Gameguru Mania Updated:04:55 PM EDT Sep,20


POPULAR CHAT TOPIC
Toxikk - FRAG LIKE IT'S 1999
Wasteland 2 Launch Trailer
Battlefield Hardline: Hotwir
Heavy Bullets now available
Blitzkrieg 3 Announced - Aga
Torment: Tides of Numenera -
Star Wars: Episode 7 Viral C
Quake Live Comes On Steam As
World of Warships Developer
Are Video Games Sexist?
Steam's Weekly Top Sellers
MS is Testing Playing Xbox G
Dying Light Gameplay (PS4/Xb
NBA 2K15 - What If? Trailer
Destiny Makes $500 Million i
GTA V Ships Nov 18th for PS4
Video of leaked Windows 9 bu
Dead Rising 3 PC patch relea
New Batman v Superman Batmob
World of Speed Gets New Trai
Here Is FIFA 15 In Glorious
AMD's Gaming Evolved Client


Please e-mail us if you have news.

(c) 1997-2014 Box Network Ltd.
Privacy Policy statement


SEARCH GAME:   Windows 8.1 Tools    CD/DVD tools    SteamOS Beta
 Gameguru Mania News - Apr,04 2005 - tech 
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.
WinXP Pro 64-bit / Win2k3 SP1 finished - tech
(hx) 03:53 AM EST - Mar,30 2005 - Post a comment / read (1)
WinBeta.Org is reporting that tomorrow, Microsoft will announce that Windows XP Professional 64-bit and Windows Server 2003 SP1 have been released to manufacturing.
The new Windows editions are designed to take advantage of 64-bit extensions to the standard x86 instruction set in processors from both Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and Intel Corp. 64-bit systems offer users greater computing power as systems can process more data per clock cycle and have greater access to memory.

Build 1830 has been deemed worthy of release after 18 long months of beta testing of a product that many companies showed inital reluctance to install after Microsoft let slip that Service Pack 1 was already in the works at the release of Windows Server 2003 itself. The service pack offers a compilation of updates as well as new security enhancements and originally was due in the first half of 2004. Windows Server 2003 SP1 is currently available via Windows Update.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,29 2005 - tech
Tuesday's Tech Madness - tech
(hx) 10:08 AM EST - Mar,29 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Stolen Laptop Exposes Data of 100,000 - A thief recently walked into a University of California, Berkeley office and swiped a computer laptop containing personal information about nearly 100,000 alumni, graduate students and past applicants, highlighting a continued lack of security that has increased society's vulnerability to identity theft.
  • Security Flaw Found In Trillian IM Client - The popular Trillian instant-messaging client contains a security flaw that could allow a hacker to gain control of a person's computer, a software company said Friday. To take advantage of the vulnerability, the hacker would have to use an advanced technique called DNS cache poisoning, which redirects PC users from real sites to spoofed copies, said Matt Hargett, director of development for Pittspurgh, Pa.-based, LogicLibrary Inc. The tactic involves a hacker first compromising a DNS server, which is used on the web to direct computers to websites.
  • Anti-hacker movement gathers force with Arbor’s Alliance - Anti-hacking firepower now gets more ammo with 18 major network providers and ISPs pooling together in an alliance initiated by Arbor Networks.  On Monday, Arbor, which specializes in network threat detection and monitoring tools, announced the Fingerprint Sharing Alliance. This group will share a technology with which they would automatically share real-time data on cyber attacks.
  • Microsoft To Test MSN Messenger 7 Security - Microsoft is planning to block all hotlinks, Winks and Dynamic Display Pictures from being sent or received for a testing period starting today until Thursday 31st. An MSN spokesperson creditted the additional testing to the recent virus attacks which attempted to use MSN Messenger as a way to spread harmful code. Over the 48 hour testing the period the MSN Messenger team will be testing different methods of blocking malicious code from being transferred on MSN Messenger.
  • Legal fears halt Apple virus competition - DVForge, which builds Apple accessories, had offered $25,000 to the first person to infect two G5 PowerMac computers running OS X 10.3 Panther connected to the internet without firewalls or antivirus protection.

OFFTOPIC...

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Windows XP Home Edition N - Microsoft has bowed to pressure from the European Commission to name a new version of its Windows XP software, Windows XP Home Edition N. It is the US software giant's latest step in complying with the EU, following a record anti-trust fine imposed on it last year. The 'N' in the new name stands for "not with media player".
  • The Showdown: Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD - Both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs enable HDTV reproduction because of their massive storage capacities. Using dual-layer techniques, HD-DVD can store as much as 30 gigabytes of data while a Blu-Ray disc can pack in a whopping 50 gigabytes. In the lab, techies already are working on several-layered discs that could allow more than 100 gigabytes of storage on one disc. That's enough for several HDTV movies, special features and compelling interactive content. Or a content provider could put more than 100 hours of standard-definition quality programming on one DVD. All 180 episodes of Seinfeld on one disc, anyone?
  • Dead PSP pixels will be handled by Sony - There were reports earlier in the week that Sony may not deal with dead pixels on their new device. But, slowly, the truth has come out that they will.
  • Sony loses force feedback patent infringement suit - US District Court judge has ordered Sony to pay over $90 million in damages and interest to settle a patent infringement case with Immersion, a developer of force feedback technology. The Dualshock controllers that Sony ships with its PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles apparently infringe on Immersion's patents, and Sony has also been ordered to pay licensing fees for hardware already sold in the US.
  • Photoshop CS2 Press Release Leaked - This press release for Photoshop 9 is scheduled for April (thanks Neowin.net), but it came thick and fast when I searched for this anticipated App. Improved file browser, HDR image support and firewire preview look cool for us digital video fans, but there are changes to the layers pallete, instancing etc. Not everything i wanted/wished for or even heard rumoured, but good none the less.
  • World's Smallest Linux Box Fits in RJ-45 Jack - "Picotux" has a 55MHz ARM processor, 2MB of Flash, 8MB of RAM, a serial port, and five lines of GPIO. It measures 0.75 x 0.75 x 1.4 inches (19 x 19 x 36mm), and weighs 0.64 ounces (18 grams), packaged in a metal housing.
  • Atsana processor gives Samsung's SCH-M309 phone MPEG4 video without wasting power - Atsana's J2211 processor is powering the multimedia features of Samsung Electronics' SCH-M309 feature phone, according to an announcement from the Canada-based developer of multimedia processors for mobile devices. Samsung announced the new 800MHz CDMA2000 1x phone in China on March 16, during the launch of its new "M" series of phones.

HARDWARE... 

  • AMD Readies 2.20GHz Dual-Core Chips for Mid-Year, Targets 3.0GHz in 2006 - The top speed of AMD’ Opteron processor with two cores will be 2.20GHz this year, whereas single-core AMD64 chips for servers will reach 3.0GHz milestone in the first quarter of 2006, nearly three years after Intel’s Xeon products attained the landmark, according to slides that presumably come from AMD’s roadmap. The probable prospective plan of AMD suggests that AMD will launch AMD Opteron 200- and 800-series dual-core processors at 1.80GHz, 2.0GHz and 2.20GHz already in the second quarter of 2005.
  • Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz - In terms of raw performance, the chip is altogether incredible, as one would expect from a chip selling for ~$1,200. The chip dominates AMD's rival Athlon64 FX-55 processor in content creation apps and multimedia applications, although still fails to overthrow AMD's flagship chip in the all-too-important gaming arena.
    VIA K8T800 Pro (Socket 939) Roundup : ABIT AV8 - Currently, the AV8 is the only board in ABIT's Socket 939 line-up to use the VIA K8T800 Pro chipset as they have steadily updated their product line with VIA K8T890 and NVIDIA nForce4 series motherboards. Thus, the AV8 fills in the role of the entry level Socket 939 solution.
  • EPoX 9NPA+SLI Motherboard - EPoX 9NPA+SLI mainboard is based on the NVIDIA NF4 SLI chipset supporting 2 x PCI-E graphics card for best gaming performance. This mainboard supports the Socket 939 Athlon 64FX processors. It supports 1GHz HTT FSB, Dual Channel DDR400, 8 Channel Audio, 10 USB ports, 2 x PCI-E x 8 (or 1 x PCI-E x 16), GbE LAN, 6 SATA II RAID (4 by NV chipset, 2 others by Siliconimage) and 1394. Embedded Firewall with Active Armour comes with the chipset and it can be enabled for a more secured computing environment.
  • Gigabyte's GA-K8VT890-9 motherboard - Despite the fact that GA-K8VT890-9 offers a fair bit of value at its bargain-basement price point, enthusiasts will no doubt be frustrated by the BIOS's lack of a PCI Express clock lock and temperature-driven fan speed control. Those features could perhaps be added in a BIOS update, as Gigabyte has done with more extensive memory timings, but they're not available yet.
  • Leadtek PX6600GT TDH  - It's low cost vs. high performance ratio are everything we look for in a video card.
  • HIS X850 XT Platinum Edition IceQ II dual DVI 256MB PCIe - Superb performance, and thanks to HIS's outstanding cooling technology, stable performance. In addition to being fast and having a great stock cooler the X850XT PE comes with a great bundle of accessories to really help broaden the list of possible uses. VIVO, HDTV, and dual digital outputs makes this card a great option for video enthusiasts as well. But, yes the dreaded 'but', this card comes with a very hefty price tag ($580) even by today's standards.
  • ATI X850 XT Platinum Edition PCI Express - The X850XT PE from ATI is an enthusiast's dream card. No other card has more performance on the market unless you purchase a SLI system. In that comparison, the X850XT PE is the better buy, as an SLI system will require 2 6800GT cards to outperform the X850XT PE and cost $250 more. On the other hand, the card is also $550, the highest current manufacturer suggested retail priced video card of the bunch.
  • Chaintech 6600GT SE6600G PCI-E - With 128MB of fast DDR3 memory and a PCI Express interface, the 6600 GT will handle about any task, including some hard core gaming. Some of the standard features included o­n this card are TV-out and DVI-I, which are excellent features should you want to run a display to a larger screen or High Definition TV.
  • Seagate Barracuda 400GB 7200.8 Hard Drive - The Raptor is still faster, but buying two raptors still doesn't come close to the storage capacity of one Seagate 400GB drive. Running two Seagate 400GB's shames the raptor in storage space and just barely falls short on the speed. If Seagate releases a 16MB version of this drive, the speed is going to increase and might just take the raptor.
  • Kingwin 3.5" EIDE USB 2.0 HDD Enclosure - Kingwin 3.5 external enclosures come in several different formats depending on the type of hard drive you plan on using. They have USB2 and a combo USB2 and Firewire for EIDE hard drives and they also have an enclosure for SATA drives with a USB2 interface
  • Seasonic S12 430W PSU - Mikhailtech take a look at Seasonic's S12 430W power supply, combining extremely stable rails, quiet operation, and great cable management.
  • A.C. Ryan RyanPower2 450W PSU - The RyanPower2 is a step in the right direction for A.C.Ryan, it's very silent, provides enough juice to keep your system stable and features a handy (slightly flawed) cabling system.
  • Foxconn System Cases Roundup - X-bit Labs take a look at their exterior looks, internal construction peculiarities, ease of the system assembly, and thermal parameters
  • 4 Port USB 2.0 Compact Hub - With low powered items as aforementioned, the hub worked as expected with USB. Things just work. Plug in a mouse, it works, keyboard, it works, got the idea? For the manufacturer to include a power brick, it would drive up the cost, and hurt portability at the same time, so I don't have any qualms about that.
  • Actiontec HomePlug Networking Kit - PCstats is testing out one such HomePNA solution from Actiontec, called the HomePlug Ethernet adaptor kit. The kit uses the HomePlug 14Mbps technology and comes with a pair of 14Mbps power plug Ethernet adaptors, allowing users to network two PCs together, or connect a single PC to a wired router or Internet gateway some distance away.
  • D-Link Wireless 108G Gaming Router (DGL-4300) - Overall, almost every aspect about the DGL-4300 GamerLounge Gaming Router was appealing one way or another. The 10/100/1000 support from a router was definitely a welcome sign when transferring large files across the network or when performing multiple network operations simultaneously.
  • Genius Wireless Netscroll+ - The design of the mouse is very similar to that of Logitech's MX series, and it does a pretty good job at replicating their comfort as well. The mouse is tall and large enough to fit all kinds of hands, and can be used for a prolonged period of time without hurting the wrist.
  • X-Woofer 3D Vibro Woofer Speaker - The X-Woofer provides for a unique enhancement to games but falls short for audio enjoyment. The X-Woofer does eliminate any discomfort of ear bud headphones but it's a little like wearing a horse collar. The audio quality is nearer to AM stereo than a full, deep bass enhancement. The X-Woofer "woofer" offers more of a vibration enhancement than a bass enhancement.
  • Ultrasone HFI-650 headphones - If you like the idea of more bass, less fidelity, but don't want some ridiculous sci-fi object marketed to cloth-eared teenagers, then the 550s fit the bill nicely. The 650s have a more traditional hi-fi frequency response; if you don't need more low-end oomph - or actually are doing studio monitoring - then they're better.
  • ABS Ultimate E2 Media Center PC First Look - The Ultimate E2 Media Center PC by ABS Computer Technologies is a home media computer powered by Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005. It is designed to fit into your home entertainment system, dropping the traditional desktop chassis in favor of a more vertical look similar to DVD players and audio receivers.
  • Sony PSP review - The biggest disappointment with the PSP has to be the onboard speakers. They're utterly terrible. They're too quiet, and the sound is thin and tinny when you crank it up. This failure melts away when you plug a good set of headphones though.

GUIDES... 

  • AMD Athlon64 3500+ Overclocking - In terms of overclocking, the air-cooled setup which was using a Thermalright XP-90 teamed up with an 80mm Vantec Tornado hit a very nice 2.66 GHz using just 1.7V. Temperatures were a bit on the high side though, with a maximum temperature reading of 55 degrees Celsius. When the Athlon64 3500+ was put under the freezer of the Prometeia we were just able to crack the 3 GHz mark with a top speed of 3.05 GHz. CPU voltage was relatively high at 1.85V but temperatures were still well below freezing.
  • Installing a water cooler heatsink system into a computer case - In this case we have used the Swiftech 12cm heatsink radiator and fan along with the SilverProp SilverStorm 80 heatsink radiator with an 80mm fan.
  • The Inkjet Printer Shell Game - The Tech Zone goes on a rant over the high cost of inkjet cartridge refills.
  • A World of Help's notebook buyer's guide - As long as you don't just buy the first notebook you find in your price range, and instead learn about the system features and consider all your choices, you can get a great computer for a very reasonable price.
  • Wireless Networking: Setup and Security - The first installment in this two-part series of Tech Tips provided an introduction to the basic capabilities and hardware involved in wireless networking. In the final installment of this two-part series, they will look at some of the basic setup and security considerations that should be addressed. The physical installation of a wireless network may be easier than a wired network, but the more difficult part is setting up the software and security to make sure everything stays up and running without incident.
  • Stereo Setup Guide - check it out
  • An Essential Guide to Home Theater Speaker Placement - check it out
  • Installing Wine with DX9 - A short installation instruction and some more detailed information can be found at linux-gamers.net.
  • FireFox on Steroids - How-To guide to speed up FireFox.
  • Nvidia 7x ForceWare Driver Performance Comparison - For this comparsion we used the brand new Beta 76.41 and compared it with the 76.10, 71.24, 1.50 and the 71.84.

SOFTWARE...

  • Update for Windows XP (KB886716) - When you try to convert your video production in Adobe Premiere Pro to an MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Experts Group 2) format, the .mp2 file is not converted, and either Adobe Premiere Pro or your Microsoft Windows XP-based computer may stop responding.
  • Update for Windows XP (KB885222) - After you install Windows XP Service Pack 2, some 1394 devices (such as digital cameras that use S400 speed) may not perform as expected.
  • O&O Defrag 2000 Freeware Edition 3.5.562 - O&O Defrag 2000 Freeware is the "light" version of O&O Defrag 2000 Professional. It provides the SPACE method to manually defragment your drives.
  • Adobe 7.0 Reader for Linux - download
  • Stuffit 9.0 30% JPEG compression with no quality loss - Allume Systems today shipped StuffIt Deluxe 9.0 for Windows. With its revolutionary new photo compression technology, StuffIt achieves a level of compression no other product has been able to do, allowing users to reduce the size of their JPEG photos up to 30% with absolutely no loss in image quality.
  • DVDFab 2.82 supports DVD-R Dual-Layer recording - DVDFab Express (trial version) is simply the easiest way to copy a DVD movie. Just insert the movie and a blank DVD then press Start. Your entire movie - including menus, trailers and special features - is copied to a single DVD with just one click, and everything happens automatically. This new version adds support for the latest double layer DVD-R media.
  • FireTune 0.6 - FireTune for Mozilla Firefox v1.x was developed for an easy and fast optimization of your browsing experience with Firefox.
  • Registry Defragmentation 7.0 Build 04.01 RC - This tool (changelog) optimizes registry by removing fragmentation, deleting unused entries, compacting the registry and re-indexing registry for maximum speed.
  • DivXToDVD Converter 0.5.2.99 - DivXToDVD is a 1 click solution to convert your movie files to a compatible DVD playable on your home DVD player.
  • K-Lite Codec Pack Full 2.42 - This Codec Pack is designed as a user-friendly solution for playing all your movie files. You should be able to play all the popular movie formats and even some rare formats.
  • QuickGamma 2.0.0.3 - QuickGamma is a small utility program to calibrate a monitor on the fly without having to buy expensive hardware tools.
  • NEC ND-6500 v2.24 booktype firmware - If your drive works as a master drive, you will need the modified 2.24 booktype firmware - while you need the modified 4.24 booktype firmware if your drive works as a slave drive.Both zip files contain 3 firmware files: X24orig.exe - Only added support for booktype setting, X24fast.exe - Including riplock patch and X24rpc1.exe - Including riplock and RPC1 patch. (thanks CDFreaks)
  • Plextor 716A DVD-Writer firmware v1.05 - The update increases the speed of DVD-R Dual Layer writing from 2x to 6x on Mitsubishi Media (Verbatim media). On other brands the write speed of DVD-R dual layer media has been upped to 4x from 2x.
  • Xtreme G 76.41 (ForceWare) - This is the Xtreme G driver which includes many performance and Image Quality tweaks.
  • NGO NVIDIA Optimized Driver v0.7 - 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.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,25 2005 - tech
Friday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 12:34 PM EST - Mar,25 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Cell Phone Viruses: Real Risk or Heavy on Hype? - Last June, when anti-virus researchers reported the discovery of the first proof-of-concept cell phone virus, analysts and experts immediately predicted a coming wave of malware targeting high-end mobile devices. Since then, the warnings have been coming fast and furious. According to the experts, the original proof-of-concept code quickly evolved into Cabir, a worm capable of bluejacking nearby cell phones running the Bluetooth-enabled Symbian Series 60 operating system...read more.
  • Symantec's Hosted Mail Security Offers Off-Site Protection - Symantec Corp. on Wednesday announced its new Symantec Hosted Mail Security to provide enterprises with off-site protection against spam, viruses and other malicious traffic.
  • New Federal Rules Dictate Bank ID Theft Notifications - The U.S. Federal Reserve Board today issued new rules requiring banks and other financial institutions to notify consumers "as soon as possible" when their personal data has been stolen.
  • First Swede prosecuted for sharing files on net - A man in Västeras has become the first Swede to be charged with illegally sharing files via the Internet. But prosecutors say that unless the case results in a prison sentence, other cases of web piracy might never get to court. The 27-year old at the centre of the case is accused of having the film Hipp Hipp Hora on his computer, which he allowed others to download. If convicted, he could face up to two years. imprisonment.
  • Computer Hacker Gets Prison Sentence - Daniel Baas, 26, was sentenced to nearly four years behind bars. More than a year ago, the Milford man hacked his way into one of the world's largest consumer database companies. You can read more here.

OFFTOPIC...

  • New space prizes target space elevators - The "Beam Power Challenge" will focus on how to transmit power wirelessly by beaming radiation from a source to a receiver. In 2005, the teams will have to build a power receiver that can convert this radiation to electricity with photoelectric cells and lift a climbing robot carrying at least 25 kilograms up a 50-metre cable. Each team will get three attempts and the $50,000 will go to the team that can lift the most weight in three minutes. In 2006, the challenge will include building the source of power, as well, and the top three teams will again receive $100,000, $40,000 and $10,000, respectively. NASA is set to announce more centennial challenges in the coming weeks.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • US PSP Launch Coverage - ShackNews / GameSpot / ByteSector / WarCry / NVMax / PCWorld
  • Control your computer with your brain? - Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, a company based in Foxborough, MA, has developed software to enable quadriplegics to use computers as well as any enable-bodied person. The hardware, called BrainGate, requires a silicon chip to be placed on the motor functions of the brain that control arms and legs, and a hole to be drilled in to the skull to allow a plug to interface with the chip and computer. Available on normal desktop computers, this hardware will allow quadriplegics to surf the 'Net, write e-mails, and even play video games as well as the next person, and all by simply thinking the action.

HARDWARE... 

  • NVIDIA’s Add-in-Card Partners Gear Up for 512MB Graphics Cards Launch - BFG Technologies, a leading supplier of graphics cards in the USA, said Thursday it would release graphics cards with 512MB memory and increased clock-speeds in about a month time. The BFG GeForce 6800 Ultra OC 512MB PCI Express graphics card will feature higher graphics processing unit speed compared to reference design, 425MHz versus 400MHz, and will have advantage over 256MB graphics cards in ultra high resolutions with antialiasing and anisotropic filtering enabled.
  • XFX Shatters the 3DMark World Record - To accomplish this great benchmarking achievement, XFX and a pair of dedicated Finnish overclockers utilized two of XFX's multi-award-winning GeForce 6800 GT cards featuring 256MB of 256-bit GDDR3 memory, PCI Express Bus Architecture and NVIDIA's SLI Technology.  Together with the aforementioned cooling system, they were able to increase the power supply to the memory modules and achieve a core clock of 575 MHz with a memory speed of 1300 MHz to produce a screaming 3DMark Score of 12,483.
  • MSI Mega Book S260 (preview) - The Mega Book S260 is the first notebook that MSI has produced based on the Sonoma Centrino platform. In fact the machine sitting in front of me right now is a pre-production prototype, as the full production models aren't quite ready yet. With this in mind I wasn't able to benchmark the S260, but I was keen to get an idea of the look, feel and features of MSI's new baby.
  • AMD Opteron 252 vs. Intel Xeon 3.6GHz - Intel's updates to the Xeon line are less dramatic compared to AMD's, but they are appreciated nonetheless. The new Xeon processor line with 2 MB of cache does show performance gains over the previous generation 1MB cache models, to the tune of roughly 5% in most applications.
  • Intel's Pentium M Desktop Part II: ASUS' Pentium M to Pentium 4 Socket Adapter - With the CT-479, ASUS has effectively demolished all other desktop Pentium M solutions. There's no reason to even consider a 855GME motherboard from AOpen or DFI; the ASUS solution is cheaper, better performing and is even a much more stable overclocker. Kudos to ASUS for a job extremely well done with the CT-479. It's the only option that we'd recommend for those interested in a desktop Pentium M system.
  • Corsair Xpert TWINXP1024-3200XL DDR Memory - This Corsair Xpert memory was not so great for overclocking headroom though, pulling off a very average increase on the AMD test system (albeit while maintaining strict 2-2-2-5 settings for best performance) and topping off at an unremarkable 470MHz DDR on the Intel box with CAS settings of 2.5-3-3-6.
  • Gigabyte 8IPE775-G "Springdale" Motherboard - Gigabyte has tried to create a motherboard that takes the forward-thinking approach of Socket-T and marries it with established Springdale technology. The end result is a hybrid board, unimaginatively named 8IPE775-G, that will last as long as Socket-T is around. It's also priced at a wallet-friendly £60 and makes use of regular DDR1 RAM and AGP-powered graphics cards, thus making the jump to LGA775 a palatable one for most.
  • RADEON X800 XL Roundup - If you're planning on building a silent, or near-silent PC, Gigabyte's GV-RX80L256V SilentPipe is clearly the best RADEON X800 XL card on the market for you. Thanks to Gigabyte's unique heat pipe cooling, they're the only manufacturer that can boast 100% silent operation.
  • PowerColor RADEON X800 XL AGP 256MB - The video card has 256 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM allocated in eight chips on the front and back sides of the PCB. Samsung (GDDR3) memory chips. 2.0ns memory access time, which corresponds to 500 (1000) MHz.
  • Leadtek WinFast PX6800 Ultra TDH PCI-E - It's still the highest end GPU from nVidia with no less than 16 graphics pipelines, and six vertex shader engines. The GPU is clocked at 400MHz and the memory at 550MHz. Interestingly, Leadtek's AGP version of its card has the GPU clocked at 425MHz, but Leadtek has gone for standard settings for its PCI Express version. There's 256MB of DDR3 RAM, which communicates over a 256-bit memory bus, giving plenty of bandwidth for memory hogging features such as FSAA and AF.
  • Leadtek WinFast TV USB II Deluxe - Leadtek brings to the table the WinFast TV USB II Deluxe external solution that will give you the joys of cable TV, VCR, and an FM radio right on your desktop. How do you fit so much into just a tiny little USB 2.0 box? Turn off that TV and pay attention; we are just about to find out.
  • Power Supply Roundup: 6600GT SLI Stress Test - Antec, HEC, OCZ, and Ultra supplies are up to our challenge in wattages ranging from 385 to 600.
  • LG GSA-5163D Triple format DVD-Writer - The drive is one of the few multiformat drives in the world, also supporting DVD-RAM. And you can't forget the fact that it's currently the worlds fastest DVD-Writer with recording times below 5 minutes and 20 seconds for a full single layer disc. There is only one noticeable negative point, and that is the media support, out of the discs we tested a total of 7 discs were not written at certified speed (or higher).
  • LiteOn SOHW 1673S Optical Drive - LiteOn's new SOHW 1673S is a great drive for the price and is very versitile. The 1673S writes quickly and stable with fine quality as to be expected from LiteOn.Read times are as advertised and error free.
  • TTGI 4Fan Plug-N 550W Modular PSU - With 4 fans running in this power supply noise may be a concern for a lot of people, but it is not the case with this unit. The fans are very quiet while set in either automatic or silent mode. It is only when turbo mode is activate that the fans become noticeable, but there is no need to have the fans spin this fast under normal operating conditions.
  • Sansun LED Keyboard - Ninjalane has posted a short review covering the LED keyboard from Sansun. This keyboard has a GSM detection feature that will react whenever your GSM phone is active on the network.
  • Saitek X52 HOTAS Controller - I had to adjust the stick profile in IL-2, taking a bit off the back end of the Y axis of the joystick. At 100% it made every aircraft depart into a spin. I brought the right hand column number thingy in the Pitch controls of IL-2 / AEP / PF to 86 and no worries. But it was weird to have to adjust it. And it glows blue. Blue-blue-blue. In the setup you can make it really, really bright... or off. I wish they had a slider for that setting rather than just one of three presets, as I wanted a faint glow. The wife spotted it from the hallway - the other end of the hallway from the computer room - as it threw colored light from the dark (monitor and lights off)! So much for casual, unannounced upgrades!
  • D-Link DGL-4300 Wireless 108G Gaming Router - What makes it all happen in the DGL-4300 is something termed "GameFuel" by D-Link; it is their built in engine to place priority on predefined games within the unit itself. It does allow you to build your own, obviously not as easily as selecting one that is already configured. Add to this a 4 port 10/100/1000Base-Tx switch (yes that's Gigabit) and you have a high performance internal network to boot.
  • BenQ FP71G+ 8ms LCD panel - Arguably, the key selling point for the FP71G+ is the 8ms response time and it seems to hold up to the scrutiny pretty well. Noticeable blurring is something that is very subjective. Blurring is very subtle, lacking a better analogy, to me personally it is like being in an alcohol induced stupor where things are not quite in focus.
  • Samsung SyncMaster 920T LCD - The SyncMaster 920T sports a very unique design for any desktop. It's 1280x1224 resolution is great for office work or gamers, and Samsung also provides a 3 year warranty on all its monitors. The 920T also comes equipped with built in speakers at the base of the monitor for those interested, but as we've mentioned earlier these speakers are not your high-end setup.
  • HP LaserJet 2420-DN Network Laser Printer - The Hewlett-Packard Laserjet 2420dn model is a networked monochrome laser printer with a 1200x1200 maximum resolution, 64MB of onboard memory (expandable to 320MB), 350 sheet paper capacity, a built-in HP JetDirect Ethernet print server, automatic duplex printing and a price tag of about CAN$1049 (US$899).
  • Logitech Premium USB Headset - The USB based Logitech Premium USB Headset 350 bypasses your sound card entirely and uses its onboard DAC to convert your digital files into the music that you hear. The onboard DAC supports 24-bit output, 16-bit input and 48 KHz sampling. On the plus side, setup is remarkably easy--all you do is plug it in. For sound quality, the Premium USB Headset 350 will outperform most onboard solutions, but it won't sound better than dedicated audio solutions like the Audigy 2 ZS.
  • Niro 600 Home Theater System - The NIRO 600 ($749/system) is in the middle of the line of the recently introduced product series. Immediately you will notice the size difference. Overall, the NIRO 600 is smaller than past NIRO products. Not only is the main controller smaller, but so is the one-enclosure speaker, and it sports a new configuration. The NIRO 600, however, still carries the classic NIRO appearance, which is the silver and gray combined finish.
  • The Cigarette Lighter MP3 Player: MP3onChannel - The playback quality on the MP3onChannel is more suited to playing voice recordings, such as audio books, or self-help or language learning programs. For song playback, the player cannot compete with audio CDs in quality. Song navigation is acceptable only if you don't have many songs on the USB flash drive. This is a decent player in certain situations. If you are looking to get rid of the wires on your long commutes and willing to put up with average audio quality then the MP3onChannel may work for you.

GUIDES... 

  • USB Evolution in the Past 10 Years - Everything USB posted an article detailing the development of USB technology in the past 10 years. It spans over 4 different pages covering different aspects: original promoter group formation in 1995, first USB peripheral revolution in 1998, USB 2.0 breakthrough in 2001, and Wireless USB.
  • Used Lens Buying Guide Part 2 - In this guide, Andrian's Rojak Pot takes a look at the pros and cons of buying second-hand lenses and then what you should be aware of when you buy second-hand lenses.
  • Running Samsung TCCD at DDR600+ on DFI nForce4 - Getting your brand new A64 S939 to overclock to high DDR600 speeds is not an easy feat. Even with high quality memory you still need a lot of tweaks to get everything running stable. In this guide Madshrimps show how to reach stability at DDR600 speeds on the nForce4 board from DFI
  • Speed Tweaks for the Masses - Speed... we crave it, we want it, we need it especially when it comes to our high-speed connections. But the question remains and one that I wanted to answer here is: Why does one high speed seem to perform better than another? Why does my 108 wireless connection seem slower than my 10MB LAN connection? How do I keep my speed when jumping from one high speed to another? Well folks that's what this tweak article is going to try and accomplish.
  • PopUp Blocking Comparison Test - Using PopupTest.com and a couple of sites with Flash related PopUps I performed a basic comparison to see which browser would block the most types of PopUps without interfering with Good PopUps.

SOFTWARE...

  • AutoPatcher XP March 2005 - AutoPatcher (download full version / lite version) is a comprehensive collection of patches, addons 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.
  • Real Alternative 1.33 - Real Alternative will allow you to play RealMedia files without having to install the official RealPlayer.
  • CCleaner 1.18.099 - CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) is a freeware system optimisation tool. That removes unused and temporary files from your system - allowing it to run faster, more efficiently and giving you more hard disk space. The best part is that it's fast! (normally taking less that a second to run) and Free.
  • LinkSync BETA 4 v0.9.3 - 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.
  • Skype 1.2.0.37 - Skype uses P2P (download / changelog) 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.
  • FileZilla Server 0.9.6a - FileZilla (download) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.
  • Maxthon (MyIE2) v1.2.1 - 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..
  • Windows x64 Science Benchmark - Sciencemark.org said it has released a version of its scientific benchmark for Windows. But this is a 64-bit client benchmark, to take advantage of 64-bit extensions.
  • NVIDIA NvMixer - The Modded NVIDIA NvMixer Utility (download) unlocks hidden features such as Enable/Disable nVidia’s CineSurround,  Enable/Disable output Limiter, Enable/Disable Dolby Surround Encoder, Enable/Disable Analog and Digital ports, Advanced Surround encoding options, Advanced Center/LFE Settings, NvSwap settings, Audio Firewall, Acceleration mode, Application profiles system and more.
  • NGO ATI Optimized Driver v2.3 - 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 (both desktop and mobile platforms).
  • Forceware 76.41 Win2000/XP BETA - There are new ForceWare drivers (Beta) which are dated at the 17th or March. First reports say that the nasty temp bug is gone.
  • Logitech SetPoint 2.30.400 WHQL drivers - Station-Drivers has posted a new set of Logitech SetPoint Drivers version 2.30.400 WHQL (download) for Windows 9X/ME/2000/XP.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,23 2005 - tech
Wednesday Tech Madness - tech
(hx) 10:24 AM EST - Mar,23 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Firefox add-on lets surfers tweak sites, but is it safe? - A new Firefox extension that lets people customize their experience of the sites they visit is stirring excitement among Web surfers and consternation among security experts. That capability has gained the extension an avid following of Web surfers who want to customize the sites they visit, removing design glitches and stripping sites of ads. But the extension comes with substantial security risks, and could stir trouble among site owners who object to individual, custom redesigns of their pages.
  • Symbian Trojan attacks anti-virus protection - Malware authors have created a Trojan that targets Symbian smart phones and attempts to remove any anti-virus protection it finds. The Drever-C Trojan attacks mobile anti-virus packages from F-Secure, Kaspersky and Simworks running on Symbian devices. Targeting security protection is common in mainstream Windows PC malware but this is a recent innovation for mobile viruses. Drever-C poses as a security update and tries to damage the boot loader and application binaries of F-Secure Mobile Anti-Virus. F-Secure says the attack is impotent because its software contains protection against any attempts to modify its files. The code of the malware contains a message to F-Secure, as follows.
  • Hackings Subject Universities to Potential Data Theft - On March 17, Boston College acknowledged a security breach on a campus computer managed by a third-party vendor that housed a fundraising database. The school alerted the approximately 120,000 alumni on the list, which contained names, addresses and Social Security numbers. California State University Chico informed students March 14 that hackers gained access to a University Housing and Food Service system containing names, addresses and Social Security numbers for as many as 59,000 people.
  • Cyber criminals hack their way to fortune: report - Releasing its latest Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec said more than half the major Internet threats targeted personal information, Xinhua reported. The report said identity theft features were found in 54 percent of the top 50 malicious codes detected between July and December 2004, marking an increase on the 36 percent found during the same period in year 2003. This represented a clear trend that attackers had gone from seeking fame to seeking fortune, said Oliver Friedrichs, senior manager with Symantec Security Response.
  • Anti Brute Force Resource Metering - This whitepaper discusses how resource metering on the client-side (PDF), i.e. making him work to make brute forcing computationally feasible, works and the security advantages it can bring.
  • Microsoft tests new patch program - Microsoft on Tuesday began testing Microsoft Update, which it says will help users keep up with the latest versions of Windows, Office and other programs. The free program, which is slated to be in final form later this year, lets users of the Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003 operating systems download all updates automatically or manually choose which patches to get.

OFFTOPIC...

  • AOL offers English language lessons - The entire language course features 96 recorded online sessions with visual and audio components, the companies said Tuesday. Weekly classes can be played back and used repeatedly for review and reinforcement. In addition, consumers can install an offline collection of more than 100 hours of learning material on their computers, so that they can learn at their own pace.
  • First membrane-free alkaline fuel cell built - The first membraneless alkaline fuel cell has been built by exploiting the way liquids do not mix in ultra-narrow channels. It could offer cheaper and more efficient fuel cells. Doing away with membranes not only simplifies a fuel cell's design, it has also enabled the first alkaline fuel cells to be built. These could potentially be 40% more efficient than the acidic units used today, says Paul Kenis of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Illinois, US, who has developed the system.
  • Global warming could trigger ant invasions - Global warming may lead to an unexpected threat from the insect world - swarming invasions of tiny ants - suggests new research. The study of 665 ant colonies in environments ranging from tropical rainforests to frozen tundra suggests that in warmer environments the ants' body size shrinks, on average, while the number of individuals in the colony booms.
  • The solution to saying thank you while on the road - The mechanism wags and moves like the tail of a pet robot dog. It's an automotive accessory that serves as a communication tool. Cars should have some means of communicating besides signal lights. The Thanks Tail lets the car say, "I'm going first," or "Thank you," or "Sorry."
  • Hell YES! - Nice videoclip - check it out :)
  • Black Author Wins The Matrix Copyright Infringement Case - This little known story has met a just conclusion, as Sophia Stewart, African-American author of The Matrix will finally receive her just due from the copyright infringement of her original work!!! Stewart filed her case in 1999, after viewing the Matrix, which she felt had been based on her manuscript, "The Third Eye," copyrighted in 1981. In the mid-eighties Stewart had submitted her manuscript to an ad placed by the Wachowski Brothers, requesting new sci-fi works.
  • Alien Apocalypse - This Saturday is a day that all Bruce Campbell fans should rejoice! He's in another feature. This time it's Alien Apocalypse a Sci-Fi Channel Original movie. Alien Apocalypse will air 9/8c on March 26th (thanks AQFL)
  • New teaser trailers @ ComingSoon - Valiant, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (TV spot), The Island, Red Eye (Wes Craven thriller), Kung Fu Hustle (two clips from the Asian comedy), Sahara, War of the Worlds, Sin City (11 minute behind-the-scenes)

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Multiplayer online gaming goes mobile - Mobile operator 3 today claimed to be the first to offer real-time multiplayer online gaming to its subscribers. The first titles will be No Refuge, a tank battle game supplied by Mobile Interaction, and Lock 'n Load, a shooting game from Synergenix. In addition, 3 will launch the "turn-based" multiplayer game Cannons Tournament, a shoot and fire game supplied by Macrospace.
  • Yahoo upgrades email storage to 1GB - Yahoo plans to once again raise its free email storage, this time to 1GB. The rise in email storage matches the same email storage offered by search rival Google. The storage change is said to begin in late April for Yahoo's free email users, whose current storage mark is set to 250MB.
  • Spamming spammers? - IBM unveiled a service Tuesday that sends unwanted e-mails back to the spammers who sent them. The new IBM (Research) service, known as FairUCE, essentially uses a giant database to identify computers that are sending spam. E-mails coming from a computer on the spam database are sent directly back to the computer, not just the e-mail account, that sent them.
  • Microsoft Details Longhorn Networking - Execs in Redmond go public with some of the enterprise and home-networking changes that will debut with its next-generation version of Windows.
  • AOL Unveils ICQ 5 - ICQ 5, released Monday, provides many features customers have been asking for, including more customization, upgraded security and a simpler interface. The service also provides users with several new features, including a new global walkie-talkie feature, the ability to chat with others without taking turns, and better video instant messaging that lets users adjust size and save snapshots from their video IM sessions.
  • Novell Says Its Next Linux Desktop Will Surpass Windows - The current Novell Linux Desktop 9, which was released last November, is targeted not at the mass market but rather at those customers with more contained workloads. But all of that is set to change with the next version of the product, Novell Linux Desktop 10, scheduled for release next year.
  • Amazon.com discounting UMD movies for PSP by 30% - Amazon.com has discounted the announced Sony PSP UMD movies by 30%, making them in some cases cheaper than the DVD version of the movie. The Hellboy, XXX, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Resident Evil movies are available for $13.97 (List: $19.95). House of Flying Daggers sells for $20.27 (List: $28.95). The first UMD movies ship April 19th.  For instance the Hellboy DVD sells for $14.96 on Amazon.com.
  • Avid buys Pinnacle for $462 million - Avid Technology, the leading player in video and film editing tools, has revealed it is to buy rival video-editing maker Pinnacle Systems in a deal reported to be worth $462 million.
  • Drop sensor provides laptop motion control - The latest Apple Powerbook laptops can now be controlled with a gentle shake, thanks to a clever software trick. The new model of the notebook includes a motion sensor that locks the head of the hard drive in one position if the machine is suddenly dropped, to prevent damage as well as loss of data. The sensor is able to tell when the computer is moved up and down or rolled forwards or to the side.
  • MCI Adds Thousands of Wireless Hotspots - The telecommunications carrier has launched 1300 new Wi-Fi hotspots in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region, and will launch 3400 U.S. hotspots in May, the company said. Before the expansion, corporate customers of MCI's wireless service had access to about 6200 hotspots worldwide.
  • Windows Mobile 2005 (aka Magneto) LEAKED! - An user named Gora from xda-developers leaked what seems to me an authentic copy of a Windows Mobile 5.0 ROM, Microsoft's next mobile platform for PDAs and smartphone. The About dialog displays the following versions: Microsoft Windows Mobile Version 5.0 OS 5.1.1700 (build 14326.0.0.0), ROM version: 1.50f.00WWE, ROM date: 02/24/05, Radio version: 1.10.00, Protocol version 1337.18.
  • AMD Unveils Low-Power Opteron - At the Server Blade Summit 2005 in Santa Clara, Calif., on Tuesday, AMD announced the Opteron Model 248 HE, a low-power version of the current 2.2GHz Opteron 248. The current model has a power envelope of 89 watts. The HE model has a smaller envelope, at 55 watts.
  • Got an Audigy or Extigy? Creative owes you money - Creative Labs has settled a lawsuit that alleged misleading marketing of its Audigy and Extigy sound cards. It seems they said the sound cards could handle 24-bit audio at 96Khz when, well, they couldn't. So if you bought an Audigy ES, Audigy Platinum, Audigy Platinum eX, Audigy Gamer, Audigy MP3+, or an original Extigy external USB sound module between March 28, 1999 and December 29, 2004, there's a good chance Creative owes you some dough. To placate you, they'll pony up 25% off your next Creative purchase, up to $62.50. But don't put it off too long, the offer will expire September 25th.

HARDWARE... 

  • AMD's Forthcoming Athlon 64 May Require BIOS Update - According to The Inquirer, mainboards from ABIT and EPoX will only be able to support AMD Athlon 64 revision E0 with a special revision of the BIOS. The web-site did not report which mainboards are affected and when and if the BIOS is released. AMD Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX processors revision E0 are those based on AMD’s cores code-named Venice and San Diego respectively. The desktop AMD64 processors with E0 revision are expected to feature SSE3 technology in addition to several performance improvements and bug fixes over those found in previous revisions of AMD Athlon 64 processors made using 90nm process technology.
  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ CPU - Obviously the Athlon 64 4000+ is a little powerhouse. It's not for everyone though, the biggest problem right now is its pricing, which is in the 500-600 EUR/ USD range. That's a lot of money people. If you want the best though well, then nothing much can match this, except the even more expensive FX-55 CPU of course.
  • SkyHawk IMC6375 EchoQ SFF PC - If you want to make this a LAN Party or gaming PC then you will need to plan your component choices carefully. If you want a more powerful video card such as an ATI x800, then you will need to install a SATA hard drive or SATA optical, otherwise you will not have the needed 4 pin molex for the video card. You can run an ATI 9600XT and not worry about the video card power, since the 9600XT does not require and external power source. But of course your performance and frame rates will suffer accordingly.
  • NFORCE 4 SLI Motherboard Round-up - The contending motherboards are: DFI's nF4 SLI-DR, ASUS' A8N-SLI Deluxe, MSI's K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI and Gigabyte's K8NXP-SLI – all four are widely available at online retailers like Newegg and are pretty comparably priced.
  • The Mother of All CPU Charts Part 1 - THG  have updated the benchmarks to include the Intel Pentium 600 series and Extreme Edition.
  • ECS's 915-A Mainboard - Use of the Intel i915GV core logic is what really defines the 915-A's feature set. At first glance, it's hard to spot the difference between 915G and 915GV. 915GV doesn't support a 16 lane PCI Express bundle for routing to a PEG16X electrical slot, for graphics. With that electrical slot physically present on the 915-A, you'll notice the lanes routed to the slot, of which there are only two, are provided by the ICH6 I/O southbridge processor rather than the 915GV northbridge.
  • Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI AMD Athlon Motherboard - The Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI motherboard is basically the K8NXP-9 motherboard with SLI and and both use the latest high performance Nvidia nForce4 chipset supporting AMD Athlon 64 socket-939 processors and are top of the line AMD Athlon 64 939-socket motherboard.
  • Asus A8N-SLI Premium Allows SLI to be Enabled in Software - The Premium version of Asus' A8N-SLI motherboard allows you to turn on or off SLI in software, rather than requiring you to open your system case. Will this new feature help alleviate one of the issues that some people have with SLI?
  • Leadtek WinFast PCIe PX6200TD Overclocking test - Looking for a PCIe budget card which can potentially pack a hefty punch? Leadtek PX6200TD might just have what it takes.
  • Leadtek WinFast PX6600 GT TDH (Solo and SLI) - Overall, the Leadtek WinFast PX6600 GT TDH is a great little card for around $200. The included bundle adds a considerable amount to the package. The software and utilities are useful and handy while the games are very popular even if they aren't all that new. The PX6600 GT's performance is quite good and at times impressive, especially when in SLI mode
  • Gigabyte GeForce 6200 with TurboCache 256MB - The 6200 TC was introduced in several configurations, such as with 32MB onboard, with a 32 bit data path, or 64MB with a 64 bit data path. I tend to think that the majority of cards being sold will be built like this one from Gigabyte; 64MB with 64 bit data path, running at 550 MHz DDR.
  • HIS Radeon X850XT IceQ II Turbo Video Card - Once the iTURBO mode is enabled, the X850XT IceQ II Turbo will operate at exactly the same frequency as the X850XT PE. This is quite interesting, as once the iTURBO mode is enabled there is absolutely no difference between the HIS Radeon X850XT and the X850XT PE.
  • Sapphire X800 XL Video Card - The X800 XL is a full 4 quad pixel pipeline design (16 pipelines) with 6 vertex shaders running at 400 MHz core. The memory is on a 256 bit bus and is specified to utilize 256 MB of memory running at 490 MHz DDR (980 MHz effective). The overall specifications indicate that it should be a GeForce 6800 GT killer, but in testing it appears as though the NV40 architecture is a bit faster per clock than the corresponding ATI products.
  • XFX geFORCE 6600GT AGP Video Card - The XFX geFORCE 6600GT provides enthusiasts and budget gamers with an upgrade path that doesn't break the bank. It was also one of few cards that was readily available in both the AGP and PCI Express configurations, and features DUAL DVI and a decent full games bundle.
  • Memorex USB 2.0/FireWire 16x DVD±RW - Based on NEC's award winning ND-3500A, Memorex's new external writer is capable of 16x DVD±R, 4x DVD±RW and 4x DVD+R DL writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. On top of that, the drive features 48x CD reading and writing speeds, 24x rewriting speeds, and support for both FireWire and USB 2.0.
  • Miniature Disk Drive: The Toshiba MK3006GAL Delivers 30 GB in a 1.8" Form Factor - With its MK3006GAL drive Toshiba offers a modern storage device that's sure to find all kinds of interesting and useful applications in both current and future products. Certainly 30 GB is not a tremendous amount of storage by today's standards, but as with the matter of performance, the capacity is a reasonable trade-off for the drive's compact dimensions and low weight.
  • Storcase's DE50 Backup solution - The DE50 is aimed at environments where a fast, customisable and secure method of backup is preferred. Where tape backup systems have dominated in the past, the cost per MB in the harddrive market has plummeted making them a much more appealing option. The DE50 and DE110 harness this potential and add a USB hot-swap facility, very useful for fast offsite backup production.
  • Performance Fan Comparison on XP-90 - Mikhailtech have tested 7 different fans ranging from low to extreme speeds on a Thermalright XP-90 to see which is the most ideal.
  • Revoltec 520 W "Be Quiet!" PSU - Revoltec have really brought out a nice product onto the scene, with a lot more features than any other powersupply on the market, a sleek appearance, silent performance, stable voltage rails and many other features this is one well designed power supply.
  • Logitech MX1000 Laser Cordless Mouse - After having used the MX1000 for some time now (playing too many hours of CS:S and World of Warcraft) I can safely say it's the best I've ever used. I've also come to the conclusion that it's not about the improved tracking. Sure it's a laser mouse and that's great, but the optical sensor in the MX engine is already powerful enough to handle almost any mouse surface. This device has two things going for it that no other mouse does: superb ergonomics and an almost limitless feature set (courtesy of the keystroke assignment ability). And of course the improved battery, battery life indicator, and charging cradle. This mouse is elite.
  • BTC Wireless Multimedia USB Keyboard with Dual Mode Joystick Mouse - The keyboard comes completes with an USB powered receiver, this black matching tapered shaped box has only one lit round connect button on the face and is simply connected to any given open USB port with 1.1 or 2.0 interfaces. As you can see it is very simple in design and is really only needed to be set up once. There are small rubber feet that are on the bottom for placing the unit on any given surface, there is no real need to be inline to the keyboard for any improved performance. The adjoining keyboard also has the connect button right above the ESC button.
  • Sunbeam 20 in 1 Superior Panel - Want to access everything from an arm's reach without bumping year head trying to reach the rear panel? Two many flash memory cards and not enough card readers? Sunbeam comes to the rescue once again.
  • Pricom SX-3700WB - Basically if you're a business or home user that is sharing any type of USB device, especially a MFD, across a network using OS based network sharing, you absolutely owe it to yourself to have a look at one of Silex's USB device servers.
  • Samsung SyncMaster 710N & 711T LCD Monitors - I'd like to argue that the 710N is a great monitor for heavy gamers and LAN Partiers. With a ligher weight, exceptional response time and better-then-average stats in all the other categories, the monitor allows a good symbiosis for the gamer on-the-go. With the 711T, we have an excellent monitor for the MMORPG gamer for games like World of Warcraft and the Saga of Ryzom. With excellent, crisp colours and a still respectable 25ms response time, the 711T performs well enough to be a good monitor for those of us not fragging on a regular basis.
  • Apple iPod shuffle 512MB - Apple's first flash MP3 player drops LCD screen and complicated controls in favor of simplistic "song shuffle" style. Basically, iTunes' AutoFill randomly picks 120 songs for you during sync from your favorite playlist. iPod shuffle also recharges via USB, and doubles as a 512MB USB flash drive as well.

GUIDES... 

  • 64-bit computing in theory and practice - The immediate impact, in a positive sense, isn't much at all. Windows x64 can run current 32-bit applications transparently, with few perceptible performance differences, via a facility Microsoft has dubbed WOW64, for Windows on Windows 64-bit. WOW64 allows 32-bit programs to execute normally on a 64-bit OS. Using Windows XP Pro x64 is very much like using the 32-bit version of Windows XP Pro, with the same basic look and feel. Generally, things just work as they should.  There are differences, though. Device drivers, in particular, must be recompiled for Windows x64. The 32-bit versions won't work. In many cases, Windows x64 ships with drivers for existing hardware.
  • Intel EM64T Technology - Intel's Extended Memory 64 Technology, better known under the simple acronym EM64T, is Intel's version of x86-64. The processors that feature support for EM64T are backwards compatible with 32-bit systems, and also capable of taking advantage of the added memory and computational capabilities of 64-bit processing. EM64T is built off of the IA-32 architecture, with additional registers, instructions, and otherwise enhanced instructions.
  • NVIDIA SLI Support - Getting Better - A new driver from NVIDIA has improved SLI support and brought new features to the table. Inside this article they not only test this latest driver, focusing on SLI support and performance, but they also comment on what they would like to see in the future iterations of NVIDIA's SLI.
  • Beginners Guides: Fundamentals of Upgrading a PC - If you are a PC gamer, you are already familiar with this merry-go-round. Every year or so, there is a must-play game which demands more processor speed, a faster graphics card, more RAM, etc. As a good example of this, look to some of the upcoming game releases from ID software and Valve. Given the the speed of today's average PC, these games are not just going to push the envelope, they are going to be delivering their own envelope, sealed and stamped with a single word. Upgrade.
  • Driv3r Benchmark Results -  OnlyNewz let us know they have done eight benchmarks with a 2,4GHz AMD processor with 1GB memory and two PCI-Express NVIDIA Geforce 6800 videocards.
  • How To Create Your Own Blog - Blogs, the abbreviation of Web Logs (online journals), are becoming more and more popular all the time. People are starting new blogs at an astounding rate so it's safe to assume that there are constantly people out there who want to know how to get a blog going.

SOFTWARE...

  • UltraEdit-32 v11.00b (shw) - UltraEdit-32 (changelog ~ download) is a Windows text editor with support for unlimited file sizes, a spell checker, drag and drop, full HEX editing capabilities, user configurable syntax highlighting (pre-configured for HTML, Java, C/C++, VB, Perl), column editing, sorting, and a configurable toolbar.
  • WabMail v1.0 - WabMail is a small and simple tool that makes it easy to quickly retrieve a plain list of e-mail addresses that are contained in your Windows Address Book (.WAB) file. The WAB allows you to export the content to a comma delimited file, however, this may be way too much for your needs.
  • ABC [Yet Another Bittorrent Client] 3.0 - After a long wait, ABC 3.0 is now available.
  • ShirusuPad v1.1b beta - ShirusuPad is a small program with a stylish interface that allows you to keep notes of any kind.
  • FireTune 0.5 - FireTune for Mozilla Firefox v1.x was developed for an easy and fast optimization of your browsing experience with Firefox. It is based on a collection of optimization settings collected and tested by Tweakfactor. Usually you have to optimize Firefox manually, which can be time consuming and difficult for the novice user. FireTune helps you here - it includes all the performance optimizations. The only thing you must do is: make your selection. FireTune does the work for you.
  • Thunderbird 1.0.2 - Thunderbird (release notes ~ download) is a full-featured email, RSS and newsgroup client that makes emailing safer, faster and easier than ever before. More information about Thunderbird is available.
  • Mozilla 1.7.6 - Mozilla (release notes ~ download) is an open-source Web browser, designed for standards compliance, performance and portability. Mozilla is a cousin to Netscape Communicator that is being developed by the Free Software Community with the cooperation and support of Netscape.
  • Tray Helper 4.8 - Tray Helper is freeware program with many features (f/e: email checker, auto mail responder, anti-spam, popup-killer, event reminder and more).
  • Intel Chipset Installation 7.0.0.1014 (Beta) - 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 - Mar,21 2005 - tech
Monday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 01:40 PM EST - Mar,21 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Hackers target browsers to dodge firewalls - Hackers are increasingly using attacks that exploit browsers rather than trying to batter through firewalls and other network protection devices, according to security firm Symantec.
  • Half of viruses written for criminal gain - Over half of all computer viruses, trojans and malicious code are created to steal sensitive information and make money, according to research released today.
  • DVD Jon Breaks ITunes Security--Again - Described by its developers as "the fair interface to the ITunes Music Store," PyMusique is a new application that lets users connect to Apple Computer's ITunes Music Store and download songs without Digital Rights Management (DRM) restrictions. PyMusique does so by bypassing the ITunes application interface all together--a clear violation of the ITunes Music Store's Terms of Service.
  • Crime Fighters solve crimes by examining cell phones - Modern detectives are now using cell phone forensics to capture more and more criminals. Forensics, the science of preserving, extracting and examining data, has long been confined to computers. Now, with the help of cell phone seizure kits like the one from Paraben, detectives can easily extract important information from all types of cell phones.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Rodriguez on Shark Boy and Lava Girl - Robert Rodriguez, who co-wrote and co-directed Sin City, tells ComingSoon.net that his seven-year-old son came up with his next film, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D.
  • Computers bad for kids - Using a computer at home might actually reduce a child's performance in maths, science and English rather than improve it, a study has found. Researchers who looked at 100,000 children in 32 countries originally found that children from homes with computers performed better. In fact houses with computers were likely to be from a richer social class, and when these factors were removed performance was less than expected.
  • Classic maths puzzle cracked at last - A number puzzle originating in the work of self-taught maths genius Srinivasa Ramanujan nearly a century ago has been solved. The solution may one day lead to advances in particle physics and computer security.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • CeBIT 2005 - Moblie Phone Round-Up
  • Sony PSP vs. Nintendo DS - Part I of this three-part series will cover Sony’s brash new entry, the PSP.
  • Nokia ships 6680 3G smartphone - Nokia today began shipping its latest high-end 3G imaging smartphone, the 6680, which incorporates two digital cameras. Originally showcased a month ago at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, the device boasts MMC storage, support for Nokia's XpressPrint system and a screen of up to 262,144 colours.
  • Yahoo to buy photo-sharing site Flickr - Ludicorp Research & Development Ltd. President Stewart Butterfield on Monday confirmed Internet portal Yahoo Inc. will acquire the privately held company, which operates photo-sharing Web site Flickr.
  • Visual Studio 2005 Ship Date Slips Again - Microsoft Corp. Monday announced that the much-anticipated next version of its developer tools suite will ship in the second half of 2005 in several versions, with the Microsoft Developer Network as its primary delivery mechanism.
  • Google opens website for developers - Google is throwing open the doors to open source developers and inviting them to participate in projects via the code.google website. Google says that the site will be the repository for its free source code and the list of its API services.
  • VIA rolls out 64-bit drivers for WinXP Professional x64 Edition RC2 - VIA's complete driver lineup for 64-bit operating systems includes AMD K8T/K8M-series for desktop PCs, K8N-series for notebooks, Pentium 4-compatible PT880 Pro and PT894 series and embedded applications including the CN400 that supports Windows XP.
  • Doom 3 for Mac slower than PC equivalent - DOOM 3 for the Macintosh can run 30% slower than its PC equivalent on similar hardware, according to benchmarks published by Bare Feats. Testing a PowerMac G5 2.5GHz system with a GeForce 6800 Ultra, Timedemo 1 in the game came out at 53FPS. With an Athlon FX55 (at native 2.6GHz) and similar GeForce 6800 Ultra, the score was 76FPS, with a resolution of 1600x1200 at High Quality.
  • New USB Flash Drive Will Move Applications and Data from PC to PC - U3 and Verbatim Corp. announced Monday that Verbatim will make a new type of USB flash drive by using the U3 platform. Called a smart USB flash drive, these drives will enable consumers to carry all of their personal computer settings, applications and data for use on any PC wherever they go.

HARDWARE... 

  • R520, "Fudo" is Longhorn WGF 1.0 compliant - It turns out that R520 won't just have Shader Model 3.0 it will eventually have support for upcoming Longhorn WGF 1.0 specification. WGF does not stand for Which Graphic Freak, it's an abbreviation of Windows Graphic Foundation. This is what Microsoft has decided to call Direct3D in the future. WGF 1.0 is actually Direct3D 9.0+ or just beyond the DirectX 9.0c specification. It's also called DX 9.L where L possibly stands for Longhorn.
  • Intel ships 64-bit, 2MB L2 Pentium 4s - Intel yesterday formally began selling its Pentium 4 6xx series, rolling out four versions of the 90nm, 2MB L2 cache chip. The chip giant also added its latest P4 Extreme Edition to its official price list. The P4 630, 640, 650 and 660 are clocked at 3, 3.2, 3.4 and 3.6GHz, respectively. All four chips support an 800MHz frontside bus.
  • The SiS 756 PCI Express Chipset For Athlon 64 - On the heels of NVIDIA and VIA, SiS is now also offering a PCI Express chipset for the Athlon 64. The 756 offers modern features at a fair price, but is that enough to make the grade against such stiff competition?
  • DFI LP NF4 UT SLI-DR: Overclocking Test - The article focuses on NF4 board in the area of memory timing and FSB (HTT) overclocking, and not SLI performance.
  • MSI S250 12.1-inch Notebook - For day-to-day handling of work, the 12.1-inch S250 from MSI is simply a great notebook to get you by without a complimentary workout from having to lug it around for meetings, presentations or the likes. It's lightweight, sturdy and is fast enough to help you ease through your applications comfortably. However, the seemingly impeccable notebook is not without its own hiccups and the badly implemented keyboard has marred an otherwise good impression we had with the S250.
  • Intel's Pentium-M 735 Processor and DFI 855GME Motherboard - Performance wise, there's one thing that stands out from the analysis and observation of P-M's scaling with nothing more than its base frequency: it's crying out for core logic to let it breathe and perform to its fullest; there's definitely plenty of extra performance to be had by pairing P-M with Alviso core logic. There's also extra performance to be had just by upping the CPU's bus clock, so the upcoming 200MHz Pentium-Ms, using Alviso, should give very fine performance, comparatively.
  • Corsiar DDR2 TwinX XMS2-4300C3 Memory Modules - They have great overclocking capability without extreme voltage application and can handle very low timings at relatively high speeds. It will be a long time until a CPU and motherboard combination will be available to handle running 1:1 synchronous operation. Please note that the modules may clock even higher than 720MHz in synchronous operation, but the time for such an event is still a long time in the future.
  • 1GB OCZ Gold PC4000 VX DC kit - OCZ never ceases to impress. There are a couple of downsides to the use of the Gold PC4000 VX, but the upsides sure make up for it. The memory requires extremely high voltages, beyond the typical high of 3.2v. Unless they can find a motherboard compatible with the OCZ Booster, user's are pretty much required to purchase the DFI nForce4 motherboards. The use of high voltages also causes the system to run incredibly hot, and because of that, more fans and better cooling is needed. If enthusiasts already own a DFI motherboard and don't really care much about system noise, then this memory is definitely a must.
  • EPoX 9NPA+ Ultra Motherboard - The EPoX 9NPA+ Ultra is an excellent motherboard with several impressive attributes. However, this nForce4 Ultra solution is not completely perfect and it does lack many features found on competing motherboards. What is certainly the biggest disappointment of the 9NPA+ Ultra is its inability to support dual graphics cards.
  • Albatron 6600GT - You can find one of these babys for around 180$ so they are in the middle price market. You get alot for a smaller amount of money so if you don't have the money for that extreme 6800 card look into one of these 6600 GT cards which might be better for your wallet. This is a very stable card that we did not have any problems with at all and the only thing I can complain about is the cooling with the extremely loud fan that drove me nuts after awhile.
  • Albatron GeForce TC6200Q Video Card - Between the two cards I used in this review I definitely favor the Albatron TC6200Q mainly because the capability of being able to render 256MB of system ram. This really made a significant differences in Call of Duty and Half-Life 2. The 64/256MB memory capability permitted the use of higher resolutions in most of the other games tested. I did not mind playing Half-Life 2 at 800x600 but I am partial to 1024x768 and the Albatron TC6200Q is capable of performing at that resolution where the TC6200, 16MB, is better off at 800x600 resolution. Both cards displayed exceptional stability throughout all testing and gaming using ForceWare 71.20 or 71.84 drivers.
  • HIS Radeon X850 XT IceQ II Turbo and Radeon X800 XL IceQ II Turbo - The X800 XL operates similarly with HIS iTurbo but the card itself is clocked at "stock" X800 XL speeds out of the box. Activating iTurbo essentially takes you further into overclocking territory with a 432MHz Core clock. Beyond that, things are fairly straight forward. With the exception of HIS' innovative IceQ II cooling design, these cards are stock ATi reference board layouts, with Dual DVI and VIVO connections for the high end X850 XT and DVI with standard D-Sub VGA connectors for the X800 XL.
  • Plextor PX-716UF DVD+/-RW DL writer - The PLEXTOR PX-716UF follows in the footsteps of the award winning PX-712UF coming packed with some great technologies namely GigaRec, VariRec, and SecuRec. Given its external nature, installation is extremely easy- any novice user would have no problem installing this drive. Plug in the power and USB cords, install the drivers and you are ready to rock. The performance of the drive is great when doing any kind of read or write operation.
  • Batterylife Activator  - Dan's Data takes a look at the Batterylife Activator
  • Samsung DVD-L300 Portable DVD Player - The Samsung DVD-L300 DVD Player has more options than you can through a stick at, it not only can play regular DVD discs at a 5" size but also play audio CDs of the same size or the 3.5" mini discs. A convenient power adaptor, the cables of this adaptor can be easily wrapped up and tucked away in the adaptor itself. Small finger like clips are present to hold the top lid closed along with rubber stoppers. The 384,000 pixels not only create a clear picture but also allow you to view on a steep angle if needed.
  • Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 digital camera - The Z5 is the latest addition to the series, and comes in at the top of the range. With a five megapixel sensor, a 2in LCD monitor, a huge 12x optical zoom lens and Konica Minolta's innovative image stabilisation system it has a specification that is a match for almost any camera that's currently available at this price.
  • Fossil Wrist PDA FX2008 - The styling is certainly classic late 1970s or early 1980s digital watch, with push buttons on either side of the screen to control the PDA's functions. On the right-hand side are Page-up and -down buttons, and between them a rocker switch for information navigation and selection. On the other side, there's the Back button, recessed reset switch and, behind a rubber panel, the USB connector. Above the screen, a little way around the casing, is the IR port.

GUIDES... 

  • Internet Explorer 6 and Outlook Express tweak guide - This guide will take you through the vast array of options and settings available to customize Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) and the bundled Outlook Express (OE) to its fullest, in particular seeking to improve browser security or just fine tuning them to your own browsing needs. You may also want to know this guide has been updated to include all changes brought by Windows' Service Pack 2.
  • Star Wars KotOR 2: Tweak Guide - If you are having trouble getting the most out of KotOR2, you might want to check out this Tweak Guide.
  • Windows XP Performance Optimization 101 - In this article you'll find tips, tricks, and tweaks for Windows XP and Microsoft's SP2 release. From install to optimizing the system tray, it's all inside!
  • Startup File Database - PC Review have launched a Startup File Database containing a very handy list of all the processes that start when Windows loads up
  • Mobile GPU Comparison Guide Rev. 4.0 - Currently covering over 40 mobile GPUs, this comprehensive comparison will allow you to easily compare 14 different specifications for each and every GPU! We hope it will prove to be a useful reference.

SOFTWARE...

  • UNOFFICIAL Windows98 Second Edition Service Pack 1 2.0 RC2 - Microsoft has never released a service pack for Windows98 SE (download). But I made a Service Pack for Windows98 SE users. It contains all Windows98 SE updates from Windows Update site and more. It is a self-extracting and self-installing pack like Microsoft's update files. Thus, you cannot choice files individually. However, the pack installs only required fixes for your system. Uninstallation is possible from Add-Remove Programs.
  • Gaim 1.2 - Gaim is a multi-protocol instant messaging (IM) client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows. It is compatible with AIM and ICQ (Oscar protocol), MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, GroupWise Messenger, and Zephyr networks.
  • Media Player Classic 6.4.8.4 - Media Player Classic (WinXP/2k / Win98/ME) is similar to windows media player 6.4 but with features pertained to minimalist advanced users. It also supports DirectX 9 and VFW drivers for capture. It supports viewing through ActiveX controls of Real and QuickTime files.
  • DiscJuggler 4.50.1179 - DiscJuggler (demo) can simultaneously drive multiple CD recorders and replicate virtually any standard CD. It features direct digital-to-digital CD duplication from a CD-ROM drive to multiple CD-R drives, audio CD duplication with support for PQ and R-W subcodes, and on-the-fly audio stream resynchronization, and on-the-fly software regeneration of ECC/EDC and scrambling.
  • DVD Decrypter 3.5.4.0 - DVD Decrypter is a free tool which enables you decrypt and copy a DVD to your PC's hard disk. From there you can choose to watch them with the likes of PowerDVD and WinDVD or you can re-encode them to MPEG1 (VCD) or DivX. Advanced functionality can be found in the context menus.
  • NGO ATI Optimized Driver v2.3 Beta - 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 (both desktop and mobile platforms).
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,18 2005 - tech
Friday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 01:52 PM EST - Mar,18 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Windows 2003 Outlook Web Access URL Injection Vulnerability - A vulnerability in Microsoft Windows 20003 Outlook Web Access allows malicious attackers to redirect the login to any URL they wish. This allows the attacker to force the user to the site of the attackers choosing enabling the attacker to use social engineering and phishing style of attacks.
  • McAfee AntiVirus Library Stack Overflow - ISS has shipped protection for a flaw X-Force has discovered in McAfee AntiVirus Library versions prior to 4400. The McAfee AntiVirus Library is widely relied upon to provide antivirus capabilities to desktop, server, and gateway systems. Also, several large vendors and ISP's implement McAfee's AntiVirus Library in their products. By crafting an LHA file, an attacker is able to trigger a stack overflow within the
    process importing the McAfee AntiVirus Library. Desktop, server and gateway versions of McAfee's anti-virus scanners all need patching but this will happen automatically as anti-virus signatures are updated. Several large vendors and ISP's use McAfee's AntiVirus Library in their products or services, which likewise need an upgrade.
  • Rootkits leave antivirus systems powerless - An increasing number of virus writers are using so-called 'rootkit' technology to create malware that is invisible to existing antivirus packages, IT security experts warned today. "Windows rootkit is a stealth technique for hiding files. But does it at the kernel level, rather than at the application level," explained Patrick Runald, senior technical consultant at F-Secure. Two recent viruses, Myfip.H and Maslan.A, both had stealth features borrowed from rootkits, according to Runald.
  • International hackers attempt massive heist - The National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) has foiled a gang of hackers aiming to steal L220m from a Japanese bank in London. After gaining access to the IT systems of Sumitomo Corporation's London offices in October the gang installed key-logging software to record log-in codes and company documents. They had been planning to transfer the money to 10 bank accounts around the world. But the gang's movements were picked up and the NHTCU launched an investigation. In a joint operation with police forces around the world the hackers were stopped before any funds could be transferred.
  • House is pirate DVD factory - Police have discovered a massive DVD copying factory in a raid on a house in Haringey. Officers seized more than 50,000 films, including many not yet released in British cinemas. Dozens of DVD copiers and thousands of labels were also removed. Movies found included The Magic Roundabout, Are We There Yet? and Shall We Dance?

OFFTOPIC...

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Hey, Don't Toss Those Fishy Chips - Chip manufacturing is currently very wasteful. Between 20 percent and 50 percent of a manufacturer's total production is tossed or recycled because the chips contain minor imperfections. Defects in just one of the millions of tiny gates on a processor can doom the entire chip. But USC professor Melvin Breuer believes the imperfections are often too small for humans to even notice, especially when the chips are to be used in video and sound applications.
  • EU Commission: Microsoft Offer Inadequate - Microsoft Corp.'s latest offer to comply with sanctions imposed by the European Commission is insufficient to meet the concerns of customers and consumers, a Commission spokesman said on Friday.

HARDWARE... 

  • AMD Dual Core Processor Plans - Here is a very high level overview of the AMD dual core design strategy. AMD was adamant about the benefits of having dual cores on a single die based on several reasons including performance and cost.
  • Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010 tablet PC notebook - Running Windows XP Tablet PC 2005, the Lifebook T4010 is the latest Tablet PC from Fujitsu-Siemens. The core specifications are comparable to that of a mid to high-end laptop, with a 1.8GHz Pentium M processor, 512MB of PC2700 DDR SDRAM, Intel 855GME chipset and Intel 802.11b/g wireless networking. Using the full set of Intel hardware also means that the Lifebook T4010 can boast a Centrino sticker.
  • Tested: 64-Bit P4 - PCWorld compared two of the new chips, the 3.73-GHz P4 EE and the 3.6-GHz P4 660, with a 32-bit 3.8-GHz P4 (the fastest 32-bit P4), a 2.6-GHz Athlon 64 FX-55, and a 2.4-GHz Athlon 64 3800+. Results are mixed: You'll get a slight boost over a 32-bit P4, but you will pay about $100 to $200 more for an Intel PC than for an AMD one with similar or slightly better performance.
  • DFI LANPARTY NF4 SLI-DR nForce4 SLI Motherboard - DFI really set the stage for tweakers and overclockers with this board and are now reaping the benefits of its hard work and research. As of today (March 18), fifteen of the top twenty systems in the 3DMark05 hall of fame use DFI SLI systems! With an option for DIMM voltage up to 4V, a "FSB" clock up to 456MBHz, CPU clock multipliers and plenty of memory dividers, DFI has made sure its board would come out on top and that its users' performance would as well.
  • Club 3D Radeon X800XL PCI Express - Extras included with the X800XL are 3 CD's; a driver, manual and demo disk, PowerDVD 5 and PowerDirector 3 DE, and the obligatory free game of Colin McRae Rally 04.
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400GB SATA Hard Drive - Bringing the 7200.8 Barracuda drive into the market, Seagate has reached a new milestone. The drive ran cool and quiet, it offered exceptional performance in every test and kept CPU load at a negligible minimum. Windows XP load times were some of the fastest we've experienced, an important factor to most users.
  • Samsung 16X Dual Layer DVD±R-RW  - Samsung drive does a fairly good job at burning large amounts of data to both single and dual layer DVDs. It burned a full dual layer disc in less than 30 minutes and at 4x, which is above the rated burning speed of this drive. I found that to be fairly impressive, but I was surprised that it was still slower at burning the disc than a competitive drive. The lack of a larger buffer could be a place for improvement since Samsung has brought out CD burners with the larger 8MB cache buffer.
  • Asetek WaterChill KT03A Extreme - The asetek WaterChill CPU Power kit (KT03A-SL35) can be viewed in a variety of ways. The obvious and enthusiast oriented option is around overclocking. A huge radiator, 3 fans means tons of cooling and big overclocks.
  • Logitech MX518 Gaming Mouse - The MX518 is light, responsive, and offers a level of control over its features that few other mice can match. Logitech's designers have clearly thought through the design issues and come up with a winner in the game of mice. If you're a serious gamer, it's worth checking out—even if it does have a boring name.
  • Razotech UFO Mouse - UFO mouse? Yeah! This little mouse makes its presence known. It has 10 blue LED's, five on each side of the mouse, that light up in a counter clockwise motion. There is no doubt that using this mouse will draw attention. Sound like fun? Sound annoying? That is your own opinion really, regardless, I'll take a closer look at what this new mouse from Razotech has to offer...
  • HiFi Headphones Roundup featuring Airhead and Bithead Amplifiers - The Sennheiser HD600s are really in a class of their own. Given their price this should not really be surprising. The clarity and evenness of the sound across the board made these cans a true joy to listen to. Every track played on these came to life. Nuances previously unheard on other headphones were suddenly noticed. The only others in this review that equal the HD600s are the ER-4Ps.
  • M-Audio Firewire 1814 18-IN-14-OUT Audio-MIDI Interface W/ADAT Lightpipe - The FireWire 18/14 is an 18-in, 14-out audio interface complete with ADAT Lightpipe for multi-channel communication with other digital devices. It features 8 x 4 analog I/O at up to 24-bit/96kHz, and boasts 192kHz on the first two inputs and all four outputs. Channels 1 and 2 also include high-quality microphone/instrument preamps. S/PDIF optical digital I/O provides 2-channel PCM, as well as pass-through of surround-encoded AC-3 and DTS material.
  • Samsung SyncMaster 710N LCD Monitor - The Tech Zone takes a look at the Samsung SyncMaster 710N.
  • InFocus LP-120 projector- To bring it down to bald measurements, the LP120 measures just 94mm front to back, is 258mm wide and 52mm thick, and weighs 0.9kg.
  • hp Color LaserJet 3550 - This is a linear colour laser, meaning the four coloured toners are built up on the paper in a single pass, rather than in the four passes that a carousel mechanism takes. When you fold down the front of the machine, you gain access to four slots, each of which takes a toner cartridge,
    complete with developer drum. They slide in easily and are the only consumables you need to deal with. This integrated approach makes the  physical set up and maintenance of the Color LaserJet 3550 extremely simple.

.GUIDES... 

  • Creating a combined install point with the .NET Framework and a service pack - It is possible to create a package that will install the .NET Framework 1.1 and SP1 at the same time (or 1.0 and SP3 at the same time).

SOFTWARE...

  • Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluator - IECE is designed to help IT professionals (download) evaluate changes in behavior of web applications and web sites caused by the new security features in Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and test for compatibility when moving from Windows XP to Windows XP Service Pack 2.
  • 3d Traceroute 2.0.8:30 - Replace all your ugly ping plotters and traceroute programs with a full blown three dimensional traceroute program (download)
  • FireTune for Mozilla Firefox v0.3 - FireTune for Mozilla Firefox v1.x was developed for an easy and fast optimization of your browsing experience with Firefox. It is based on a collection of popular and well working optimization settings used and tested by the experts.
  • MSN Messenger 7.0 Build 429 Public Beta - Microsoft has released for download new public beta of their MSN Messenger 7.0, build 429.
  • Messenger Plus! 3.50.124 - Messenger Plus! Extension (download / changelog) is a program that adds functionalities to the MSN Messenger/Windows Messenger chat program.
  • Firefox and Thunderbird 1.0.2 RC - Download links can be found here.
  • WinPatrol 9.0.0.2 - WinPatrol uses a heuristic approach to detecting attacks and violations of your computing environment.
  • Fraps 2.5.4 (shw) - Fraps (changelog) is a universal Windows application that can be used with all games using DirectX or OpenGL technology. In its current form Fraps performs many tasks and can best be described as Benchmarking Software, Screen Capture Software and Realtime Video Capture Software.
  • DVD Decrypter 3.5.3.0 - DVD Decrypter is a free tool which enables you decrypt and copy a DVD to your PC's hard disk. From there you can choose to watch them with the likes of PowerDVD and WinDVD or you can re-encode them to MPEG1 (VCD) or DivX. Advanced functionality can be found in the context menus.
  • Windows XP Universal Tweaker v0.3 - This small wizard utility capable to do the following actions: Perform Internet Cache files and Temporary files cleanup, Tweak Windows Memory management, Tweak Connection and MTU Settings and perform DNS table cleanup, Tweak NTFS Partitions, Tweak Windows boot-time and Disable Windows ZIP Folder.
  • Realtek RTL8139(A/B/C/D/8130)/810X series driver 6.21 WHQL - Realtek released new RTL8139/811x/816x/810x series drivers v6.21 WHQL.
  • NGO ATI Optimized Driver v2.2 (Cat 5.3) - 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 (both desktop and mobile platforms).
  • nForce4 2K/XP v6.53 drivers - Nvidia has released a new nForce4 standalone kit v6.53 (Windows 2000/XP)
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,17 2005 - tech
Thursday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 08:53 AM EST - Mar,17 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • WebTV Trojan Horse author sentenced -   Louisiana man who launched an e-mail virus that reprogrammed some computers to dial the 911 emergency phone number has been sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay $27,000 in restitution to Microsoft (Quote, Chart), authorities said.
  • Tech Worker Sentenced to Prison for Hacking - An Orange, California, IT manager who earlier pled guilty to hacking into his previous employer's computer network was sentenced Monday to five months in prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office said this week. According to a plea agreement dated August 30, 2004, Mark Erfurt broke into the computer systems of Santa Clara, California's Manufacturing Electronic Sales Corp. (MESC) on January 23 and 24 of 2003. During that time, he deleted data, read e-mail, and downloaded a proprietary database from the network using the PC Anywhere remote control software, the agreement says.
  • Hollywood threatens to sue UK BitTorrent man for millions - Alexander Hanff had no idea Hollywood was keeping such a close eye on him. Then, last Saturday morning, a movie studio functionary arrived at his door. Hanff, still in his dressing gown and not yet full of coffee, opened the door, only to be served with a lawsuit by Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal City Studios and Warner Bros. You may have already guessed Hanff's supposed transgression. The movie studios suspect him of running a BitTorrent hub and helping people download copyrighted films via P2P technology.
  • Botnets multiplying over IRC - A newly published report by the Honeynet Project and Research Alliance has shown that internet relay chat (IRC) is crucial to hackers running so-called botnets of virus-infected PCs. The team, which uses test machines to analyse hacker behaviour, found many IRC bots which were being used to control infected PCs in distributed networks.
  • CyberCrime Mobs Revealed - In this special report, writers Deborah Gage and John McCormick map out how the networks get started, how they work, what they steal, and how the feds stay on their tails.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Hitachi Unveils Humanoid Robot - BBC reports that Hitachi has unveiled a humanoid robot, named Emiew, to compete with Honda's Asimo and Sony's Qrio robots. The robot has a vocabulary of about 100 words and could be trained for practical office and factory use.
  • Vampire bats can fly, drink blood - and run - Bats are the only mammals that fly. Scientists think they generally stopped running long ago, as evolution gave flight capabilities to their forelimbs. Most species of bats, if asked to run, can do little more than flop around like fish out of water.
  • Human embryonic stem cells grown animal-free - One of the hurdles to using human embryonic stem cells to treat disease has been overcome. Three teams have managed to derive and grow the cells without using any animal cells that might contaminate them.
  • Stress afflicts security bosses - Keeping computer viruses at bay is more stressful than divorce, warns a survey. The research revealed how European technology bosses were coping with the growing number of hi-tech threats. Although many firms had software in place to combat viruses, spam and phishing, it found few adequately protected against all threats. The survey also revealed that many tech bosses would face dismissal if they let their firm fall victim to a serious security breach.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 Details Begin to Leak - Sources say that IE 7.0 - which is code-named "Rincon," they hear - will be a tabbed browser. IE 7.0 will feature international domain name (IDN) support; transparent Portable Network Graphics (PNG) support, which will allow for the display of overlayed images in the browser; and new functionality that will simplify printing from inside IE 7.0, partner sources said. The new browser also will likely include a built-in news aggregator. However, CSS Support Could Be IE 7.0's Weakest Link.
  • Yahoo 360 blend of blogging, social networking - Yahoo announced it would launch Yahoo 360 March 29. The new Yahoo service blends several of its Web site's popular features with two of the Internet's fastest growing activities - blogging and social networking. The service is designed to enable Yahoo's 165 million registered users to pull content from the Web site's discussion groups, online photo albums and review section to plug into their own Web logs, or blogs, the Internet shorthand used to describe online personal journals.
  • Buena Vista to Release Films for Sony PSP - Buena Vista Home Entertainment said it would release five movies this spring: "National Treasure," "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," "Reign of Fire," "Kill Bill Vol. 1" and "Hero." More titles will be announced during the year, it said. The UMD, or Universal Media Disc, holds about three times the capacity of a regular CD. It was developed specifically for Sony's PSP, to be released in North America on March 24.
  • Sony updates PSX PVRs with PSP video support - Once again reports of the demise of Sony's PSX PVR-meets-PS2 have proved premature. Last month's move to suspend production appears to have simply heralded the launch of a new version of the product. The DESR-5700, like its predecessor, the 5500, sports a 160GB hard drive, while the DESR-7700 will provide the same 250GB storage capacity that the 7500 did. What the new models do provide is the ability to interoperate with Sony's Portable PlayStation handheld console and media player.
  • Door to Java source code opens a crack wider - Sun Microsystems wants to send Java closer to the open-source world, yet keep it safe from harm. It will modify its licenses to make access to the Java source code easier, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said Wednesday. But it stopped short of creating an open-source license--something it has resisted, despite calls to do so.
  • Xbox 2 will be the Xbox 360 - The study, held in London's Soho, saw a mixture of male and female gamers and Xbox owners presented with a series of prospective marketing campaigns for the Xbox 360. The three lead contenders to be offered by the best in media and marketing to date are - somewhat depressingly - Xbox 360: Amplify Yourself!; Xbox 360: You're Next!; and Xbox 360: Shine! Really, that's what they're working with right now.
  • DiVX video to include MP3 support - The Next generation of DivX video will include official support for MP3 and MP3 Surround audio, DivXNetworks told the INQ today. While MP3 audio has been used with Divx encoded movies for yonks, the official licensing of the technology from Fraunhofer and Thomson means that the codec can be used in official / legal / commercial content created with the video format, rather than just episodes of 24 downloaded from BitTorrent. The MP3 Surround codec enables 5.1 audio to be compressed in a similar and backward-compatible way to existing stereo MP3, saving space and avoiding alienating the existing installed base of MP3 devices.
  • Chip industry straining at the limits of technology - The pure silicon substrate is reaching its limits," Myers (president and chief executive officer of Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International) said earlier this week in Shanghai. Strained silicon works well with today's most advanced processes and will continue to be used as a substrate with upcoming 65 nm and 45 nm processes, but a different substrate is required for more advanced processes, Myers said.

HARDWARE... 

  • NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI for Pentium 4 - first benchmark results - From a prospective purchasers perspective, and one who has no preference which companies' microprocessor is installed, then the obvious comparison is between an AMD or Intel NVIDIA SLI system, and for the present, if the numbers we have are correct, and we believe they are, then the choice is looking decidedly obvious - an AMD based NVIDIA SLI system looks set to simply wipe the floor with an Intel Pentium 4 SLI system.
  • Dell Inspiron 6000 notebook - The only criticism here is that Dell's power-saving feature drastically dims the display while the system is running on battery, so much so that you may find working with the standard settings uncomfortable. If you need even more power autonomy, such as for long flights, Dell offers a 9-cell battery (L57.58 ex. VAT) which should give you a couple more hours usage. Whatever options you go for, the Inspiron 6000 should satisfy.
  • Gigabyte G-Max N203 Laptop - The G-Max N203 uses the Intel 855GME chipset including the ICH4-M Southbridge chip. This enables support for DDR 333 memory (through the processor itself does not take advantage of this).
  • Astak Team Research 512MB (2x256MB) PC4000 DDR-500 High Speed Memory  - ExtremeOverclocking take a look at two 256MB PC4000 DDR memory modules rated to run on a 250MHz (500MHz DDR) overclocked memory bus.
  • Abit's Fatal1ty AN8 motherboard - At over $220 online, the Fatal1ty-AA8XE is far from cheap, but it's no more expensive than other premium 925XE motherboards. With plenty of OTES cooling, a decent cable bundle, a tweak-filled BIOS, and uGuru delivering the best hardware monitoring around, the Fatal1ty-AA8XE is definitely a premium board worthy of any Pentium 4 overclocking enthusiast. Another review can be found on ExtremeTech.
  • HIS X850 XT PE IceQ II Dual DVI VIVO 256MB PCIe - The chip used in the X850 XT PE is the R480 chip. The main difference between this chip and the older R420 chip that you find in the old X800 XT's is so called "process enhancements." These have made it possible for ATI to clock it slightly higher than the X800 XT PE. As you might notice, the Radeon X850 XT PE isn't that much faster on paper than the X800 XT PE.
  • HIS X800XL/X850XT - HIS RADEON X800 XL IceQ II Turbo 256MB is potentially the best choice in its price segment. Besides, its performance may grow in Turbo mode. What concerns this sample, its operating stability is up to the mark, its quality is very high, 2D picture at 1600x1200@85Hz is sharp. 440/1170 MHz overclocking.
  • EVGA e-GeForce 6200 TC video review - 3DGame Man has posted an EVGA e-GeForce 6200 TC Video Card video review
  • Apollo nVidia gForce 6600GT AGP - I can safely say that the Apollo 6600GT is definitely worth the $219US that ComputerGeeks asks for it. It is so far advanced from the Radeon 9600Pro that they aren't in the same category. Yes, there are a few drawbacks. No temperature monitoring is a bummer, especially with the sensor right there in the core. The huge aluminum heatsink probably keeps the core to a respectable temperature, but copper works so much better
  • XG Vortec 500W Power Supply - It comes with a one year warranty and they will repair it for $25 after the warranty is expired provided there is no physical damage and spare parts are still available for the repair. You can expect to pay about $80 for the Vortec 500
  • Zalman VF700-CU Ultra Quiet Copper VGA Cooler - The Zalman VF700-CU is everything you could ask for in a GPU cooler: great performance and silence. It fits many different cards, cools your ram, and looks good too. It didn't fit perfectly on the 6600GT AGP, mainly because of the odd layout of the card due to the PCI-E/AGP interface. We were well warned by Zalman that it would be different, but it would work.
  • Corsair COOL Water Cooling - While the "Cool" is definitely an entry level cooling unit, it is equally suitable for the beginner or experienced enthusiast. Just based on its price to performance ratio alone this, this under $200 water cooling system is sure to be extremely popular and for good reason.
  • Belkin Wireless Keyboard - There you have it. If your mobile device lacks Bluetooth, your options are essentially limited to IR unless, as with some HP/Compaq models, there is a plugin keyboard or USB host and you feel like carrying around a full size keyboard. If IR is the only way to go, I have no issues recommending this one from Belkin.
  • Logitech MOMO Racing Wheel  - This racing wheel will not disappoint. If you are serious about your driving games, this is the wheel for you. The MOMO wheel came highly recommended by several of my friends and I must say it has lived up to the hype.
  • Toshiba TDP-SW20 Wireless DLP Projector - The TDP-SW20 is a competent, if pretty run-of-the-mill budget projector. It's nothing special specification-wise: the resolution is a pretty bog- standard SVGA (800 x 600), and the brightness is nothing to write home  about either at 1400 ANSI lumens. The contrast rating of 2000:1 is pretty standard too, these days. There are other projectors on the market with higher resolution and brighter pictures for the same money.
  • Apple iPod Shuffle (512MB) MP3 and Digital Media Player - The 512MB version is priced at just $99 dollars while the 1GB goes for $149. The price is right, and the Shuffle looks stylish enough, but we have to wonder if those two attributes are enough to carry this little player.
  • Nintendo DS handheld games console - A few hours spent with Super Mario 64 DS will tell you that the ARM9 and ARM7 CPUs are perfectly capable of doing anything you would have seen on the N64's custom hardware, and there are times when the bundled demo version of Metroid Prime: Hunters has you suspecting that it might have the potential to surpass it. Another review can be found on TrustedReviews.
  • smart2go Mobile Navigator GPS Software with Socket Bluetooth GPS Receiver - PDAToday.com has just finished up their extensive review of smart2go Mobile Navigator GPS Software with Socket Bluetooth GPS Receiver including many screenshots and detailed information.

.GUIDES... 

  • Understanding the Cell Microprocessor - Cell, at a high level, isn't too difficult to understand; it's how the designers got there that is most intriguing. It's the design decisions and building blocks of Cell that we'll focus on here in this article, with an end goal of understanding why Cell was designed the way it was.
  • Introduction to Tape Backup - The Tech Zone has posted an article on backing things up to tape.
  • Protection against Adware and Spyware - PC Review have a new article on protecting yourself against Adware and Spyware.

SOFTWARE...

  • Auditor Security Linux - Auditor Security Linux is a KANOTIX-based live CD with a collection of tools for system auditing and forensic analysis. A new version was announced today: "The new version is finished and distributed allready on some of the usual mirrors. (thanks NeoNSX)
  • FileZilla 2.2.12b - FileZilla (download) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface.
  • Firefox - FireTune 0.2 - FireTune for Mozilla Firefox v1.x was developed for an easy and fast optimization of your browsing experience with Firefox. It is based on a collection of optimization settings collected and tested by Tweakfactor.
  • Style XP 3.02 (shw) - Style XP is not a skinning engine. It uses Microsoft's built-in visual style engine, but enhances it by providing many useful tools. Style XP can import, select, rotate, and manage themes, visual styles, wallpapers, and logons.
  • Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.75 - This new version adds support for NEC PI/PIF scanning on upcoming NEC firmwares.
  • AnyDVD 4.6.1.2 (shw) - 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. This new version improved CSS key extraction, if title is additionally protected by Arccos or Puppetlock.
  • Sound Blaster Audigy 2 & 2 ZS Driver - This update combines the features and fixes of two previous updates:  EAX 4.0 ADVANCED HD Driver Patch Update for Sound Blaster Audigy 2 and Audigy 2 ZS (released on 29 March 2004) and EAX 4.0 ADVANCED HD Driver Update for Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2/Audigy 2 ZS (released on 19 November 2003). In addition, this update includes a new fix for your Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 or Audigy 2 ZS series audio card. Note that this fix is not critical so you can choose not to install this update.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,15 2005 - tech
Tuesday's Tech Madness - tech
(hx) 10:10 AM EST - Mar,15 2005 - Post a comment / read (2)
I'm saying sorry to all who've been missing regular tech reading articles lately, but I had a high fever for so many days. Fortunately, I feel a bit much better now...

SECURITY...

  • Microsoft to abandon passwords - Microsoft has revealed at a security panel at CeBIT that it is preparing to dump passwords in favour of two-factor authentication in forthcoming versions of Windows. Detlef Eckert, the senior director in charge of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing initiative, did not specify which form of two-factor authentication would be used in the next edition of the company's operating system, codenamed Longhorn.
  • British ISPs Must Identify File Sharers - British record companies applauded Friday's ruling in court that gave them the right to obtain the identities of people who use file sharing programs from Internet service providers. The labels were looking for the identities of 31 persons suspected of uploading large numbers of illegal files onto various P2P services.
  • Zombie PCs being sent to steal IDs - The report, released on Monday, summarizes the findings of researchers who have tapped into more than 100 different bot nets since last summer. Some of the networks were made up of more than 50,000 computers, said the Honeynet Project, a security group that sets up heavily monitored systems, or honeypots, and allows them to be attacked.
  • FTC Shuts Down Fraudulent Antispyware Company - The FTC announced that it's filed a restraining order against a company that allegedly offered Internet users a spyware scanner program that falsely reported that computers were infected with spyware, and which failed to remove any spyware at all from infected machines.
  • 911 Trojan author jailed for six months - A Louisiana man who wrote malicious e-mails that caused some computers to dial the 911 emergency number was sentenced on Monday to six months in prison.
  • Hack most wireless LANs in minutes - Now with the new active attacks on WEP described in Ossmann’s follow-up article, hackers no longer need to passively wait for legitimate packets on a wireless LAN because they can actively inject packets into a wireless LAN to ensure a speedy packet collection session. The end result is, any WEP based network with or without Dynamic WEP keys can now be cracked in minutes!

OFFTOPIC...

  • Star Wars Revelations trailer - This is an independent film, completely put together by volunteers and organized by Panic Struck Productions. Well, check out this trailer!
  • Martian dust devils finally caught on camera - Swirling dust devils on Mars have given NASA scientists both a scientific treat and a very welcome power boost. On 10 March, the rover Spirit captured images of two dust devils in one day. It is the first time any have been seen on Mars since first being identified in a single image from the Mars Pathfinder mission in 1997. One of the two appears on two different images from the rover's Navigation Camera, making it possible to track its direction and speed.
  • Thousands join hunt for gravitational waves - On Monday 14 March, the 126th anniversary of Albert Einstein's birth, over 50,000 people around the world are helping in the hunt for the gravitational waves predicted by the great physicist nearly a century ago. These people have already downloaded the distributed-computing program Einstein@Home, which was only launched on 19 February 2005, and more than 1000 people per day are still joining. Dense moving objects such as spinning neutron stars or colliding black holes are predicted to send out ripples in space-time - gravitational waves - according to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. But so far no gravitational waves have ever been observed.
  • [RIP] Billy Wilson Dead at 33 - Billy "Wicked" Wilson (Voodoo Extreme former) has passed away at the age of thirty-three. He is survived by his wife and son. Specific details surrounding his death aren't public at the moment. Pretty sad news ....:(

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Netscape browser makes comeback - The once-mighty Netscape browser is attempting a comeback. How, you ask? Simple. By combining the best elements of its two leading rivals. Netscape is out with a test release of version 8.0, and the new browser is nothing like its recent predecessors, which were mostly about fixing bugs and playing catch-up.
  • IBM lets Millipede storage out for a stroll - IBM tantalized chip aficionados at CeBit here last week with a storage device that it says can achieve data densities of more than 1 terabit per square inch. The MEMS prototype can hold the equivalent of 25 DVDs on an area the size of a postage stamp, IBM said. MEMS stands for micro-electrical-mechanical system.
  • Japanese Giants Launch 170Mbps over powerline - The speed is three times faster than wireless technology Wi-Fi and is fast enough for high definition television signals. Unlike wireless alternatives, the powerline technology performance is stable throughout the home. SECA will compete with existing technology from the HomePlug alliance of 50 companies, including Japanese group Sharp (6753.T). The two systems are not compatible.
  • 3D Raytracing Chip Shown at CeBIT - As noted at heise.de Saarland University is showing a prototype of a 3D Raytracing Card at CeBIT2005. The FPGA is clocked at 90 MHz and is 3-5 times faster in raytracing then a Pentium4 CPU with 30 times more MHz. (Slashdot.org)
  • Nokia Plans Three New Phones for the U.S. Market - Nokia plans to sell its new 6155i CDMA phone in the fourth quarter. The 6155i offers a fold-over cover, built-in zoom lens camera (which supports streaming video), and GPS applications. The 3155 CDMA phone also plans to go on sale with the 6155i in the fourth quarter. The 3155 CDMA also offers a fold-over case with extra memory for storign pictures, along with integrated FM Radio. Both phones are expected to cost $100 to $250, a middle-tier price range described by Nokia.
  • Sony PSP Euro debut delayed? - Sony has apparently pushed back the UK release of the PlayStation Portable to late June, if Amazon.co.uk's PSP product page is to be believed. If the site's new date is credible, the delay marks a serious slippage from the late March timeframe Sony originally had in mind for the handheld console's UK debut
  • DRM comes to mobiles - SanDisk is working with a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to make storage cards which include digital rights management. The flash card maker will offer cards for use in mobile phones from the last quarter of this year. SanDisk cards will use NDS's mVideoGuard Mobile DRM technology.

HARDWARE... 

  • X-bit labs CeBIT 2005 Coverage - #Day1 #Day2 | #Day3 | #Day4 / another extensive coverage can be found on THG
  • ECS announces first INTEL/AMD combo motherboard - The solution is codenamed PF88 and it is expected to be formally launched in April, according to senior manager of marketing at ECS Adam Chou. He also said that shipments should begin before May. Both the P4 motherboard and K8 converter card use SiS northbridges, the SiS656 and SiS756 respectively. The motherboard supports up to 4 GB of dual-channel DDR2-667 memory.
  • Asustek previews Turion 64 platform - One of key players in notebook industry, Asustek introduced its future implementation of the AMD Turion 64 platform at CeBIT. The product, initially called A6000K, will come out with 15- or 15.4-inch TFT LCD display, Nvidia GeForce Go 6200 mobile graphics processor, DDR333 memory (upto 2GB), wireless LAN module supporting two (b and g) or three (a, b and g) versions of IEEE 802.11 standard, the company said.
  • SiS761GX Anounced DirectX 9 Integrated Chipset - Silicon Integrated Systems today announced their new SiS761GX integrated chipset supporting AMD64 platforms with a PCI Express x16 high-speed graphics interface. The SiS761GX is equipped with a 3D graphics core, and fully supports new generation AMD64 central processors, including the AMD Sempron, Athlon64, Athlon64 FX and Opteron. In addition to its Mirage1 graphics core and software support for DirectX 9.0, the SiS761GX is capable of dual screen output when paired with the SiS307 video bridge chip.
  • SLI Bridge Available in Retail - This week some Japanese hardware stores started offering the SLI bridge card, which is shipped together with Gigabyte's or Leadtek's graphics cards as well as with all the SLI supporting mainboards based on nForce4 SLI available in the today's market. Why could anyone be willing to buy a separate SLI bridge card at all?
  • Dual-core AMD Athlon 64 benchmarks emerge - The first dual-core Athlon 64 benchmarks have appeared on the web, courtesy of an Italian-language hardware site and an unnamed Taiwanese OEM. The Italian site came up with a rendering time of 41.4s for the Athlon 64 dual-core sample, second only to a two-way, HyperThreading-enabled 3.6GHz Xeon system, which clocked in at 38.4s. The Xeon rig offers four logical cores to the Athlon 64's two physical cores.
  • Memory Shootout - Extremely High Performance DDR using Samsung TCCD DRAMs - To sum up, if you want the coolest modules on the block and you're feeling flush, the Corsair Xpert is in a niche of its own. Paired with Samsung's TCCD modules, there's a world of performance to be had from them at modest Vdimm. Otherwise, the G.Skill and OCZ both come recommended at around the £200 mark, with Corsair's XL PRO and XL PT under that price, too.
  • ASUS AX800XL - The easiest way to think of the 800XL is a clocked-down version of the X800 XT - same amount of pixel pipelines and vertex shaders but clocked quite a bit lower and it's built on a .13-micron process. This allows the GPU to run significantly cooler and also yields some nice overclockabilty which we'll get into later on in this review.
  • ASUS N6800GT SLi - The ASUS card currently retails for $489 at newegg and multipling that by two for an SLI setup gives a figure with which you can easily buy an entire PC with reasonable performance. They also says: "We think that playing with the 6800 series in an SLI mode is only for the rich kid's at the moment. As prices come down and more games take better advantage, only then will we be able to recommed an SLI setup."
  • Leadtek WinFast A6600GT (AGP GeForce 6600 GT) - Leadtek has taken this technology and tossed it into a great package. The WinFast A6600GT TDH offers performance that almost matches that of the next generation's hardware, at a fraction of the cost.
  • ATI Radeon X850 XT 256MB (PCI Express) video card - To put it simply, R480 is a tweaked version of the R423 core used to power the PCI Express version of ATI's initial X800 products. These tweaks serve the purpose of reducing heat and increasing clock speeds over its predecessor and, most importantly, avoiding some of the supply constraint issues we've seen in the past. The Radeon X800 line-up (X800 Pro aside), has picked up a far from illustrious reputation of being near vapourware, with X800 XT parts, the Platinum Edition in particular, being all but non-existent. Indeed, early indications are good that supply of these new R480 (and R430)-based parts are plentiful, with X850 products aplenty available for purchase. Whether this trend will continue with the AGP-based variants of these boards that come to market shortly remains to be seen of course, but the situation is looking decidedly more hopeful.
  • Asus DRW-1608P - The DRW-1608B will burn DVD+/-R media at 16x, DVD+RW at 8x and DVD-RW at 6x. Of course I wasn't able to test the DVD+RW and DVD-RW performance properly since the respective 8x and 6x media isn't available yet. The CD-R specification is a little disappointing at 40x, while the 24x CD-RW speed is pretty much par for the course. But it's the DVD+R DL specification that really impresses with the Asus drive – at 6x, this drive promised to be considerably faster than the 4x drives already on the market
  • Seagate 100Gb USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive - It's basically a small (2.5") harddrive packed inside a strong shell with a high speed, USB 2 adaptor on rear; it's also got a bright blue LED light for good measure. Seagate offer two version of the drive; a 40gig version and a 100gig version - we looked at the 100gig version
  • XG's X-Case - XG has done a nice job of dressing up a good solid case. It is both practical and unique looking. It provides more then enough room to work in and fit all of your components. Cooling and noise levels are both decent and I think most gamers would be very happy to have their system in this case. It is fairly heavy though, so it is not for you people that carry your system to LAN parties.
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop MX 3100 - The only drawback I can see with the MX 3100 is the keyboard layout is not standard - the Insert key has been removed from the middle roll and placed next to the F12 key and because the Windows Start key was removed from the right side of the keyboard, the right Ctrl key doesn't line up with the right Shift key. The sifted over Ctrl key placement was by far the most troublesome. Many time when I wanted to hit the Ctrl key I ended up hitting the left arrow key. I didn't miss the relocation of the Insert key but not having the Ctrl key line up with right side of the Shift key took a lot of getting use too.
  • Netgear's MP101 wireless audio system - check it out!

.GUIDES... 

  • PCStats' Linux guide part #2: installing a PC - In the first part of PCstats Beginner's Guide to using Linux, they explored the basic features of this open-source operating system by using the Knoppix 'live' CD Linux distribution which does not require a permanent installation onto your computer's hard drive, but instead loads entirely from a single CD. For the second installment of this guide, they're going to take one of the most popular and easy to use free Linux distributions, SUSE Personal 9.1 and explore the process of installing Linux onto your hard drive as a full operating system.
  • Motherboard Basics - A  motherboard, also known as a main board, is the primary circuit board inside of a computer, and is where the central processing unit (CPU), memory, expansion slots, drives, and other peripheral devices are connected.
  • Basics of Flash Memory, Part 2 - Bigbruin.com has posted the second part of their basics of flash memory series.
  • Hack most wireless LANs in minutes - Now with the new active attacks on WEP described in Ossmann’s follow-up article, hackers no longer need to passively wait for legitimate packets on a wireless LAN because they can actively inject packets into a wireless LAN to ensure a speedy packet collection session. The end result is, any WEP based network with or without Dynamic WEP keys can now be cracked in minutes!
  • Building A Silent Server/HTPC - OCModShop has posted a guide about building a silent Server/HTPC
  • Pureoverclock's March buyer's guide - check it out

SOFTWARE...

  • MySQL 4.1.10a - MySQL (download ~ changelog) is the world's most popular open source database, recognized for its speed and reliability.
  • Java 2 Runtime Environment Standard Edition 5.0 Update 2 - Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE) software is the premier solution for rapidly developing and deploying mission-critical, enterprise applications.
  • LimitLogin v1.0 - This application adds the ability to limit concurrent interactive user logons in an Active Directory domain. It can also keep track of all logins information in Active Directory domains (without necessarily enforcing logons quotas).
  • Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 4.0 - Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) contains the tools and documentation you need to evaluate and mitigate application compatibility issues before deploying on these platforms.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0.1 Update - download (thanks Mr.Tech)
  • xplorer2 Lite 1.2.0.0 - The lightweight version of xplorer2 is not a crippled unusable salesman of the professional version. It shares the same browsing and management engine, and gives many rival professional file managers a run for their money - literally. It is a complete little file manager, albeit lacking a bit in bells and whistles.
  • Process Guard 3.150 - ProcessGuard is a powerful new cutting-edge program that greatly increases the security of your computer by preventing processes from being able to attack each other. It is considered by experts to be a must-have program for all users of Windows, and is the only program available that can actually prevent the installation and infection of all known rootkit stealth trojans.
  • NeroLINUX 2.0.0.0-6 - NeroLINUX is a comprehensive, yet flexible application provided you have some prior knowledge of CD/DVD technologies.
  • K-Lite Codec Pack 2.41 - K-Lite Codec Pack is a collection of codecs and related tools. Codec is short for Compressor-decompressor. This new version includes Media Player Classic v6.4.8.3 and DirectVobSub (vsfilter) v2.35.
  • QuickTime Alternative 1.42 - QuickTime Alternative will allow you to play QuickTime files (.mov, .qt and other extensions) without having to install QuickTime Player from Apple
  • Real Alternative 1.32 - Real Alternative will allow you to play RealMedia files without having to install RealPlayer or RealOne Player from Real Networks. Supported are: RealAudio (.ra .rpm), RealMedia (.rm .ram .rmvb .rpx .smi .smil), RealText (.rt) and ReadPix (.rp). It also supports RealMedia content that is embedded in webpages.
  • Nero Burning ROM 6.6.0.8a - As the version number itself still remains the same and there is no mention of this 'a' version in their changelog, it appears like this update may fix something small such as possibly a bug fix in its new LightScribe support. Nero Version 6.6.0.8a is available on its FTP mirrors and its website update section here.
  • iPod2PC 1.10 - iPod2PC enables you to copy MP3-songs from your lovely iPod back to a PC's harddisk. Transfer easily your music library to another PC to play them there or make a backup of your songs.
  • BitTorrent v4.0.0 - BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer protocol designed to transfer files. Users connect directly to send and receive portions of a file, while a central tracker coordinates the action of all peers and manages connections without knowledge of the contents of the files being distributed.
  • Firefox 1.0.2 Beta - A new beta release of the Firefox Mozilla web browser is available.
  • My Drivers v3.11.2600 - My Drivers enables easy and fast detection, backup and restore of all hardware device drivers currently on your system. Also, you can even find the latest drivers for your hardware and install them onto your computer.
  • nVHardPage v2.2 - The nVHardPage tweaker has been updated to version 2.2 Multilanguage and serves on en/disabling hidden features in nVidia control panel, tweaking nVidia Direct3D and OpenGL settings and overclocking your nVidia graphic card.
  • ForceWare 3D Stereo Driver 71.84 - Two files are required to use your 3D glasses with any GeForce card. The first is the 71.84 videocard ForceWare drivers, and the other is the official Nvidia Stereo drivers. 71.84 3D Stereo drivers require 71.84 ForceWare Graphics drivers to run.
  • NVIDIA Linux display drivers 1.0-7167 - NVIDIA has again released two new Linux display drivers. One for normal x86 systems and one for 64bit extended systems.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,14 2005 - tech
A Closer Look At PhysX PPU - tech
(hx) 02:57 AM EST - Mar,14 2005 - Post a comment
The chaps over at Anandtech take a look at the AGEIA PhysX PPU, the dedicated physics processing unit that could relatively revolutionize games as did the graphics processing unit. Here's a taster:
At first, we can't expect a new genre of incredibly interactive games. The first few games that adopt the PPU will tack it on like the first few games that embraced hardware 3D. We'll start by seeing effects enhancement (like more particles and objects go flying from explosions or some objects may get an upgrade to being deformable). If AGEIA has it their way, we will start seeing motherboards and notebooks integrating the PPU. If they can get good integration and acceptance of their add-in card, we might start seeing games that require a PPU and are really revolutionary with the level of user interaction allowed. AGEIA really wants to mirror the revolution that occurred with 3dfx, but it may be a better idea for them to separate themselves from that image considering how hard 3dfx fell from power.

Many people don't think a separate add-in PPU will fly. What about vendors dropping both the GPU and PPU on one card? Maybe if the add-in PPU doesn't stick around, we will one day see the birth of a ubiquitous "gaming card" that integrates graphics, physics, and sound onto one add-in board. Or if Intel decides that they need to go the extreme route, we may see integration of very application specific hardware that can handle tasks like physics processing onto the CPU.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,10 2005 - tech
NVIDIA's SLI technology - tech
(hx) 01:38 PM EST - Mar,10 2005 - Post a comment
Dave at Beyond3D has published a massive article about NVIDIA's SLI technology. He covers everything from the history of dual-GPU rendering solutions to what happens when you run an SLI rig without the card-to-card connector in place. Here's a taster:
Although the specifications of the 6600 GT and 6800 we ran here were a little different from the reference specifications they weren't that great that they would make too significant an impact on the results had we had boards that ran at the reference specifications. Overall the performance of the standard 6800 was disappointing as a single board, with performances that were behind the 6600 GT despite its similar fill-rate; we would have also expected to see greater gains under FSAA conditions on this board thanks to its 256-bit bus, but they didn't manifest themselves. The performance of the 6800 carries on in its SLI configuration with its performance rarely getting close to a single 6800 GT and not always posting particularly great gains over a single 6600 GT. The 6600 GT did make a more convincing case in SLI mode in a few titles with the SLI performance, when it's performing optimally, managing to be a little higher than a single 6800 GT or even Ultra, though with only 128MB of RAM this board does suffer more with FSAA rendering.

The 6800 GT and Ultra is where things become a little more serious as the SLI configurations are going to offer good propositions to the enthusiasts out there. These boards already have significant rendering power so the gaming performance is not going to be seriously impaired under the conditions where SLI isn't working optimally, but when it does the performances allow for higher resolutions at higher quality levels. For some of the enthusiasts that are looking to go straight to a high end SLI setup then the a 6800 Ultra SLI system may appear to be the immediate choice based on its performance alone; however, the 6800 GT SLI configuration can make a convincing case as well - it will be less noisy, you may be better able to use one of the slots in between the two boards should you need to at some point and the performance differences between it and the Ultra are not that huge.
In related news, third party SLI bridge connectors (for modders looking to convert boards like DFI's LANParty UT NF4 Ultra-D) have popped up on Akiba. At less than $10 each, the connectors cost significantly less than the price premium of an nForce4 SLI board. (thanks TechReport)
GeForce 6800 Ultra 512MB announced - tech
(hx) 11:23 AM EST - Mar,10 2005 - Post a comment
NVIDIA today officially announced two new products: a 512MB version of the performance-leading GeForce 6800 Ultra GPU and a new lower-cost AGP version of the GeForce 6200 GPU which brings DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 technology to even more affordable price levels. These new GPUs are shipping now from NVIDIA and are expected to be available from numerous partners in April 2005.
Working with leading DDR manufacturers, the NVIDIA 512MB DDR3 GeForce 6800 Ultra GPU provides faster frame rates at higher resolutions and color depths and double the memory for geometry data and textures. The 512MB DDR3 GeForce 6800 Ultra GPU also features SLI technology to deliver an ultimate gaming supercomputer for the extreme gamer. In the mainstream space, the new GeForce 6200 AGP GPU brings Shader Model 3.0 functionality to the $79 price point.

The two new GPUs deliver breakthrough technologies, each providing new levels of performance and visual quality. These new products also utilize the NVIDIA ForceWare software suite and Unified Driver Architecture (UDA), incorporating software optimizations that take full advantage of the newest features and its industry-renowned compatibility, stability, and reliability.

The NVIDIA GeForce 6800, GeForce 6600, and GeForce 6200 models are available for both PCI Express and AGP-based PCs. These GPUs were the first to support the revolutionary Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 standard for ultra-realistic effects and NVIDIA PureVideo technology for home-theater quality video on the PC.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,09 2005 - tech
ATI CATALYST Drivers v5.3 - tech
(hx) 06:23 PM EST - Mar,09 2005 - Post a comment
ATI has released a new ATI Catalyst drivers (release notes / download ~ 23.1MB) bringing them up to version 5.3. The package contains: RADEON display driver 8.111, Multimedia Center 9.06, Catalyst Control Center 5.3 (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 the CATALYST v5.3:
  • 3DMark2001: A black screen is no longer displayed when launching 3DMark2001 after launching Aquamark3, when the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER is installed. Topic number 737-1140
  • Code Creatures: Running the benchmark under Windows XP SP2 with an ATI RADEON 9250 installed, and the desktop display set to either 1600x1200, 1280x1024, or 1024x768 no longer results in the ground textures appearing corrupted. Topic number 737-10108
  • 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. Topic number 737-209
  • Thief Deadly Shadows: Setting the desktop display to 1024x768 32bpp and setting the Texture Preference to High Performance in the control panel no longer results in corruption being seen at the end of the introduction movie. Topic number 737-10109
  • Attempting to apply a higher refresh rate to a non-DDC monitor no longer results in the refresh rate reverting to 60hz. Topic number 737-10101
  • Accessing the Problem Report Wizard option from the ATI icon in the system tray no longer results in Problem Report Wizard not being translated in the supported localized languages. Topic number 737-341
  • Entering the Video option found in the Graphic Setting tab of the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER no longer results in the side scroll bar being missing for the secondary display device connected to an ATI RADEON 9800 series under Windows XP. Topic number 737-347
  • The Welcome tab found in the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER is now completely localized for the Japanese version of Windows XP, or 2000. Topic number 737-351
  • Using the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER to access the Display Manager no longer results in corruption being seen on top of menu text in the Dutch, French, Spanish, and Portuguese versions of Windows XP. Topic number 737-353
  • The TV formats now corresponds to the country selected in the TV properties. Topic number 737-1438
  • Having a CRT and TV connected to the ATI RADEON X850 series no longer results in the TV image quality page not being grayed out when enable video mode is enabled. Topic number 737-1439
  • Launching the Hotkey Manager found in the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER no longer results in the Hotkey Manager window not closing when hitting the ESC key. Topic number 737-10097
  • Using the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER to access the Display Manager no longer results in corruption being seen on top of menu text in the Dutch, French, Spanish, and Portuguese versions of Windows XP
  • Entering the Video option found in the Graphic Setting tab of the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER no longer results in the side scroll bar being missing for the secondary display device connected to an ATI RADEON 9800 series under Windows XP
  • Creating a profile for clone or stretch mode and attempting to change to that mode from an extended desktop mode, no longer results in the task failing to complete. Topic number 737-10098
  • The Windows desktop and Full-screen video options are no longer missing when clicking the back button found in the Video Wizard of the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER. Topic number 737-10098
  • The CATALYST CONTROL CENTER tool bar now displays correctly after applying a new skin and restarting the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER. Topic number737-10098
  • Defining a custom view in the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER by deselecting the graphic adapter and applying the changes, no longer results in the Advanced view taking on the properties of the defined custom view. Topic number 737-10102
  • The font size used in the CATALYST CONTROL CENTER for the Quicksilver and Steelblue skins have been readjusted in order to be seen clearer. Topic number 737-10103
  • Enabling Temporal AA no longer results in a noticeable flicker on the display device. Topic number 737-10103
Saturday Tech Madness - tech
(hx) 12:02 PM EST - Mar,09 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Microsoft Patches Windows 98, ME Flaws  - The software giant on Tuesday updated two previously released bulletins (MS05-002 and MS05-015) to add critical security fixes for customers running Windows 98, 98SE and ME. The decision to release patches for Windows 98 and ME users is described as a "bonus" because of the critical nature of the vulnerabilities being addressed, a Microsoft spokeswoman said. "Those products are out of lifecycle, but we made a commitment to provide critical updates, and that's what you're seeing."
  • Denial-of-service glitch could threaten Windows - Posting to the SecurityFocus industry forum site late Monday, an individual identified only as Dejan Levaja first described how the threat, known technically as a LAND attack for the type of code that triggers it, could affect Windows users by needlessly occupying their computers' processing power.
  • Virus writers exchanging information - Virus analysts at Kaspersky Lab have been investigating the recent Bagle outbreak, and come to the conclusion that the authors of Bagle, Zafi and Netsky are working hand in hand with each other.
  • Virus writers start new flame war - The Fatso.A worm (also known as Crog and Sumom) spreads via MSN Messenger by sending an instant message with a URL that, when clicked, causes the PC to download the virus. It also spreads as a file on eMule peer-to-peer systems. It contains a message from a virus writer called 'Sky Devil': "Hey LARISSA f*** off, you f****** n00b!.. Bla bla to your f****** saving the world from Bropia, the world n33ds saving from you!"
  • DNS cache poisoning bugs hits Symantec shops - Crackers are using a security vulnerability in Symantec's enterprise products to redirect surfers to websites hosting malicious code. The main vector of the DNS cache poisoning attack, detected by the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre on 4 March, has been traced back to a vulnerability affecting Symantec firewalls with DNS caching. Symantec has issued a hotfix for its Symantec Enterprise Firewall and Enterprise Security Gateway appliance products.
  • Design flaw limits spread of MMS mobile virus - Analysis of the CommWarrior mobile phone virus has revealed that the infection is not spreading rapidly because of coding flaws in its design. Researchers at F-Secure who have been analysing the code reported today that, while the infection does send itself on to other phones using the multimedia messaging service (MMS), it does so very slowly, leaving a time delay of anything from 15 minutes to several hours between propagation attempts.
  • Hackers 'poison' search engine results - Hackers are increasingly using websites rather than email attachments to spread malicious code, security watchers have warned. In its six-monthly Web Security Trends Report, Websense noted that online criminals may be subverting search engines in a bid to direct unwitting internet users to web pages containing malware.
  • "Robin Hood" pirates plead guilty - Three men whom prosecutors dubbed the "Robin Hoods of cyberspace" pleaded guilty Tuesday to putting copyright computer games, movies and software on the Internet so people around the world could make copies for free. All three said they made no money on the scheme and did it just for the sport of it. Seth Kleinberg, 26, of Los Angeles; Jeffrey Lerman, 20, of New York; and Albert Bryndza, 32, also of New York, pleaded guilty to federal copyright charges.
  • Harvard Rejects Applicants Who Hacked Site - Harvard Business School says it will reject the applications of the 119 applicants who hacked into the school's admissions Web site last week.
  • Aus. Govt moves to ban websites promoting suicide - The Australian federal government is once again showing its cluelessness regarding the workings of the Internet. The short article tells us how, under legislation to be introduced this week, corporations would be fined up to AU$500,000 and individuals AU$100,000 if they use the Internet to incite or promote suicide methods. In Australia it is illegal to commit, or attempt to commit suicide.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Human Out-Muscles Robots - Six years ago, Jet Propulsion Laboratory researcher Yoseph Bar-Cohen challenged scientists to create an artificial arm that could beat a human in an arm-wrestling match. The catch: The arm must be made of a pliable plastic material controlled by electrical impulses. In other words, no motors allowed. Monday, in front of a battalion of TV cameras and an audience of hundreds, three groups of scientists took on Bar-Cohen's challenge -- and failed. One of the robot arms seemed to flop helplessly, while the other two quickly fell to a 17-year-old high-school student.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Xbox2 goes core to core to core with PS3 - Microsoft's second version of its Xbox console will feature a CPU with PowerPC cores, according to GameSpy (#1 / #2) , which claims to have scooped the specifications. Expectations that the console would be formally announced at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco this week were quashed last month. Xenon, as it's codenamed, will feature ATI's next-generation graphics card and a 12X dual-layer DVD. The system will also have a camera, to liven up online gaming, while the hard disk is optional. Sony's third-generation PlayStation will use the 4Ghz Cell processor jointly developed by IBM, Toshiba and Sony's microprocessor division. Sony is expected to unveil the PSP3 in May.
  • Taiwan game producer InterServ to hunt talent at GDC 2005 in San Francisco - InterServ International plans to expand its design staff with experts found at the 2005 GDC in San Francisco from March 7-11 this year, according to company managing director Sheree Tsao.
  • Microsoft Office 12 Preview 1 - As with previous Office versions, Microsoft has developed a high-level "vision" for Office 12, and this time, it's all focused on the enterprise.
  • Microsoft Unveils "Office Communicator" - Microsoft has given a name to its Windows Messenger successor: Office Communicator 2005. The new communications client, formerly known by its code-name Istanbul, integrates IM, voice, video, telephony and Web conferencing capabilities into a single interface and makes them accessible in Microsoft's Office applications.
  • Firm intros Mac OSX Windows emulator - MSXINC has introduced an emulator called Cherry OS (thanks TheInquirer) which it claims allows you to run Mac OS X on a Windows XP operating systems. The $50 package comes with an installer which allows both CherryOS and OS X to be installed - and allows the use of a number of Mac applications including Safari and Apple Mail. The system requires a Pentium 4 1.6GHz CPU or equivalent, 512MB of memory, and 3GB of hard drive space, but doesn't come with OS X, which can be downloaded separately from the Apple site.
  • NTL Broadband Upgrades Official Information -  It is now official to collaborate on NTL's upcoming broadband speed increases. The bandwidth assumptions were not 100% correct.  The correct info is:  -From 300k To 1MB [3GB Per Month] / - From 750k To 2MB [1GB Per Day] / -From 1.5MB To 3MB [1GB Per Day]. All the speed increases can still be confirmed as a free upgrade, all existing users will be upgraded as of 14th March 2005.
  • Samsung Develops 7 Megapixel Camera Phone - Samsung Electronics has set the camera phone bar higher by developing the world's first 7-megapixel camera phone. The world's No. 3 handset maker announced Wednesday it is unveiling its new SCH-V770 phone at the 2005 CeBIT expo that runs in Hannover, Germany from March 10 to 16.
  • Sony unveils cheap flash memory walkmans - Sony has unveiled a line up of cheap flash-memory based walkman digital audio devices in another attempt by the company to knock Apple Computers off the top of the digital player market. The devices will sell for as cheap as less than EURO100 ($132.2) and support the MP3 format. You can now get Sony devices that store 256MB, 512MB or 1GB of music.
  • Samsung Shows 82-Inch LCD - Samsung Electronics has built what it says is the largest LCD panel yet made and will show it at this week's Cebit show in Hanover, Germany. The 82-inch widescreen LCD panel supports high-definition and was built on the new seventh generation production line at the factory of S-LCD in Tangjung, South Korea, the company says.

HARDWARE... 

  • AMD announces mini-ITX motherboard - AMD has announced the availability of its Geode NX DB1500 development board and reference design. The board features an SIS 741CX north bridge coupled to a 964 south bridge in a miniscule mini-ITX form factor. The DB1500 will cost $599 per unit and is available now.
  • Asetek makes Micro phase cooler  - The Inquirer has the goods on an interesting new phase change cooler from Asetek that will apparently sell for less than $40. The VapoChill Micro PCU cooler is filled with hermetically sealed gas/liquid captured in chambers and exploiting phase change cooling principles. The company claims it's much more efficient than the currently heavily used heatpipe cooler principle.
  • HP IPAQ HX2410 Pocket PC - Even a Gamer needs mobility! The IPAQ hx2410 is one of HP's most recent models. It basically has all the bells and whistles that you'll ever need except for maybe a biometric fingerprint reader for enhanced security. I was trying to get my hands on the hx2750 but I couldn't find one so its younger sibling will be on trial.
  • HP Pavilion ZE2000 Notebook - HotHardware.Com has posted a review of a value-priced notebook from Hewlett Packard, the ZE2000. The HP ZE2000, which is based on the Intel 855GME/ICH4-M Chipset for Pentium/Celeron-M processors, sports a 15" LCD and a great set of built-in Hardmon Kardon speakers.
  • Sony VAIO VGN-S2HRP Notebook - This notebook delivers enough performance for work in office and multimedia applications as well as in 3D graphics processing suites and games (but not for the latest games which are sometimes too hard even for a serious desktop machine). With the numerous preinstalled programs the Sony VAIO VGN-S2HRP is ready to work right out of the package. You don't have to install any more programs.
  • AMD Athlon64 3800+ Socket 939 64-bit CPU - The Socket 939 AMD Athlon64 3800+ that we've looked at today is clocked at a fast 2.4 GHz and built on AMD's trusty 0.13 micron manufacturing process. Compared to the older Socket 754 Athlon64 3200+ with its single channel memory controller, the Athlon64 3800+ only has half the L2 cache. However, AMD has now upgraded the memory controller with dual-channel DDR capabilities. By doing this, AMD not only increased performance, but saved manufacturing space and money as the actual silicon itself is now much smaller than before; 144mm2 vs. 193mm2.
  • Intel's Pentium 4 660 Processor - The Pentium 4 660 runs at 3.6 GHz clock speed and sells for about $700. GamePC compared this processor against Intel's chief competitor in this price range, AMD's Athlon64 4000+ processor. they've also included benchmarks of both processors in today's Windows XP 32-bit and the upcoming Windows XP X64 Edition.
  • Ultra 1024mb PC3200 XL Memory - Several low latency PC3200 (DDR400) memory kits are currently available running memory timings of 2-2-2-5. The tighter timings give you increased performance over standard memory at this same speed. The bonus of these memory kits is that as you relax the timings you are able to increase the overclocking ceiling of the RAM. Ultra goes so far with this as to have a table with speed and overclocks at selected timings and voltages up on their web site.
  • Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI and 3D1 together - TweakTown take a look at the K8NXP-SLI motherboard based on nVidia's nForce4 SLI chipset along with the innovative Gigabyte 3D1 graphics card which places two GeForce 6600GT cores onto the single card which is able to produce some brilliant performance in current games. Another review can be found here.
  • HIS ATI Radeon X800XL IceQII 256 Meg PCI Express Videocard - It looks great, it performs exceptionally well for a performance value solution and it has included cooling not even seen on more expensive x800/850XT alternatives. It didn't matter what I threw at it, even at the highest quality and 1280x1024 resolution, the card just toyed around with every benchmark and gaming scenario and taunted my to push it some more.
  • ATI ALL-IN-WONDER X800 XT - Marrying the All-In-Wonder hardware with something as complex as the R420 reference design was never going to be easy but the end result is worth it. You get blistering 3D performance (almost as good as it's ever going to get on AGP) with the ability to tune TV, listen to the radio, timeshift and archive your favourite TV shows, capture video from your camcorder or games console and the ability feed audio back out to digital receivers, to name just a few of the cornerstone AIW features.
  • Western Digital Raptor WD740 SATA Hard Drive - In this review, PCstats is testing out a pair of sleek 10,000 RPM Western Digital WD740 Raptors - "The first obvious conclusion is that 74GB WD740 Raptor is one fast drives. As we rather anticipated they would, the 10,000RPM Western Digital Raptor WD740s consistently out-paced the 7200RPM 80GB Seagate drives in almost every test. What was more impressive was that the WD740 Raptor drive was also quieter and didn't produce much more heat than the lower-RPM Seagate units."
  • External Hard Drives from CoolMax, Maxtor and Seagate - All three manufacturers convincingly relieve users of the irksome task of making backups - even if the range of functions craves improvement. Maxtor and Seagate also provide automatic shutdown to go easy on the drive. A package consisting of the XtremeFiles and a hard drive of your choice, however, is generally cheaper.
  • Asetek VapoChill XE II case - TrustedReviews has posted a review of the Asetek VapoChill XE II refrigerated case: "Although there were limitations to how far the test system could be pushed, close to 4GHz was not a problem. Using an MSI 925XE Neo Platinum motherboard and 1GB of PC5300 Crucial Ballistix memory I managed to push the system over 4GHz but it wasn't quite stable enough to run a full set of benchmarks."
  • Arctic Cooling's Silentium T2 Case - The power supply included with the Silentium is definitely not a no-name brand. Arctic Cooling has incorporated a Seasonic SS-350ATC PSU into this case. The power supply is a 350W unit and includes active PFC, which is a feature many people will be happy to see. The amperages for each voltage rail as listed on the side of the PSU are as follows: +3.3V = 28A +5V = 30A +12V = 17A.
  • A4 Tech Round-up - The package contains everything you need to use the mouse. You get the mouse, a specially designed mouse pad for this particular mouse, and, last but not least, the software media. What is so special about this mouse, you will ask. As you can see, it's got its own mouse pad, something that other computer mice cannot brag about it. But this takes us nowhere. So, what about the batteries, the charger? There isn't one. No, there is no trick about it.
  • Microsoft Wireless Intellimouse Explorer 2.0 - GruntvillE.com has posted a review of Microsoft Wireless Intellimouse Explorer 2.0. "While the tracking wasn't quite up to par for fast-paced FPS games such as Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 like its wired brethren, it's larger size and overall layout was a definite plus in the comfort department. "
  • Samsung SyncMaster 711t 17" LCD - It doesn't take long to fall in love with this display. Some features like the pivot technology are not going to be used by the majority of the home users. The overall quality and sharpness of the display alone make this display a must have. Combined that with features like Samsung's MagicTune and digital DVI in you have a awesome piece of equipment. But Samsung did not stop there. On top of all this throw in a 3 year manufacturer's warranty on parts, labor, and the backlight.
  • Samsung SyncMaster 920T - The SyncMaster 920T is a solid performing monitor that would work great in any environment of computer use except the hardcore gamer. I found even after playing Half-Life 2 for an hour, after about the first five minutes, I was able to get used to the slight ghosting, and it did not bother me anymore. Another review can be found on GideonTech.
  • Hewlett-Packard ScanJet 8200 Scanner - If you need a really high-performance office machine to digitize sheet originals you may want to consider Epson GT scanners. And if you intend to spend no more than $500 and have a good device with an option of scanning slides and film, Epson's top-model will suit you best. Hewlett-Packard has long lost its leading role in this market.
  • Samsung CLP-550 series printers -  If you're an impatient person and need those prints ASAP, it may be time for you to get yourself either the CLP-550 or one of the CLP-510's, capable of 26 ppm. The one thing I'd like to see improved is the No-NOIS technology. To some they may think it is already dead silent, however I feel there is a bit of room for improvement. Perhaps a more silent means of feeding the paper into the printer will be more effective in reducing the noise. The clicking I heard during warm up and the noise the paper makes while being injected back into the printer during duplex printing or while being ejected out could be muffled.
    If you don't do much printing, ink cartridges for desktop inkjet printers tend to dry up and become useless; something that doesn't happen with toner.
  • Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z50 Digital Camera - The 7-point AF system is very quick, taking under half a second to lock on, and as a result there is virtually no shutter lag. Focusing also works extremely well in low light, especially impressive considering that there's no AF-assist illuminator on this model. The control layout is fairly conventional, with a recessed power switch on the top, the usual menu and display mode buttons, a zoom rocker that also controls playback magnification, and separate buttons for recording and playback mode.

.GUIDES... 

  • WinXP Tweaking: Protecting your PC from the outside world - The guide looks at which programs you should use to protect your system from viruses and spyware along with which browsers and firewalls are best and what they do along with intelligent computing practices and basic Windows XP installation tips. If you're concerned about computer security as a new or average user, make sure you read on.
  • Firefox Tweak Guide - The current guide is really just a placeholder until I compile and publish a comprehensive TweakGuides-style Firefox Tweak Guide, so stay tuned for the real deal soon.
  • Exchange Server 2003 Security Hardening Guide (updated) - Updated February 2005. The download package for this guide includes important security templates. These templates were updated November 2004. This guide walks you through the process of hardening your Exchange 2003 environment, including configuration recommendations and strategies for combating external threats.
  • Intel's Matrix RAID explored - Intel's Matrix RAID technology allows users to combine RAID 0 and 1 arrays with only two drives, promising mirrored redundancy for important data and striped performance for speedy access.
  • Basics of RAID - Bigbruin.com has published a new article posted about RAID.
  • HD-DVD and Blu-ray: Do you know the difference? - These two formats are heralded as the successor to the current DVD technology. Blu-ray and HD-DVD have both been developed to enable recording, playback and rewriting of high definition video and data. The key to these technologies is the blue-violet laser that is used to write the data to the disc. This blue laser has a much shorter wavelength than the current red laser DVD system, which makes it possible to read and write smaller pits, as a result, these discs can hold up to 15 GB (HD-DVD) and 25 GB (Blu-ray) of data on a single sided single layer 12cm disc.

SOFTWARE...

  • Update for Outlook 2003 Junk Email Filter (KB892236) - 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. This update was released in March 2005.
  • Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool v1.2 (KB890830) - The Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (homepage) 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. When the detection and removal process is complete, the tool displays a report describing the outcome, including which, if any, malicious software was detected and removed. The tool creates a log file named mrt.log in the %WINDIR%debug folder.
  • NVSG 1.0.11.4 - The NVIDIA Scene Graph Software Development Kit (NVSG SDK) is an object-oriented programming library for creating scene graph-based applications.
  • CherryOS 1.0.1 Trial - With CherryOS (download trial), 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.
  • BitTorrent 4.0 - Bram Cohen's official BitTorrent client has been upgraded to version 4.
  • eXeem 0.22 Public Beta - eXeem (download) is a brand new Peer-To-Peer program, which is based on the BitTorrent idea. eXeem eliminates the need for trackers as nodes in the program will be taking their role. eXeem also features easy publication of files to the network as well as a rating and comments system.
  • The GIMP 2.2.4 - 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.
  • StraightMARK 2005 v1.2.1 - The software simply examines your processor in a variety of different tests, and then outputs the findings to a text file and a graphical HTML file. The text file merely gives you the number results of your processor, but the HTML file shows you several understandable graphs comparing your processor to others on the market - both new and old.
  • Forceware 71.84 64-bit WHQL - The drivers are dated the 24rd of February 2005 and are the first WHQL release for the 64-bit platforms. As they are not an official (posted by Leadtek though) release they should be treated with the same care that you should maintain when using all beta software.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,08 2005 - tech
eVGA e-Geforce 6800 Ultra PCI-Express SLI - tech
(hx) 03:50 PM EST - Mar,08 2005 - Post a comment / read (1)
Half-Life 2/1280x1024
AMD Gamer have a SLI rig made up of two eVGA PCIE GeForce 6800 Ultras and an ASUS nForce 4-SLI motherboard with a AMD Athlon64 FX55 CPU. Here's a taster:
Once again, we were not disapointed with the eVGA e-Geforce 6800 Ultra PCI-E. Both nVidia's GeForce 6 series advanced technology and eVGA's integration of this technology into their products delivers the ultimate in gaming performance. A single 6800 Ultra card will be more than sufficient for even the most demanding gamer, but for the hard core enthusiast an SLI setup will turn fantasy in to reality! There is a noticeable performance improvement between a single 6800 Ultra and two of them running as a team, so if you're looking for the absolute best performance for your current games and future releases, then SLI is the way to go. No artifacts or glitches were present through any of our tests and like with the 6800 GTs we tested last month, image quality was truly remarkable. Colors were well balanced and vivid and gameplay was as smooth as silk. I recommend the eVGA e-Geforce 6800 Ultra PCI-E SLI to any serious gamer! At the time of the review, each card retails for around $700 CAD - the expected price to pay for any new state of the art video card!
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,07 2005 - tech
Nightly Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 08:48 PM EST - Mar,07 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Windows Server 2003 and XP SP2 LAND Vulnerability - By sending single LAND packet to file server causes Windows explorer freezing on all workstations currently connected to the server. CPU on server goes 100%. Network monitor on the victim server sometimes can not even sniff malicious packet. Using tcpreplay to script this attack results in total collapse of the network.
  • Trojan gets the cell phone message - Antivirus researchers are investigating a new Trojan horse that could prove to be a more pervasive threat to cell phones than Cabir. The malicious software, dubbed "CommWarrior" and described as a virus by some antivirus companies, takes aim at the version of the Symbian operating system running on Nokia Series 60 handsets. F-Secure, SimWorks International and other security providers issued reports about the threat Monday. CommWarrior attempts to spread by sending messages via Bluetooth wireless connections and Multimedia Message Service--different from the Cabir virus, which only used Bluetooth to proliferate.
  • Blooover - J2ME Phone Auditing Tool -  Blooover is a proof-of-concept tool that is intended to run on J2ME-enabled cell phones that appear to be comparably seamless. Blooover is a tool that is intended to serve as an audit tool that people can use to check whether their phones and phones of friends and employees are vulnerable.
  • Moscow prosecutor lets low-cost MP3 site off the hook - Russian prosecutors have decided they are unable to take legal action against controversial online music provider Allofmp3.com - despite the music service's lack of sufficient licences to offer the content it does. Last week, the Moscow Southwest regional prosecutor's office said no criminal indictment could be brought against the music seller because it has not violated Russia's copyright law, a local blogger has reported.
  • Tracking PCs anywhere on the Net - A University of California researcher says he has found a way to identify computer hardware remotely, a technique that could potentially unmask anonymous Web surfers by bypassing some common security techniques.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Zapped neutrinos zip through the Earth - Scientists are to zap neutrinos through the Earth to better understand the mysterious particles' shifting nature with a new experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, US. Scientists at Fermilab will zap neutrinos underground from Illinois, across the state of Wisconsin, through Lake Superior to a particle detector in the Soudan Underground Mine in Minnesota State Park, US. A trip of 457 miles (735 kilometres).
  • New particle physics collider coming soon - The 50-foot-long magnet weighing 38.6 tons is the first of 1,232 the same size that will be placed in the tunnel to speed subatomic particles around the accelerator, said Renilde Vanden Broeck, spokeswoman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by the French initials CERN.
  • Invisibility Shields Planned by Engineers - Electronic engineers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia are researching a device they say could make objects "nearly invisible to an observer." The contrivance works by preventing light from bouncing off the surface of an object, causing the object to appear so small it all but disappears. The concept is based on a "plasmonic cover," which is a means to prevent light from scattering. (It is light bouncing off an object that makes it visible to an observer). The cover would stop light from scattering by resonating at the same frequency as the light striking it. If such a device could cope with different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation (including visible light), in theory, the object would vanish into thin air.
  • Dr.Who Episode Leaked - BBC News is reporting on how an episode from the brand new series of the old science fiction TV show, Doctor Who, has been leaked onto the Internet.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Google Adds Features and Plugin to Desktop Search - Google Desktop now supports alternative Netscape based browsers like Firefox, PDFs, images, video, and music files. Google also added a plug-ins feature so that developers can integrate their software into the Google Desktop catalog.
  • Microwires: replacement for the CD-ROM? - A ballpoint that detects if we are forging a signature or a substitute in miniature for the CD-ROM are some of the applications that can be carried out using microwires. 3 or 5 times thinner than a human hair, these fine threads were invented in the old Soviet Union for military purposes but, the broader scientific community has been studying them for some time now for other applications – including at the University of the Basque Country (EHU). The researchers calculate that a 10 cm long microwire can carry out 10 billion divisions or cells (10GB) and in each one of these a bit can be stored. In order to store the byte, each one of these cells is magnetised in one orientation or the other.
  • Sony PSP to hear the music - Speaking at the iHollywood Digital Living Room forum, Yair Landau, vice chairman of Sony Pictures, said the Japanese giant plans to release software that would let the PSP synchronize with Connect, Sony's entertainment download service. The company also plans to launch software that would let the PSP link to PCs and Macs within a year, he said.
  • Firefox developer feels like throwing in the towel - Firefoxer Mike Connor is complaining in his blog that the development of the Mozilla-sponsored alternative browser isn't getting the attention it deserves from its parent. An exasperated Connor says he's "on the verge of just walking away indefinitely" from the project because of its "glacial pace of development." (thanks TheInquirer)

HARDWARE... 

  • Athlon 64 4200+ pictured - AMD is close to releasing its next Athlon 64 CPUs. Busy people at the Xtreme Systems forum managed to get a CPU-Z snapshot of the AMD upcoming 4200+ CPU. That is what that site reckons. This CPU is actually clocked at 2600MHz just the same as the FX55 but in the case of Athlon 64 4200+ the multiplier is locked higher. The 4200+ has 1MB of cache built on 90 nanometre marchitecture and works with 1.4 volts.
  • AMD shows off first Geode chipset - AMD has announced the availability of its first development board designed specifically for its low-power Geode NX processor line. The Geode NX DB1500 board and reference design includes a chipset from Silicon Integrated Systems in a small Mini-ITX form factor. It has been designed for thin client applications and embedded systems using Windows or open source software.
  • Gigabyte GA-8I915P Dual Graphic - TrustedReviews posted today a review of the Gigabyte GA-8I915P Dual Graphic motherboard which is based on the 915P chipset and offeres support for two PCI Express graphics cards.
  • HIS X800XL IceQ II Turbo 256MB PCI-E Video Card - 3DGameMan has posted a video review of the HIS X800XL IceQ II Turbo 256MB PCI-E Video Card. This product is based on the ATI R430 chip, has a core speed of 400MHz, a memory speed of 985MHz, and 256MBs of GDDR3 memory
  • Fanless Power Supply Roundup - XYZ Computing take a look at  at fanless power supplies from Coolmax, Thermaltake, Antec, and SilverStone.
  • Belkin Wireless Pre-N Router - Despite the suggestive brand name this access point doesn't support the draft 802.11n high-speed wireless standard and will not be compatible with it when it is expected to be ratified late in 2006. What it does do is use a technology called MIMO (multiple input multiple output) that was developed by Airgo Networks in 2003 and which may form part of the 802.11n standard
  • The Ergonomic-Friendly RollerMousePRO - The idea behind the RollerMousePRO (picture) is to offer a solution to the awkward stretch required for using a mouse. This helps reduce muscular discomfort associated with repetitive use, and potentially increase productivity by letting you keep your typing position as you control your cursor. Some people with muscle pain screech at the notion of reverting back to a normal mouse and would rather use a more ergonomically friendly alternative. Contour has designed a product that is the first of its kind
  • Actiontec Internet Phone Wizard - The Internet Phone Wizard is a phenomenal device that allows a person to make free and cheap calls over the Internet through a regular or cordless phone. Instead of utilizing speakers and a microphone, the Internet Phone Wizard makes it possible to use a regular phone. With Skype, a regular long distance or international phone call is extremely low cost or free. Actiontec Internet Phone Wizard is the perfect device to save money making phone calls with a phone instead of a headset.
  • Samsung SGH-Z107 - Samsung SGH-Z107 is the first 3G phone introduced here in Singapore. The SGH-Z107 is based on a clamshell design It has a dimension of 89 x 48 x 25 (mm) and weighs only 120g. It is one of the smaller and lighter 3G phones available in the market.  SGH-Z107 has an internal QCGA 262K TFD LCD (176x192) and an external 65K OLED (96x96). The phone comes standard with 2 batteries, a ear piece, battery charger, EasyStudio III CDROM. Similar in design to the GSM phones, SGH-Z107 features photo (VGA) and video recording of up to 30s. It supports the MMF ringtone format and has a rotatable lens for video calls, photo and video taking.
  • Motorola V3 Razr -  $500 for a phone is a bit outrageous. And although you may get this phone for cheaper online, walking into a Cingular store and buying this phone sill set you down $500. You can do quite a bit for $500.

.GUIDES... 

  • Are you ready for the next Major Desktop Migration? - OK, the 64-bit is a big step ahead, but what about the final users?
  • Microsoft adds Universal Printing to Terminal Server - In this article, Terminal Server printing guru Stefan Vermeulen (webmaster for printingsupport.com and fellow BriForum speaker) explores the new UPD printing capabilities that Microsoft is building into Service Pack 1 for Terminal Server on Windows 2003.

SOFTWARE...

  • Bench'emAll v2.65 - Bench'emAll! - this program can help you to do automatic common benchmarking or stability tests (Painkiller, Half-Life 2, etc) with your computer, basically 3D hardware.
  • XboxMediaCenter (XBMC) 2005-03-04 CVS build - XboxMediaCenter (XBMC) is a new free open source (GPL) multimedia player for Microsoft's Xbox. XboxMediaCenter is still in beta stage but can currently be used to play and view most video/audio/picture formats such as MPEG/MPG, VOB, AVI, OGM, DivX, XVID, MP3, OGG, JPG, GIF and many more direct from a CD/DVD in the DVD-ROM or of the Xbox build-in hard disk drive, it can also play files over a network (LAN) from a PC via an "XStream Server" application or from a Windows (SMB) share.
  • Bluetooth Headset Presenter - The Headset Presenter turns your Bluetooth Headset into a Powerpoint remote; it is as simple as that.
    Kaspersky AV 2006 beta - With the amount of features "coming soon", this looks more of an alpha, but well ..check it out.
  • AVG Anti-Virus Free edition v7.308 - AVG updates automatically, usually every day, so this is only required if you can not connect to their server in automatic updates. Save to a temporary location, open AVG control center, select the update button at the bottom, then the select folder button, and follow the prompts.
  • Driver Cleaner Professional Edition 1.1 - Driver Cleaner Professional Editon is a program which helps you to remove parts of drivers that are left after uninstalling the old drivers. The program is for ATI, nVidia, Creative, Realtek, SIS, 3Dfx, S3 and more drivers.
  • GreenBrowser - tabbed web browser - GreenBrowser (download) is yet another IE based browser that offers tabbed, multi-page browsing and many additional features including grouped pages, ad filtering, search engine integration, privacy cleaner, form filler and much more.
  • Google Desktop Search 20050227 - Google Desktop Search provides full text search over your email, computer files, chats, and the web pages you've viewed. By making your computer searchable, it puts your information easily within your reach and frees you from having to manually organize your files, emails, and bookmarks.
  • Google Toolbar 3.0.119.9 Beta - Google Toolbar increases your ability to find information from anywhere on the web
  • PowerStrip 3.58 - PowerStrip (download) provides advanced, multi-monitor, programmable hardware support to a wide range of graphics cards - from the venerable Matrox Millennium I to the latest video cards.
  • XP TCP/IP Repair 1.0 - XP TCP/IP Repair is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) (download) for commands in Windows XP® that repair your TCP/IP registry settings and your Winsock LSP's.
  • DNA-Force 1.2.7590 (NVIDIA ForceWare) - These are modified NVIDIA ForceWare drivers (download) for Windows 2000 & XP. Modified drivers simply means that the author takes official or beta drivers from the manufacturer and starts to tweak them for either better image quality and or performance.
PREV PAGENEXT PAGE