - Virus writers have created a mobile Trojan capable of rendering an infected Symbian Series 60 unusable. Fontal-A is a SIS file Trojan that installs a corrupted font file on the device, causing it to fail when the mobile phone is next rebooted. Fontal-A is a Trojan, incapable of spreading by itself or via Bluetooth. The small risk of infection applies only to people in the habit of installing warez mobile games files or the like onto their mobile phone.

OFFTOPIC...

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Hackers Add Web, Chat to PSP Video Game Player - The $249 PSP handheld video game player went on sale in the United States on March 24, and it took very little time before techies added the kinds of functions to the PSP that Sony did not include -- and may never have intended. One man needed only 24 hours to get a working client for Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, an older messaging platform.
  • Sony Invention Beams Sights, Sounds Into Brain - If you think video games are engrossing now, just wait: PlayStation maker Sony Corp has been granted a patent for beaming sensory information directly into the brain.  The technique could one day be used to create videogames in which you can smell, taste, and touch, or to help people who are blind or deaf. The U.S. patent, granted to Sony researcher Thomas Dawson, describes a technique for aiming ultrasonic pulses at specific areas of the brain to induce "sensory experiences" such as smells, sounds and images.
  • First Look at SUSE LINUX 9.3 Professional - This release has generated a lot of buzz in the Linux world due to the new features it's sporting. Software such as Xen and Beagle are probably the main reason for the excitement, and for good reason. For those who might not have heard yet, Xen is system virtualization software which will allow you to run multiple guest operating systems on your computer.
  • Google Adds Satellite Images to Maps - Google has enhanced its Google Maps and Google Local services with satellite and aerial images, letting users view digital snapshots of an area, the Mountain View, California, company announced Tuesday.
  • Firefox - Say Goodbye (again) to Pop-Ups - Asa Dotzler's (Mozilla Developer) Blog: "Firefox has the capability to disable these pop-ups but it wasn't enabled by default in Firefox 1.0 because we had concerns about websites that rely on plug-in triggered pop-ups for legitimate functionality. Give that these pop-ups and pop-unders have really started to spread on the web, we're testing a quick patch that enables the Firefox pref to block them. I blogged about this earlier this month and included manual steps to disable these nasty pop-ups and pop-unders. In addition to this fix, the good news is that for sites where you need these pop-ups, you can just whitelist them like you do other "wanted" pop-ups. This looks (at this stage) like a reasonable trade off."
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1 SSL Improvements - There are a few areas in the service pack that this term is realized, but I think the SSL performance is pretty cool - to the tune of a 50% increase. So, exactly how did SSL get improved in SP1 you ask?
  • Windows Supercomputer Release Slips to 2006 - Microsoft Corp. acknowledged on Tuesday night that it is running about six months behind schedule with its high-end Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition product.
  • 10 Features Longhorn needs - Let's face it, Windows XP is basically Windows 2000 with some fixes and cosmetic enhancements. Longhorn needs to be much more than that. Here are a few things it needs.
  • Panasonic Unveils Flat-Screen TVs - The new models are expected to retail for around $1475 for the smallest LCD to $5980 for the biggest plasma display and are due to go on sale in Japan on May 1. There are no plans yet to sell the TVs overseas.
  • Tomorrow's Net speeds could be up to 1,600% faster - The industry's standard-settings unit, CableLabs, plans to endorse this month technology that will let operators boost speeds 400% to 1,600%, over their existing lines. Motorola and Cisco are among the companies offering alternative methods to increase broadband speeds by linking together the bandwidth used for four or more conventional TV channels.
  • Intel, AMD in Race to Dual-Core Finish - AMD, which originally was planning a mid-year release of its dual-core processor, has hinted to the media that it may make a major announcement at an event later this month to commemorate the two-year birthday of the Opteron.

HARDWARE... 

  • Intel Pentium Extreme Edition dual-core CPU - Would we buy a brand new PEE-based machine? Probably not, but that's the answer we give with most new technology. We said it about Serial ATA, PCI Express, DDR memory and DDR2 memory, and now we're saying it about dual-core processors - ultimately, the price premium for the Extreme Edition will be too high.
  • LR & Corsair Break The 1GHz DDR2 Memory Barrier - Using Corsair XMS2 PC-5400UL memory that was just publicaly launched today LegitReviews were able to hit the highest DDR2 frequency that they have ever seen. Using the maximum 2.08Volts that the Intel reference board offered, we overclocked the FSB up to 250MHz and set the memory to the 800MHz divider in the BIOS. The 800MHz memory option allows the end user to have a 1:2 divider for the memory. This is great considering this is on an Intel Reference board.
  • Shuttle SB86i BTX SFF system - Apart from being designed in accordance with BTX, the SB86i is also sold as a quiet system, with a number of features designed specifically with noise-related concerns in mind. Foremost among these is the steel construction of the case, making this the first (and only) steel SFF system that we know of. Other noise-related features include rubber-grommeted hard drives and intake vents that are open but do not provide a direct noise path to the user.
  • NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition - The Intel Edition of the nForce4 SLI chipset incorporates all the major features found on its AMD counterpart, including GigE with native Firewall, 10 USB ports, NVIDIA's impressive storage subsystem, and even AMD HyperTransport, which links the North Bridge and the South Bridge together. The only difference is that NVIDIA has adapted the chipset for Intel's Pentium processors, this includes adding a new memory controller with support of the latest DDR2-667 memory, and of course Intel's 1066MHz FSB. From a features perspective, NVIDIA's nForce4 SLI Intel Edition chipset is in a unique class of its own, even excluding SLI support. Speaking of overheating, this is one aspect you'll definitely have to take into account when building an nForce4 SLI Intel Edition system, especially if you plan on outfitting your system with a fast processor. Under load with our Pentium 4 3.73GHz Extreme Edition CPU, the GeForce 6800 GT cards running in SLI mode would begin to overheat when running looped demos in Far Cry for more than 10 minutes, causing the system to crash and a full reboot. Another coverage can be found on Sudhian Media, GD Hardware, Bjorn3D, Hexus.net, nVNews.
  • DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR Motherboard - The DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR is quick and versatile, but it also comes with a ton of features too. First off, the motherboard has two Gigabit network ports, an additional Silicon Image 3114 Serial ATA controller, IEEE 1394 and a 8-channel audio codec.
  • HiS Radeon x800 XL - x850 XT - x850 XT PE - Both Radeon x850 cards will play any game to date with all quality gadgets enabled very well in acceptable resolutions. When we enable 4x Antialiasing and 8 or even 16 levels of anisotropic filtering then at 1280x1024 or 1600x1200 we still have amazing performance. Compared to the ATI's green colored friends this card is competing directly with the standard 16-pipe GeForce 6800 Ultra. That card does have two advantages though, the first being Shader Model 3.0 and secondly, scalability thanks to its SLI interface.
  • H.I.S. X800XL IceQ Video Card - If you're going to do a price/performance comparison this card is going to come out on top every time. Quite a bit less expensive and yet still giving out excellent performance. By overclocking this card, you can reach equivalent frame rates of the X850XT at stock speeds, and all for no extra money.
  • Gigabyte GV-NX66T128VP 6600 GT Turbo Force - Like other 6600 GT cards the GV-NX66T128VP's GPU is clocked 500MHz, however the one thing that does set it apart is that the 128MB of DDR3 memory clock is 1120MHz, 20MHz more than other 6600 GT cards. In addition to this, Gigabyte have also included VIVO on this card to set it apart from the GV-NX66T128D and include a VIVO connector for those who wish to use it.
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 Hard Drive - The other advantage that the Barracuda 7200.8 has over the Raptor is price. It's common knowledge that the Raptor has always been over-priced from day one - you pay a premium for getting awesome hard drive performance. Things have changed though. Seagate have been able to produce a hard drive which provides similar performance to the Raptor in a non-RAID environment.
  • LG GSA-4163B 16x Super-Multi DVD±RW/RAM  - When it comes to features, the GSA-4163B is very similar to LG's previous "Super-Multi" drives. Along with support for all major CD and DVD formats, it has a 2MB buffer that is backed up by Super Link buffer underrun protection. This buffer relatively small, but even larger 8MB buffers can offer little room for error when burning at 16x. The GSA-4163B also has limited support for bitsetting. While the drive automatically sets the book type to "DVD-ROM" when writing to DVD+R DL discs, it lacks the ability to do the same with single layer DVD+R and DVD+RW media.
  • Lite-On SOHW-1673S 16X DVD±RW - Apart from a slightly high pitched noise when reading CDs at high speeds, this drive is just about flawless. The drive performed all the speed tests as expected, has a compact size, and comes with a great software package. The LITE-ON SOHW-1673S definitely should be considered if you're shopping for a new DVD Writer.
  • BenQ DW1625 16x DVD+-RW Double Layer DVD Writer - In terms of overall performance, the BenQ DW1625 certainly performs well and their drives continue to impress. However, you can't help but be more than a bit disappointed by the lack of next gen features it fails to offer. It seems that first generation LightScribe drives will indeed be somewhat limited in features that will normally compete well with today's latest writers...its 2.4x double layer write support being the most noticeable.
  • Samsung TS-H552 DVD+RW--RW - In our Dual layer tests, the TS-H552U clearly smashed the competition due to its faster 5X writing capabilities. Both the Sony and MSI drives are limited to only a 2.4X write speed, although both companies now have drives capable of writing dual layer media at 4X so we would expect the gap to close quite a bit.
  • 500 Watt+ Power Supply Comparison - In terms of recommendations, the Enermax is the winner overall, although the Silverstone is not trailing far behind. Both power supplies offered a plethora of connectors, high current rails and an excellent MBF. Where the Silverstone fell short however, was with the one year warranty. It was however, the only powersupply in this round up that was EPS12V compliant so those looking for a quality power supply for your dual CPU system need not look any further. For the entry level products, the Skyhawk is a very capable performer. Though the box was misleading, the product nevertheless worked well.
  • OCZ Modstream 520W ATX PSU - There was only a small bit of fluctuation in the +12V rail, and virtually none for the +5V and +3.3V.. I would have to agree with OCZ's claims for a silent PSU -- I can't hear it over the 80mm fans in my case that are running at minimal speed on a Nexus controller.
  • Saitek Gamers' Keyboard - The keyboard itself has a silver frame with extended pads on the corners. It is slightly longer than a normal keyboard, but the overall footprint stays the same because the board isn't as wide as normal boards. The Gamers' Keyboard features an LED backlight that makes all the keys glow with a pleasant blue hue.
  • Oakley Thump MP3 Sunglasses - The technical design of the Oakley Thump is actually very nice. The glasses are extremely light with a weight of 52g. The iPod shuffle weighs 22g and that without polarized sunglasses. The MP3 Player components are well integrated into the temples. The casing is held together by little screws. The integrated headphones are adjustable in three dimensions. For people with a small head they might still not fit.
  • Etymotic ER-6i - Etymotic is one of "the big two" in the arena of canal phones. Known mostly for the high end ER-4S cans, Etymotic decided to throw their hat into the iPod popularity ring with the ER-6i. This is slightly confusing because the company also offers a black ER-6 model, and consumers' first impressions would make them believe that the "i" is just a marketing gimmick aimed at wooing the iGeneration. But, there is a different driver used in the 6i that outputs stronger bass, and is easier to drive. This makes them perfect for mobile device use, and particularly Apple iPod and Sony PSP use. As with all canal phones, external sound is almost completely blocked, so use only when it is safe to ignore the rest of the world.
  • Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z20 - Coming in at just under L170, the Z20 offers a surprisingly full specification for the price, although inevitably some corners have been cut to fit the budget. What you get is a high performance five megapixel camera with an 8x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 36 – 290mm) and a full range of manual exposure, metering and focus options. Its operating system and range of menu options are basically identical to the higher priced Z5 reviewed last week.

GUIDES... 

  • Can RAID Systems Fail? - RAID undoubtedly offers more data protection than non-RAID disk systems. However, the management of the disks and the data distribution across them can be complex. Complex redundant systems can suffer failure, most often not a fault of the technology used or the design of the array, but most likely because of its failure to correctly apply these systems which leads to a single point of failure causing disastrous data loss.
  • Bit-tech's guide to digital photography (part #2) - One important thing about finding the right camera for you is you first need to take a zen-like look at yourself. You need to be totally honest as to what kind of person you are. This may sound a little over the top but follow me on this and it will make sense. With considerable cost of a new digital camera, knowing what kind of person and photographer you are will help you create your own list of desired features and dramatically narrow down your list of eligible camera candidates.
  • Choosing The Right Paper For Your Inkjet Printer - If you want the best inkjet prints from your expensive digital camera or scanner, be sure to use the right paper. In this guide, we'll show you what to look when selecting inkjet paper and what to stay away from.
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 TCP/IP Implementation Details - This white paper contains an overview of TCP/IP in Windows Server 2003 features and capabilities, a discussion of protocol architecture, and detailed discussions of the core components, network application interfaces, and critical client components and services.
  • What's New in Terminal Services for Win2k3 SP1 - Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP1 includes several new features designed to maximize both the speed and efficiency of Terminal Services administration, and the security of communications between Terminal Services clients and servers.

SOFTWARE...

  • Unofficial Windows98 S E S 2.0 RC3 beta - Microsoft has never released a service pack for Windows98 SE. But I made a Service Pack for Windows98 SE users. It contains all Windows98 SE updates from Windows Update site and more ~ mirror.
  • Microsoft USB Flash Drive Manager - The Microsoft USB Flash Drive Manager (.NET Framework 1.1 required) will help you backup and restore presentation, pictures, songs and applications from and to USB Flash Drive devices and take them with you. The application can also help you to classify and name USB Flash Drives images (for instance "My network configuration" or "The pictures for my grandma") and lets you see this name whenever the USB Flash Drive is plugged into the computer.
  • Microsoft Junk Email Filter for Outlook 2003 v2 - This optional update provides the Junk E-mail Filter in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with a more current definition of which e-mail messages should be considered junk e-mail.
  • Firefox 1.0.3 Final Candidates (BETA) - The bugs they fixed in this candidate (download) are 287459 and 288006. These two changes should be near-zero risk, but if you all could look over the bugs, test around those areas, and report back to them. If all goes well, these candidate builds will become the final 1.0.3 release!
  • FireTune 1.0 - FireTune for Mozilla Firefox v1.x was developed for an easy and fast optimization of your browsing experience with Firefox.
  • WindowBlinds 4.51 (shw) - WindowBlinds is a program that allows you to completely change the look and feel of Windows to however you want it to look like. It allows you to completely customize your desktop by changing the style of title bars, buttons, and toolbars. This new version adds support for Windows XP 64 (for both AMD and Intel chipsets).
  • Uxtheme Multi-patcher 3.0 - This program will patch your uxtheme.dll file so you can use any 3rd party visual style on Windows XP/SP1/SP2 and Windows Server 2003/SP1. File protection dialogs should be cancelled and a reboot is required after using this patch.
  • GX::Transcoder 2.20.2636 Public Beta 1 - GX::Transcoder (download) is a universal audio and video file transcoder. You can transcode audio files into many formats: AAC, MP4, M4A, Bonk, FLAC, LA, LPAC, MIDI, MP2, MP3, MPC, MPP, MP+, OptiomFrog, Ogg Vorbis, rkAudio, VQF, WavPack, TTA, WMA, Shorten, PCM, GSM, ADPCM, VOX, G721, G723, G726, uLaw, aLaw, DSP, Raw PCM, Monkeys Audio, AVI (Audio), MOD, Bonk and more.
  • BlindWrite 5.2.13 - This Product creates 1:1 copies (download trial), it is maybe not the most appropriate for DVD movie copies as the source is often near to 9 GB, when the destination and most blank DVD media only hold 5 GB. For DVD movie projects please choose CopyToDVD. For double layer (DL) media this will do the job. This new version contains brand new burning engine.
  • PuTTY 0.58 Beta  - PuTTY (download) is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH for Win32 and Unix platforms, along with an xterm terminal emulator.
  • Koepi's XviD Codec 1.1.0 Beta 2 Build 04042005 - A new beta version of Koepi's XviD codec is available for download.
  • LG Korea releases auto firmware update tool - LG Korea has released an utility that enables users to automatically check for a new firmware. The following list of drives is supported: CD-ROM Drive: GCR-8522B and GCR-8523B, CD-RW Drive: GCE-8525B and GCE-8526B, DVD-ROM Combo Drive: GCC-4521B, Super Multi Drive: GSA-4081B, GSA-4082B, GSA-4120B, GSA-4160B and GSA-4163B, GSA-5120D, GSA-5160D and GSA-5163D
  • NGO Creative Modded Driver for SB Live! & Audigy - NGOHQ.com has released a new modded driver for Creative SB Live! and Audigy cards. Try at your own risk :)
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,05 2005 - tech
Creative Audigy 2 Drivers (DOOM 3 EAX) - tech
(hx) 07:35 PM EDT - Apr,05 2005 - Post a comment
Creative has released new Audigy 2 beta drivers (download) for Windows XP and Windows 2000. These drivers bring the full Sound Blaster experience - real-time EAX ADVANCED HD effects processing, fully hardware based 3D mixing and full hardware based audio anti-aliasing. I hope we get the Doom 3 patch for the new audio support soon! (thanks Mr.Doom)
This update adds full support of OpenAL hardware for Sound Blaster Audigy 2 and Audigy 2 ZS series internal audio devices.

Added Features or Enhancements:
* Provides full OpenAL / EAX ADVANCED HD support when used with the Doom 3 1.3 patch, including EAX 4.0 support for the new "Resurrection of Evil" expansion pack.
* Improves performance of all OpenAL game titles, including Battlefield 2.

Requirements
* Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows 2000 Service Pack 4.
* Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 or Audigy 2 ZS series internal audio device.

Notes
* THIS IS AN UNSUPPORTED BETA DRIVER. We recommend that only experienced users should
install them.
* Make sure you uninstall your existing Audigy 2 driver, before installing the beta driver.
* Do not install this update on external USB Sound Blaster audio device.
* Some Creative Labs applications such as Surround Mixer, THX console, and MediaSource may not work properly with this beta driver.
* Refer to readme file for more information.
AMD Sempron 3100+ on E Core Revision - tech
(hx) 09:46 AM EDT - Apr,05 2005 - Post a comment
X-bit Labs has posted a review of AMD Sempron 3100+ on E Core Revision, the budget CPU supporting SSE3 instructions and overclocking up to 2.7GHz clock speed. Here's an excerpt:
Together with the transfer of all Athlon 64 processors to a new Venice core supporting SSE3 instructions and boasting higher frequency potential, AMD did the same thing to its Sempron processor family for Socket 754 systems. The budget Sempron processors acquire Revision E of the Palermo core, which also supports SSE3 instructions and enhanced memory controller, just like Venice. However, these Palermo core modifications do not cause any significant performance improvement. According to our tests, the performance advantage of the Sempron processors based on the new revision E of Palermo core over the predecessors is not higher than 1%.

However, the major advantages of the new core are different. Our investigation revealed that the new Palermo core boasts higher frequency potential compared with what CG and D core revisions of previous Sempron processors had. In particular, we managed to overclock our Sempron 3100+ processor on the new core up to the frequencies approaching 2.7GHz. As a result, the performance of this processor turned out beyond all our bravest expectations: overclocked Sempron 3100+ processor on the E core revision was running neck and neck with the top-end CPUs from Intel and AMD.

So, the relatively inexpensive Sempron processors on the new E core revision of Palermo will become even more desired by the economical overclockers. Processors like that are excellent basis for a high-performance system at a minimum cost.
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,04 2005 - tech
Nightly Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 09:05 PM EDT - Apr,04 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • FBI hack Wireless Networks in 3 mins - At a recent ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) meeting in Los Angeles, a team of FBI agents demonstrated current WEP-cracking techniques and broke a 128 bit WEP key in about three minutes. Special Agent Geoff Bickers ran the Powerpoint presentation and explained the attack, while the other agents (who did not want to be named or photographed) did the dirty work of sniffing wireless traffic and breaking the WEP keys. This article will be a general overview of the procedures used by the FBI team. A future article will give step-by-step instructions on how to replicate the attack. (thanks NeoNSX)
  • New Smartphone Worm Spreads Via MMS, Bluetooth - A variant of a previous smartphone worm is now spreading not only via Bluetooth, but also via Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages, anti-virus vendors reported Monday. According to security vendor F-Secure, the Mabir.A is actually a variant of a previous worm, Cabir, aimed at smartphones based on the Symbian platform. The new worm appears to be written by the same author using the same source code as Cabir, according to F-Secure.
  • Gaim Buffer Over-Reading and Code Injection - A programming error in gaim_markup_strip_html() causes a buffer overread when stripping a string containing malformed HTML tags. This problem can be used to cause to a denial of service and crash the program with "access violation" error message and can be executed by remote users.
  • Severe Microsoft Vulnerability Awaits Patch - Security firm eEye says it has notified Microsoft of a pair of severe vulnerabiities in its software, the details of which won't be disclosed until Redmond has time to act. eEye posted both vulnerabilities to its upcoming advisories page, but offered little comment on them beyond noting the affected software, Outlook and Internet Explorer, and how many days have passed since it notified Microsoft of the vulnerabilities (16 days since the first vulnerability, 9 since the second). According to eEye, both vulnerabilities allow for remote execution of code on a vulnerable system. Affected systems include all NT 4, Windows 2000, and Windows XP systems. The company has not yet determined the vulnerability of Windows 2003 systems.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Black holes "do not exist" - George Chapline thinks that the collapse of the massive stars, which was long believed to generate black holes, actually leads to the formation of stars that contain dark energy. "It's a near certainty that black holes don't exist," he claims.
  • Car that runs on compressed air - The engine, which powers a pneumatic-hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), works alongside an electric motor to create the power source. The system eliminates the need for fuel, making the PHEV pollution-free. Cheol-Seung Cho, of Energine Corporation, told CNN the system is controlled by a computer inside the car, which instructs the compressed-air engine and electric motor what to do.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Google ups Gmail storage to 2GB - As first reported on Friday, to celebrate the one-year birth of Gmail, search engine giant Google doubled its member email storage space from one gigabyte to two. Bravo Google! :)
  • Google to Expand Video Search - The company plans to begin accepting digital video submissions, a Google co-founder says, in an effort to broaden its experimental video search engine.
  • New Technique for Tracking Web Site Visitors - According to Jupiter Research, 58% of web surfers deleted cookies from their system in 2004. This has sent a loud message to marketers in regard to consumer's preference as to tracking their online activities. The marketers have responded with PIE. Persistent Identification Element (PIE) is a technology that uses Macromedia's Flash MX to track you even without using cookies. Macromedia has created a page to instruct users on how to disable this. (thanks Slashdot.org)
  • Adobe PhotoShop CS2 / GoLive CS2 - The latest incarnation of Adobe's flagship image-editing application, Photoshop CS2 ($599 direct, $149 upgrade) is packed with a variety of dramatic and practical enhancements. Perhaps the most exciting new feature is Vanishing Point, a filter with simple tools for drawing grids to define perspective planes in your image. Once Vanishing Point understands the image's angle of perspective, it can automatically distort a layer to match the scene. This makes it a cinch, for example, to map text or images onto the sides of buildings perfectly. GoLive CS2's new features probably won't do much to cut into Macromedia Dreamweaver's market share, but in this release Adobe splits the program's focus between the Web and an emerging field: content creation for portable devices. In related news, PCWorld has posted their previews of Adobe InDesign CS2, GoLive CS2, and Adobe Illustrator CS2.
  • WinXP 64 Bit - First Look - check it out.
  • Hitachi aims for 1TB desktop - Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) plans to begin selling hard-disk drives based on a new recording method that could allow for 1TB desktop drives by 2007.
  • Magnetic heat exchanger will cool down your CPU - A Japanese company has developed a way of exchanging heat that will use a magnetic fluid and will be used to cool down your microprocessor without needing electricity
  • MIT developing $100 laptops for children - MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte and some MIT colleagues are hard at work on a project they hope will brighten the lives and prospects of hundreds of millions of developing world kids. It's a grand idea and a daunting challenge: to create rugged, Internet- and multimedia-capable laptop computers at a cost of $100 apiece. The laptops would be mass-produced in orders of no smaller than 1 million units and bought by governments, which would distribute them.
  • Gateway offers sub-$600 gaming PC - The eMachines T6212 is powered by Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon 64 chip and has a built-in ATI Radeon graphics card and 512MB of dual-channel memory, expandable to 4GB. Other features include a double-layer DVD+/-RW multiformat drive and a 160GB hard drive with 2MB of cache. The eMachines T6212 is priced at $579.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate.
  • Expiring offer: Best Buy will stop rebates - In response to customer complaints, Best Buy Co. Inc. promised Friday to eliminate mail-in rebates within two years. Best Buy's rivals, including Circuit City Stores and CompUSA, are expected to follow suit. Mail-in rebates exploded onto the retail scene in the 1990s as a way for retailers to stimulate sales without lowering their sticker prices.

HARDWARE... 

  • EVGA SLI Twin Turbo Bracket - EVGA has announced a New stylish accessory for your EVGA SLI System, the EVGA SLI Twin Turbo Bracket. The bracket attaches securely to your EVGA 6800GT/6800Ultra SLI graphics cards helping to keep them perfectly aligned and evenly spaced on your motherboards and does not interfere with the SLI connector.
  • Dell Latitude D410 laptop - The processor is a Pentium M 750, running at 1.86GHz - pretty high for a small notebook and as we'll see, the D410 turned in some pretty impressive scores. This CPU is backed with 512MB of memory and as it’s two pieces of 256MBs, it's running in dual-channel configuration.
  • Intel Dual Core Pentium preview - The system included a motherboard built around the Intel 955X chipset and a 3.2GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition model 840. This particular version of the Pentium 4 contains two full processor cores, built around the Prescott architecture....Intel's approach, though, isn't perfect by any means. The new Model 840 and the upcoming Pentium D CPUs essentially replicate two Prescott cores on one die. That makes for a pretty hot processor, and the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 cooks along at 125W. You need a platform infrastructure with robust cooling and high-quality voltage regulation on the motherboard to keep things humming along. Another previews can be found on Hexus.net, TrustedReviews, LegitReviews and FiringSquad.
  • ATI vs. NV (Silencers) -  Techniz take a look at VGA Silencer which is known as the NV Silencer 6 (Rev.2) and ATI Silencer 1 (Rev.2).
  • Swiftech MCX478-V Heatsink - Mikhailtech takes a look at Swiftech’s MCX478-V, one of the few remaining high performance coolers that doesn’t use heatpipes.
  • Sansun Silencer LED Keyboard - This LED lighted keyboard also features a GSM sensor which induces the number pad to flicker when it picks up cell phone signals.
  • Hyundai Imagequest L90D+ 19" LCD monitor - Despite the minor downfalls, none of which greatly affect the functionality of the monitor, this is an excellent monitor. I am glad that I purchased this monitor, and for its price the monitor simply cannot be beat in its specs. It is amazingly bright and crisp with excellent contrast and can compete with monitors costing 1/3 more. Congratulations Imagequest on a monitor well-made.
  • Sony PSP - One look at the PSP and you'll agree that Sony did a great job on the aesthetics. The unit has a sleek and glossy black finish. The 4.3" widescreen LCD has a 480 x 272 resolution and displays 16.77 million colors. Compared to the Nintendo DS that displays only 260,000 colors, the image quality is very rich. To the left of the screen, you'll find the directional pad and a mini thumbstick and to the right, you've got the four enter keys. Below the screen are more buttons: Home, volume, contrast, sound, Select and Start. Unlike a PlayStation controller that has four shoulder buttons, the PSP has only two. In related news, the last part in Bjord3D's Sony PSP coverage focuses on the games and Gear.IGN compare Sony PSP with Nintendo DS
  • GoVideo D2740 wireless media receiver + DVD player - GoVideo has announced availability of the new D2740 wireless "G" DVD player. With it's UPnP capability, this device can not only stream content from your PC, it can be used with online sevices such as Rhapsody.

GUIDES... 

  • FBI hack Wireless Networks in 3 mins - At a recent ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) meeting in Los Angeles, a team of FBI agents demonstrated current WEP-cracking techniques and broke a 128 bit WEP key in about three minutes. Special Agent Geoff Bickers ran the Powerpoint presentation and explained the attack, while the other agents (who did not want to be named or photographed) did the dirty work of sniffing wireless traffic and breaking the WEP keys. This article will be a general overview of the procedures used by the FBI team. A future article will give step-by-step instructions on how to replicate the attack. (thanks NeoNSX)
  • 2CPU's home theatre PC - The hardware side of the HTPC equation is a relatively easy one to solve. The prices of components has decreased so much over the last couple of years that building an additional PC from scratch really doesn't involve a significant investment.
  • Intel Matrix RAID guide - Adrian's Rojak Pot has posted an Intel Matrix RAID Guide.
  • NVIDIA Forceware comparison (71.84 - 75.90 - 76.10 - 76.41) - Our accomplishment award in this comparison goes to the 76.41 drivers. While no single driver version triumphed over the others, this particular version always seemed to be first in line in performance tests, and offered the best overall SLI performance increases.
  • Windows Server 2003 SP1 SSL Improvements - SP1 is really an interesting service pack..... not only does it do the job of a normal service pack (aggregating updates) it also incorporates added functionality like the Security Configuration Wizard and Post-Setup Security Updates. But this is something you dont hear to much when talking service packs: increased performance....but tis true. There are a few areas in the service pack that this term is realized, but I think the SSL performance is pretty cool - to the tune of a 50% increase.

SOFTWARE...

  • Kernel 2.4.30 -  A new Kernel from the 2.4 tree has been released.
  • phpMyAdmin 2.6.2-rc1 - phpMyAdmin (download) can manage a whole MySQL-server (needs a super-user) but also a single database. To accomplish the latter you'll need a properly set up MySQL-user who can read/write only the desired database.
  • PHP 5.0.4 Final / PHP 4.3.11 Final - The PHP Development Team would like to announce the immediate release of PHP 5.0.4 and 4.3.11. These are maintenance releases that in addition to non-critical bug fixes address several security issues. All Users of PHP are strongly encouraged to upgrade to one of these releases as soon as possible.
  • IEFix 1.5 - Internet Explorer Fix - is a general purpose repair utility for Internet Explorer which repairs Internet Explorer by registering it's core DLL files and through the INF file. Additionally if it detects Windows 2000/XP as the Operating System, it runs SFC to restore missing or corrupt Windows system files.
  • PowerStrip 3.59 (shw) - PowerStrip (download) provides advanced, multi-monitor, programmable hardware support to a wide range of graphics cards - from the venerable Matrox Millennium.
  • VirtualDub 1.6.5 Experimental  - VirtualDub (download / changelog) is a video capture and processing program. It features fast capturing, process files larger than the 2 gigabyte limit, optimized for linear editing, support for Motion-JPEG, MPEG-1 video and layer 3 audio, real-time and near-realtime video processing, video job queues, and much more.
  • Koepi's XviD Codec 1.1.0 Beta 2 - XviD (download) is an ISO MPEG-4 compliant video codec.
  • nHancer 1.1 - nVidia's driver is using several entries in the registry that are controlling various aspects of its work. nHancer alters these settings these entries in the same way the original control panel, but with a greater variety of options.
  • Alcohol 120% v1.9.5.2802 - Alcohol 120% (changelog / download) is a combination of both Alcohol 52% and Alcohol 68%. It enables users to both copy and emulate real or virtual CDs & DVDs. Alcohol 120% can handle the creation of 31 virtual CD & DVD-ROMs, allowing the user to play discs whithout needing the physical disc. It also allows users to make copy CD & DVD to CD-R / CD-RW / DVD-R / DVD-RW / DVD-RAM / DVD+RW.
  • GAG version: 4.5d Graphical Boot Manager - Allows boot of up to 9 different operating systems.
  • Realtek Beta Driver 64 bit edition - download.
  • Radeon Omega Drivers 2.6.12 - Radeon Omega Catalyst Drivers will provide gamers with an alternate set of drivers, ones that have more options and features than the original sets. The drivers contain optimizations, extra features (like OC capabilities), more resolutions and internal tweaks that can give them the edge in a gaming enviroment over the normal drivers, which are often tailored for synthetic benchmarks. All Omega driver sets are tested to ensure maximum compatibility and reliability.
AMD Athlon 64 3800+ CPU - tech
(hx) 08:19 AM EDT - Apr,04 2005 - Post a comment
X-bit Labs has posted a review of AMD Athlon 64 3800+ CPU which feature new E3 core revision also known under the codename Venice. This core brings into Athlon 64 processors such new features as SSE3 instructions support and higher core frequency potential. Here's an excerpt:
Among these advantages I would first of all like to mention SSE3 instructions support, which makes Athlon 64 look not any weaker than Pentium 4 Prescott from the SIMD instructions support point of view. Unfortunately, we failed to see any dramatic performance improvement from SSE3 support this time, however, we still hope for the best :) SSE3 support will most probably play its part to the advantage of Athlon 64 later, besides, it is not that bad to have something in reserve anyway.

The new Athlon 64 on Venice core also boast enhanced memory controller. Besides a slight performance improvement, Athlon 64 became more tolerant to various DIMM module configurations. Venice based CPUs have finally learned to work with four double-side memory modules supporting 400MHz.

But the most important advantage of the Athlon 64 processors based on Venice core is the significantly higher frequency potential. This opened new horizons for further AMD processor family development, at the same time giving overclockers got new opportunities for building high-performance systems on the far not the most expensive processors.
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,03 2005 - tech
3D Performance with Splinter Cell 3 - tech
(hx) 01:16 PM EDT - Apr,03 2005 - Post a comment / read (1)
Earlier this week, Ubisoft released the third iteration in the Splinter Cell series, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. Unlike Pandora Tomorrow, which was based on the same graphics engine as the original Splinter Cell, Ubi uses a newer version of Epic's Unreal engine for Chaos Theory, just like Gearboxes Brothers In Arms: Road To Hill 30. In terms of complexity, think of the engine as somewhere between UT 2004 and Unreal Engine 3. As a result, just like BIA, Chaos Theory requires a DirectX 8 graphics card. The chaps over at FiringSquad focused on the performance of ATI and NVIDIA's high-end cards and they have compared them head-to-head using the game's 1.1 shader mode. They've also ran tests with HDR turned on as well as shader model 3.0. Here's a taster:
When all cards are running at equal levels (which is only possible in the 1.1 shader mode) ATI has the performance advantage over NVIDIA in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. The RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition and X850 XT both outperform GeForce 6800 Ultra, while the RADEON X800 XL outperforms GeForce 6800 GT, actually running neck-and-neck with the GeForce 6800 Ultra in most cases we tested under.

Of course, no self respecting GeForce 6800 owner would run Chaos Theory in the 1.1 shader mode, as Ubisoft has implemented performance enhancements in the 3.0 mode. The performance improvements weren't as great as what we saw with Far Cry last year, we witnessed performance gains of between 5-8% in our testing, with the final result varying based on screen resolution used and the AA/AF level applied. This wouldn't have been enough for the GeForce 6800 Ultra to overtake the X850 XT PE, or the 6800 GT to outpace the X800 XL in any of our tests involving some combination of 4xAA, but it does close the gap somewhat.
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,01 2005 - tech
Friday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 10:30 AM EST - Apr,01 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Increased Security With Windows Server 2003 Service Pack - Windows released the first service pack update for Windows Server 2003 software yesterday. Service pack 1 promises a more secure environment for users and a stronger system capable of thwarting Internet attacks. A new firewall and security configuration wizard have been added to the service pack, along with all the minor security updates released by Microsoft since the server software was released.
  • "Brad Pitt" virus targets Microsoft - Hackers have released a self-spreading worm, called Ahker-F, that promises salacious movie clips of the celebrities. The e-mails contain text such as: "Watch Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt cought (sic) on TAPE! SEXY CLIP! WATCH IT!" Attached to the e-mail is a .Zip file that contains the worm. If opened, the worm spreads to the user's e-mail contacts, disables security settings on the PC, and launches a denial-of-service attack against Microsoft's security update Web site.
  • Microsoft Files 117 Suits in Fight Against "Phishing" - Microsoft has filed 117 lawsuits against unknown Internet site operators who used "phishing" schemes to obtain personal and financial information from unsuspecting consumers, the world's largest software maker said on Thursday.
  • Microsoft Expands Windows Piracy Check - The Redmond, Washington-based software maker has gradually been expanding the piracy check, beginning with certain international versions of Windows XP. Currently Download Center visitors using Norwegian, Czech, and Simplified Chinese versions of Windows are required to validate their copy of Windows.

OFFTOPIC...

  • "Bionic eye" may help reverse blindness - The eye implant - a 3-millimetre-wide chip that would fit behind the retina - could be a dramatic step above currently available technology, says the team at Stanford University, California, US. For the device to work, the microchip would have to be implanted behind the retina of the blind person. The patient would wear goggles mounted with a small video camera. Light enters the camera, which then sends the image to a wireless wallet-sized computer for processing. The computer transmits this information to an infrared LED screen on the goggles. The goggles reflect an infrared image into the eye and on to the retinal chip, stimulating photodiodes on the chip. The photodiodes mimic the retinal cells by converting light into electrical signals, which are then transmitted by cells in the inner retina via nerve pulses to the brain.
  • New Movie Trailers @ Comingsoon.net - Batman Begins | Bewitched | Fantastic Four | Guess Who (QuickTime trailer for the #1 comedy) | Kontroll | The Devil's Rejects (Rob Zombie horror film) | Turtles Can Fly | Oldboy (Asian thriller) | Red Eye | Unleashed | Walk on Water (four clips from the Israeli drama)

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Microsoft Windows XP x64 RTM - Microsoft has announced that Windows XP Professional x64 has been RTM. MSDN subscribers can download ISO files of the RTM build immediately, while the rest of us will have to wait till x64 becomes commercially available in late April. Microsoft still plans to offer a special program which will allow legitimately purchased copies of 32-bit XP Professional to be traded in for copies of the new 64-bit variant.
  • 16x DVD-RAM to start in July - The DVD-Forum has announced some details for the upcoming 16x DVD-RAM format at the European verification seminar, held in Reutte (Austria) on March 29th. CDFreaks translated some additional info from the German website Heise online.
  • Sony's PSP Selling Well But Not Sold Out - Analyst - Sony Corp.'s new handheld video game unit, the PlayStation Portable, is selling well but is far from sold out at stores nationwide, an analyst said on Thursday. One week after the $249 PSP package was launched in the United States, American Technology Research found that only 50 of 150 stores surveyed nationally in the last two days were sold out. Another 15 stores had three or fewer units left.
  • Mac OS X Tiger Goes Gold - Following up yesterday's story, AppleInsider now reports that Tiger build 8A428 has been deemed the Gold Master for shipping

HARDWARE... 

  • Nvidia's nForce4 for Intel to arrive on April 6 - Nvidia will launch its nForce4 Intel Edition media and communications processor (MCP), which supports Nvidia's scalable link interface (SLI) graphics architecture on April 6, according to the company. The new MCP for Intel's Pentium 4 platform, which was unveiled at CeBIT 2005, will be featured on motherboards from at least eight Taiwan-based motherboard makers. Motherboard makers Abit Computer, Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI) said they have already prepared Nvidia nForce 4 SLI-based motherboards supporting Pentium 4 CPUs for their high-end product lines, especially for the gaming segment. The boards are expected to be priced at about US$200, which was confirmed by sources at Abit for its new Fatal1ty board.
  • Dell Axim X50v Pocket PC - The powerful Dell Axim X50v Pocket PC features a large 3.7" VGA display that provides brilliant, clear images at 640x480 resolution. This was previously unheard of in a handheld device. The large viewing area makes documents easy to see so you can work smart and fast. In addition to the big screen display, the X50v features the fastest CPU ever placed inside a Pocket PC; an Intel XScale PXA270 Processor running at 624MHz.
  • Intel Pentium 4 3.73GHz Extreme Edition - Viperlair has posted a review on the Intel Pentium 4 3.73GHz Extreme Edition.
  • nForce 4 SLI MoBo Round-UP (DFI vs. Gigabyte vs. MSI) - HotHardware.Com has posted a nForce 4 SLI MoBo roundup
  • BFG Tech GeForce 6600 GT OC - Bjorn3D has posted a review of BFG Tech GeForce 6600 GT OC.
  • EVGA e-GeForce 6600GT PCI-E SLI - AMD Gamer takes a look at the EVGA e-GeForce 6600GT PCI-E SLI video card.
  • Dual 6600GT vs Dual 6800: the SLIdown - TCMagazie has posted a comparison review between the Dual 6600GT vs Dual 6800.
  • Samsung SATA 120 GB Hard Drive - Even though the Maxtor had a stated slower access time, it flew. While I don't like Maxtor as much as Samsung, the drive was faster. If you are looking to improve your system performance, Maxtor's SATA drive is a quicker drive than Samsung's SATA. To really improve performance, always go with a RAID setup.
  • LiteOn SOHW-1673s - Overclockers Online has published a review of the LiteOn SOHW-1673S
  • Cooler Master AQUAGATE Mini R120 Water Cooling System Video-review - The Cooler Master AQUAGATE Mini R120 allows anyone to dive into water cooling! No expert knowledge is needed to quickly and easily set up this system on any computer system. There are no worries about cutting and connecting tubes, placement of components, or even periodic maintenance. It's as simple as water cooling gets, but still performs very well.
  • Samsung SyncMaster 243T 24-inch LCD - With a sticker price in the region of $2700 CDN ($2230 USD), the Samsung SyncMaster 243T is a high end solution ideally suited for commercial and demanding office applications, or consumers with a very deep pocket who demand high resolution screen real estate for their computing needs. Gamers might not appreciate this screen if they are fixated on pixel response times. Few LCDs compare favourably to CRT monitors for gaming.

GUIDES... 

  • Recovering Windows Password Cache Entries - This whitepaper explains the technical issues underneath Windows password cache entries, which are undocumented by Microsoft.

SOFTWARE...

  • Windows Server 2003 SP1 available - download / release notes / techcenter
  • NVIDIA Developer Updates - NVIDIA updated their developer site with slides and audio from their sponsored sessions at GDC 2005, as well as new releases of their texture tools.
  • WinPatrol 9.0.0.3 - WinPatrol uses a heuristic approach to detecting attacks and violations of your computing environment. Traditional security programs scan your hard drive searching for previously identified threats.
  • CherryOS 1.2 - With CherryOS -- a G4 Emulator -- you can install Panther, Apple's award-winning operating system, onto your PC. In addition, you will be able to use many of the day-to-day applications such as Safari and Apple's Mail. Perfect for learning a new environment, expanding your PC's capabilities or finalizing your purchase decision.
  • MultiEx Commander v4.0.1 - Version 4.1.0 of MultiEx Commander has been released, a utility designed to manage files from a large number of game resource archive formats.
  • Gmail Notifier 1.1.55 - The Gmail Notifier is a downloadable Windows application that alerts you when you have new Gmail messages. It displays an icon in your system tray to let you know if you have unread Gmail messages, and shows you their subjects, senders and snippets, all without your having to open a web browser.
  • WinRAR 3.50 Beta 1 - This new beta add support for decompression of ZIP archives created using Zip64 format extension, multivolume (multipart) CAB archives and more.
  • CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) 1.18.101 - CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) is a freeware system optimization tool that removes unused and temporary files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster, more efficiently and giving you more hard disk space.
  • DeepBurner Free 1.5.1.192 - DeepBurner comes loaded with an extensive list of practical and amazingly valuable features that will totally satisfy your burning needs. These start from compiling your CDs and DVDs in different formats and ending with the creation of fascinating photo albums and rock solid, reliable backups.
  • Alcohol 120% 1.9.5.2722 - Alcohol 120% (download) is CD/DVD emulation and recording software that allows users to copy discs. Store your most used or important CDs as images on your computer and run them at 200x speed from up to 31 virtual CD or DVD drives. Alcohol is compatible with more than 99% of drives available. It supports the latest image file types including - MDS, CCD, BIN, CUE, ISO, CDI, BWT, BWI, BWS, BWA and many more.
  • FireTune 0.7 - FireTune for Mozilla Firefox v1.x was developed for an easy and fast optimization of your browsing experience with Firefox.
  • NEC America to release DVD-R DL firmware update on 1st of May 2005 - According to the NEC America website the company will release a firmware update for this drive on the first of May 2005. (thanks CDFreaks)
  • ASUS BIOS Updates - OnlyNewZ sends word about new ASUS BIOS updates for ASUS A8N SLI Premium, ASUS P5GD2, ASUS K8V Deluxe, ASUS K8N-DL and many more.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,31 2005 - tech
Seagate's Barracuda 7200.8 400GB HDD - tech
(hx) 03:57 AM EST - Mar,31 2005 - Post a comment
TechReport has posted a review of  Seagate's Barracuda 7200.8 400GB. They have run the 7200.8 through a punishing gauntlet of benchmarks and real world performance tests against competition from Maxtor and Western Digital. Here's taster:
Our benchmark results were mixed, making it hard to unreservedly recommend the Barracuda 7200.8 over the other drives in the test group. For example, the drive's comparably weak performance in IOMeter, where it's not only slower than the DiamondMax 10 but also the Barracuda 7200.7, suggests that the latest 'cuda may not be the best drive for server or multi-user environments. The drive's IOMeter performance is certainly disappointing, and I can't help but wonder whether the drive would have fared better with 16MB of cache.

Uninspiring IOMeter performance aside, the 7200.8 largely excelled in FC-Test and WorldBench. Those results make a strong case for the drive's suitability for desktop applications, although I'd be more enthusiastic if seek noise levels were a little lower and load times a little faster.

Of course, there's more to the Barracuda 7200.8 than just its performance. First, the drive is available in capacities up to 400GB. Maxtor's DiamondMax 10 tops out at only 300GB, and while Hitachi Global Storage has 400GB drives available, they don't support Native Command Queuing. The Barracuda 7200.8 also boasts a five-year warranty that's unmatched by 7,200-RPM drives from other manufacturers. Depending on your priorities, the extra warranty coverage may make up for the drive's slightly higher noise levels and lackluster IOMeter performance. I know it does for me.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,30 2005 - tech
Evening Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 07:30 PM EST - Mar,30 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Microsoft Drops Blaster Virus Writer Fine -  Minnesota man will do community service rather than pay a US$500,000 fine to Microsoft for damage caused by his Blaster virus, the St. Paul Pioneer Press said. Jeffrey Lee Parsons, 19, of Hopkins, Minn., whose Blaster virus variant infected 50,000 computers in 2003, will serve the 225 hours of community service over three years after he is released from prison. He was sentenced in January to serve 18 months.
  • Symantec details flaws in its antivirus software - In a notice posted on its Web site this week, Symantec detailed two similar vulnerabilities found in its Norton AntiVirus software, which is sold on its own or bundled in Norton Internet Security and Norton System Works. The flaws, which could lead to computers crashing or slowing severely if attacked, are limited to versions of the software released for 2004 and 2005.
  • Security fears scupper Mac hacker challenge - Apple Macintosh peripherals maker DVForge has cancelled a $25,000 (L13,900) challenge to hackers to write a virus against the Mac operating system after being warned by Apple it could encourage real attacks on users. Angered by a claim by anti-virus company Symantec that the Mac operating system was increasingly prone to security exploits, DVForge issued the challenge to hackers on the internet.
  • German bloke earns $2,500 with Firefox bugs - Mozilla said it coughed up $2,500 to German bloke Michael Krax after he found five bugs in its Firefox browser. The payment comprises five 'bug bounties' that the Foundation offers to users who report bugs in its software so that they can be fixed.
  • Microsoft plans "safer ID" system - "Info cards" will help people manage personal details on their PCs to make online services safer, said Microsoft. Microsoft's two previous programs, Passport and Hailstorm, aimed to protect users but were criticised.
  • Movie industry grilled in P2P court case  - Movie studios want the US Supreme Court to rule that the developers of the Grokster and Morpheus P2P software should be held responsible for the illegal trading of copyrighted software using their technologies. Judges expressed concern that making P2P software illegal could have a major detrimental effect on future software innovation and asked where the entertainment industry would stop in its pursuit of file sharers. Would they consider suing Apple because iPod users may be carrying around illegally acquired music, they asked. The court is considering whether ruling for the movie studios would fly in the face of a 21-year-old established legal benchmark for technology.
  • Cisco VPN 3000 Concentrator Vulnerable to Crafted SSL Attack - The Cisco VPN 3000 series concentrators are a family of purpose-built, remote access Virtual Private Network (VPN) platforms for data encryption and  authentication. A malicious user may be able to send a crafted attack via SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to the concentrators which may cause the device to reload, and/or drop user connections. Repeated exploitation will create a sustained DoS (denial of service).
  • LimeWire File Disclosure Exploit - This script exploits recently reported vulnerability in LimeWire Gnutella client, LimeWire Gnutella Client Directory Traversal and File Disclosure. The script allows fetching text files from system running vulnerable versions of LimeWire.

OFFTOPIC...

  • "Trauma Pod' Robot to Save Soldiers" Lives on the Battlefield - Imagine an automated medical treatment system that does not require onsite medical personnel on the front lines of battle, and is ready to receive, assess, and stabilize wounded soldiers during the critical hours following injury.
  • "Miss Congeniality 2": armed and very, very fabulous - Rare is the sequel that lives up to the original. "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous" had every right to fail horribly. It could have been two hours of overused humor spewed out by a bunch of overexcited characters – could have been, but wasn't. Instead, "Miss Congeniality 2" is every bit as hilarious and enjoyable as its predecessor. After all, failure is not a word in Special Agent Gracie Hart's vocabulary
  • Frustrated consumers make things worse after computer crash - According to the survey, more people commit some act of computer violence than call for help when faced with a crisis, according to a survey conducted by New York-based Ontrack Data Recovery. Fortunately, violence isn't the only response. About 13 percent of survey participants said they attempt to sweet-talk their computers into coughing up any lost data, said Todd Johnson, vice president data recovery at Ontrack.
  • Injecting crack cocaine is surprisingly common - Crack cocaine is being injected - not just smoked - by a significant number of US drug users, reveals the first large survey of the practice.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Playstation 3 Showing Cancelled at Last Minute In Japan - Reuters in Japan has confirmed speculation that the PlayStation 3 was slated to be shown in Japan during last month. However, the long-awaited first glimpse of what Sony Computer Entertainment.
  • Free Nero Digital version available in April - Free Nero Digital consists of three separate applications: Nero Recode 2 CE as a 30-day trial, which allows users to create Nero Digital content; Nero ShowTime 2 CE, which allows users to play back Nero Digital content; and Nero MediaHome CE, which allows users to share Nero Digital or other content to UPnP devices or across their home networks. In addition, Nero Recode 2 CE supports chapter and subtitle encoding directly from DVD titles; up to two subtitles and two multi-channel audio tracks; and has profiles for CE device compatibility, including Mobile, Portable, Standard, Cinema, and HDTV. Other features include support for recording to CD/DVD with file splitting and Fit-to-disc options.
  • Toolkit Helps With Windows XP SP2 Compatibility - Microsoft has released an upgrade to its Application Compatibility Toolkit that's intended to help business customers migrate applications from earlier releases of Windows to Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003. Key components of ACT 4.0 include updated versions of the Microsoft Application Analyzer, which handles application inventory and compatibility reporting; Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluator; and Compatibility Administrator, for accessing fixes needed for older applications.
  • SourceLabs AMP Stack Integrates Apache, MySQL and PHP - The SourceLabs AMP Stack integrates Apache, MySQL and PHP in an integrated stack that has been tested under the CERT7 testing program, Sebastian said. SourceLabs is providing its stack free of charge.
  • MSN Video Service offers Video Downloads to Mobile Devices - Microsoft has launched a video download service primarily targeted for use on mobile devices. The MSN Video Downloads service offers daily television programming, entertainment clips, music videos, and other digital video content for viewing on Smartphones, Pocket PCs, and Portable Media Centers. The service first appeared at CES this past January in Las Vegas, users were able to downloaded mobile formatted content to their PCs and then transfer it to their Windows Mobile software powered device. The service is only available to US customers for a fee of $19.95 for one year.
  • Toshiba Battery Charges in One Minute - Impatient people may find Toshiba's latest invention something that would fit their lifestyle. The company announced Tuesday that it had discovered a way to recharge a Lithium-Ion battery to 80 percent in only one minute. Currently, the fastest batteries take approximately an hour to recharge to the same capacity. In addition, Toshiba scientists have found a way to extend the usable life of the battery, claiming it will only lose 1 percent of its capacity after 1,000 recharging cycles.

HARDWARE... 

  • AMD64 Dual Core Physical Design Specs and Photo  - AMDBoard has posted the AMD64 Dual Core Physical Design Specs.
  • ATI R520 "Fudo" has 24 plus pipelines - According to The Inquirer, ATI's future R520 chip will end up with a minimum of twenty four pipelines. ATI placed 32 pipelines inside, but there is a chance that it will enable just 24 for a start. It will be a pure marketing decision but technically every R520 "Fudo" will have full 32 pipes. ATI can just keep these extra eight pipes for the later chip and enable them if necessary. If ATI's czars decide that they need more performance they will go with full 32 pipes.
  • PC Drive Reaches 500GB - Hitachi's 500GB drive will be available in two versions: a $500 drive featuring the older parallel ATA interface and an 8MB data buffer, and a $520 model with a 16MB buffer that uses the 3-gigabits-per-second Serial ATA II interface (which is backward-compatible with the 1.5-gbps SATA interface).
  • Sparkle launches three Nvidia GeForce 6 series graphics cards - The PCI-Express (PCIe) SLI (scalable link interface) Sparkle GeForce 6800 Ultra with 512MB of GDDR3 RAM is Sparkle's first graphics card with 512MB of memory and will retail for around US$849. The Sparkle 6800 PCIe graphics card sporting 128MB of DDR memory will also support SLI, and will be priced at around US$349.
  • Wintec AMP-X PC2-5400 DDR2 Memory - XtremeResources owner/reviewer Frank "Gooch" Haraguchi had the recent opportunity to test and evaluate Wintec's newest offering in the DDR2 flavor, their AMP-X PC2-5400 ram modules. Frank takes the RAM through it's paces aboard an Asus P5AD2-E Premium with an Intel Pentium 4 530J 3.0GHz aboard with some top notch results.
  • Patriot PDC1G3200+XBLK 1GB DC Kit - InsaneTek has posted a review of the Patriot PDC1G3200+XBLK 1GB DC Kit.
  • Dual Layer DVD Shootout - ASUS vs. Gigabyte 16x Recorders - Tweaktown take a look at two of the latest DVD burners to emerge from two large Taiwanese companies, ASUS and Gigabyte. Both drives support DVD burning at 16x and both support Dual Layer burning. If you're on the market for a new DVD burner, one of these might be what you're looking for.
  • LiteOn SOHW-1673s - Today Overclockers Online has a brand new DVD±RW drive in from LiteOn! If you're looking to upgrade your current drive, or are looking for a new one, look to see how LiteOn maintain's its legacy with their latest 16x DVD±RW Drive.
  • Thirteen PSU Roundup - It's a little unfair to pick one "winner", because as mentioned in the introduction we had no stated critera for these PSUs. They're a random sample that have been sent to us over time and collated in this article simply because they were at hand. They're aimed in some cases at different markets and have a range of stated power ratings. However, the one standout for me is the Antec NeoPower 480W. The "modular" aspect is very cool, although admittedly there are other manufacturers with modular PSUs. The low noise technology is good, but other PSUs have that and one tested today was even totally fanless.
  • Logitech MX518 - Everything USB published an in-depth review on the Logitech MX518.
  • CH FighterStick/Pro Throttle and Saitek X52 - For those who put their sticks through more of a workout and have more refined performance tastes - and damn fancy ergonomics - the CH Products line-up is ideal. More expensive than the X52, it is the ultimate in reliability, and the single finest stick this reviewer has had the pleasure of flying with. To say that the CH FighterStick is accurate is to understate the issue considerably. It's smooth, accurate, refined, linear... and did I say accurate? There is no hesitation in the response, no quirky jerking, no spikiness - it just does what you want.
  • Creative Labs Gigaworks S750 7.1 Speakers - Guru3D has posted a review of the Creative Labs Gigaworks S750 7.1 Speakers.
  • Amacrox Telephoto Mobile Phone Camera Lens - 3DVelocity reviews one of the Amacrox Mobile Phone Lens range
  • Actiontec VoIP Phone Wizard for Skype - Skype is a popular choice among the laundry list of VoIP services because it provides free in-network calling, meaning calls routed over the Internet between two systems incur no cost.
  • Samsung D500 D500C - The Samsung SGH-D500 is definitely one of the better phones from Samsung. With a large memory of 96MB memory, 1.3 mpixel camera and bluetooth capability, it is the first Samsung phone that puts it on par with the big boys who are dominating the market with their bluetooth phones.

GUIDES... 

  • Study of Athlon 64 Overclocking Techniques - To summarize, memory dividers are a perfectly acceptable way of maximizing system performance, as CPU clock is the factor around which everything revolves, HT link speed is not of great importance (even 600 MHz ought to be enough for 99% of users), and the absolute best way to squeeze performance out of your K8 system is to avoid the use of a memory divider, though that requires high-end memory.
  • Voice over IP for Beginners - The Tech Zone has posted a beginner's guide to Voice Over IP.
  • Use index sheets to quickly navigate in an Excel workbook - When working with large workbooks in Microsoft Excel, you can spend a good deal of time navigating through dozens of sheet name tabs to find the one you need. One method for making this task easier is to build an index sheet that contains hyperlinks to every worksheet in your workbook.

SOFTWARE...

  • Paint .NET - Beta 1 - Paint.NET is image and photo manipulation software designed to be used on computers that run Windows XP or 2000. Paint.NET is jointly developed at Washington State University with additional help from Microsoft, and is meant to be a free replacement for the MS Paint software that comes with all Windows operating systems.
  • eXeem 0.23 Public Beta - eXeem is a brand new Peer-To-Peer program, which is based on the BitTorrent idea.
  • QuickTime Alternative 1.44 - QuickTime Alternative will allow you to play QuickTime files (.mov, .qt and other extensions) without having to install the official QuickTime Player. It also supports QuickTime content that is embedded in webpages.
  • Real Alternative 1.34 - Real Alternative will allow you to play RealMedia files without having to install RealPlayer/RealOne Player.
  • K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 1.27  - This package is a combination of three codec packs: K-Lite Codec Pack Full (a slew of different codecs like Divx, etc.), QuickTime Alternative, Real Alternative and other encoders/decoders.
  • ASUS SMART Doctor 4.68 - The innovative SmartDoctor technologies from ASUS include Fan RPM Monitoring, AGP Power Level Monitoring, SmartCooling Technology, OverHeat Protection, and Dynamic OverClocking.
  • Plextools v2.21 - Plextools 2.21 has been released by the Plextor developers in Europe.
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