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 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.
ASUS creates miraculous socket adapter - tech
(hx) 04:53 AM EST - Mar,07 2005 - Post a comment
On Thursday, ASUSTek announced the "Upgrade Kit CT-479" a socket adapter to outfit Socket 478 Pentium 4 motherboards with the 479 pin Pentium M processor. The move not only potentially allows creation of cool and silent computers, but also enables higher performance systems based on the Pentium M chips compared to those existing today. (thanks TechReport)
ASUS Upgrade Kit CT-479 will allow installing Intel Pentium M and similar mobile chips into Socket 478 mainboards. The kit will be available as a standalone product bundled with a special cooler that is capable of cooling Intel Pentium M processors at up to 2.26GHz and Intel Celeron M processors at up to 1.70GHz frequencies. The adapter will not support Low Voltage or Ultra Low Voltage processors, but only typical versions of Intel's mobile chips based on Banias or Dothan cores. It is unclear whether the CT-479 will allow overclocking. According an ASUS document, the cooler ASUS supplies has 3000rpm fan with maximum noise level of 30dB, which is rather a lot even for desktops.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,05 2005 - tech
Saturday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 12:11 PM EST - Mar,05 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Microsoft unveils new technologies, targeting worms, hackers - One of the technologies on display, dubbed Vigilante, proposes a detection and protection system for Internet worms. The system would consist of "honey pot" computers connected to the Internet that would serve as bait for the worms. Once an attack was detected, the computers would analyze the attack and create alerts that included details on how to protect against the new threat. The alerts then would be pushed out to other computers, which would automatically put up shields and filter traffic to block the worm, Microsoft researchers said. Another forward-looking technology can prevent malicious code from executing. The system, called Control-Flow Integrity, would prevent malicious code from being run on a computer by checking application activity and validating it. Unexpected activity would be blocked, according to Microsoft.
  • Scripting and Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) - The Scripting Guys wrote a good article on Technet yesterday summarizing how System Administrators can work around the script-blocking feature of Microsoft AntiSpyware. After reading the article it is also evident that it would be just as easy for Spyware to take the same hints to dodge the MS AntiSpyware Beta software.
  • BPI nails "music pirates" - UK music fans have agreed to pay thousands of pounds in compensation for distributing music illegally via peer-to-peer networks, the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) announced Friday. Music fans paid up to L4,500 each in a series of 23 settlements and agreed to accept injunctions against them illegally uploading music again. The BPI announced a further 31 cases across eight different P2P networks are in the pipeline as part of its attempt to broaden its campaign against illicit file sharing on the net. Other actions may follow.
  • Feds Catching Up With Proxies - The Commerce Department has disputed claims by domain registrar Go Daddy that the department launched a new policy when it declared in February that people would no longer be able to keep their personal contact information private when they register a .us domain.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Nicolas Cage's Next is The Wicker Man - Nicolas Cage's next picture will be director Neil LaBute's remake of 1973 thriller The Wicker Man, with Millennium Films, Equity Pictures and Emmett/Furla Films producing, reports Variety. The movie will begin production July 15 in Vancouver. Cage is currently shooting comic book adaptation Ghost Rider in Melbourne.
  • Splinter Cell movie director Interview - Moviehole has posted an interview with Peter Berg, Director of the screen adaptation of the game.
  • Zak Penn on Writing X-Men 3 - Zak Penn talked to Sci Fi Wire about the difficulty of writing "X-Men" movies. He is currently writing X-Men 3.
  • Word1000.com's movie posters - Worth1000's yesterday theme was on recasting movies with different actors and actresses in ludicrous ways, and with humor and good blending.
  • Hitler won atomic bomb race, but couldn't drop it - Adolf Hitler had the atom bomb first but it was too primitive and ungainly for aerial deployment, says a new book that indicates the race to split the atom was much closer than is believed. Nazi scientists carried out tests of what would now be called a dirty nuclear device in the waning days of World War II, writes Rainer Karlsch, a German historian, in his book Hitler's Bomb, to be be published this month. Concentration camp inmates were used as human guinea pigs and "several hundred" died in the tests, conducted on the Baltic Sea island of Rugen and at an inland test in wooded hill country about 100 kilometres south of Berlin in 1944 and early 1945.

TECHNOLOGY...

HARDWARE... 

  • ATI Discloses Pricing of New "Bridged" AGP 8x Graphics Cards - The recommended pricing for AGP 8x flavours of graphics cards based on the RADEON X800, X800 XL and X850 XT visual processing units (VPUs) is $249, $349 and $499 respectively. While pricing of the RADEON X800 and X800 XL products is $50 higher compared to pricing of PCI Express x16 versions of similar graphics cards, an ATI spokesperson noted that the RADEON X800 XL for AGP 8x features video-in/video-out (VIVO) capability not available on PCI Express version. Furthermore, the spokesman told X-bit labs that the company was going to have a special rebate program for North America, which would allow users to obtain the RADEON X800 for $199.
  • Intel's 64-bit vs. AMD 64 bit. - With its 6xx-series Pentium 4 processors, Intel has finally jumped on the desktop 64-bit bandwagon. Intel's EM64T architecture can implement Windows' x86-64 mode, and is also compatible with the AMD64 architecture. This means that you don't need different Windows operating systems to take advantage of 64-bit processing.
  • TR's CPU decoder ring updated - Tech Repost has updated their CPU Decoder Ring. Among the changes are the addition of the newest CPUs (including the Opteron x52 and Pentium 4 6xx series) as well as some older chips that didn't make it into the last update. Additionally, columns have been added to show support for both the NX bit and 64-bit capability. A quick query reveals that 240 processors are currently represented on the chart.
  • AMD Sempron 2600+ for Socket 754 - Another appealing aspect of junior Sempron for Socket 754 models is their excellent overclockability. Our tests show that Semprons on the new 90nm Palermo core can add up about half their frequency at overclocking, to clock rates about 2.5GHz. For example, we managed to give our Sempron 2600+ a 56% frequency boost and the performance of the system subsequently grew by 35% in average and became comparable to that of systems with Pentium 4 3.4E and Athlon 64 3500+ processors.
  • Club-3D X800XL 256MB PCI-Express - Regarding the design of the box and video card; it really looks nice and the white led in the fan is a nice extra for those hardcore mod creators. To be honest to you, the white led is useless for me, my case is closed all the time! With the case closed, the sound production of the cooler isn't much at all and in games (with ofcourse the audio turned on!) you hear really nothing. (ed.note...I've heard Club3D cards are pretty noisy...)
  • Sony's DRU-720A DL 16x DVD±RW - The drive is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW and 4x DVD+R DL writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. This by itself is impressive. However, the DRU-720A also boasts features like 48x CD reading and writing speeds, 24x rewriting speeds, Power-Burn buffer underrun protection and an impressive software bundle from Nero.
  • SilverStone LC11 Home Theater PC Case - Acrylic windows, neon and strobe lights, Day-Glo colors, and vaguely alien shapes may be appealing for desktop PC cases, but you probably don't want a large, showy case as part of your home theater setup, especially if you share your home with a significant other who has significantly more style than you. Additionally, home theater PC's need to be quiet. Fan and disk noise are easy to overlook if you're blasting MP3's while blasting Ant Lions, but white noise isn't welcome when you're watching a movie, especially if it's a quiet passage involving romance (I'm thinking of your significant other again). Purpose-built home theater PC cases are becoming more readily available, and today I look at SilverStone Technology's LC11 from their LaScala line of home theater PC enclosures.
  • Konica Minolta Magicolor 5440 DL printer - At the back are sockets for USB 2 and direct Ethernet connection - you can set the Magicolor 5440 DL up as a network print server. A second USB socket is intended for directly connecting a digital camera, though the firmware for this feature has yet to be released.
  • Sendo X smart phone - In terms of business features the X has a lot on offer as it comes with Bluetooth and IrDA as well as USB connectivity in the box. Sadly, it uses a proprietary USB cable and interface, which means that you have to carry the cable around with you. This shouldn't prove to be too much of an issue as you can use the Bluetooth or IrDA to sync the X with your PC.

GUIDES... 

  • How much Graphics Power Does a PC Really Need? - Almost every PC sold today features a 3D graphics card. But other than powering games, there's not much use for advanced 3D features. Certainly you don't need a 3D graphics card for office work, surfing the Internet and other common tasks. Are the graphics manufacturers on the wrong track?
  • Scripting and Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) - The Scripting Guys wrote a good article on Technet yesterday summarizing how System Administrators can work around the script-blocking feature of Microsoft AntiSpyware. After reading the article it is also evident that it would be just as easy for Spyware to take the same hints to dodge the MS AntiSpyware Beta software.

SOFTWARE...

  • URL Discombobulator v1.8.1 - Understand those cryptic web addresses, and make a few of your own. Lookup the IP address(es) associated with any valid domain name. Or lookup the domain name associated with any IP address (if the owner of the IP address has added the corresponsing PTR record in the DNS server authoritative for the IP address range). As a bonus, the program generates alternate "shrouded" URLs for any web site, and can display…
  • FileZilla v2.2.11 - FileZilla (download) is a powerful FTP-client for Windows 9x, ME, NT4, 2000 and XP. It has been designed for ease of use and with support for as many features as possible, while still being fast and reliable.
  • RightMark CPU Clock Utility 1.4 - RightMark CPU Clock Utility (RMClock) is a small GUI application designed for real-time CPU frequency, throttling and load level monitoring and on-the-fly adjustment of the CPU performance level of the supported CPUs via processor's power management model-specific registers (MSRs).
  • RivaTuner 2.0 RC 15.4 - The purpose of this utility is to give you access to all the undocumented features of Detonator and Catalyst drivers. Drivers have a lot of undocumented registry entries. Some of them don't affect anything, but there are some that are very useful
  • Realtek ALC AC97 Audio Driver v3.70 WHQL -  Realtek released version 3.70 driver for their ALC AC97 audio chipsets. The driver supports all ALC series audio chipsets from ALC100 up to ALC850 mainly used as onboard sound on various motherboards.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,03 2005 - tech
Nightly Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 09:08 PM EST - Mar,03 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • [!] Auto download adware carries vicious payload - Security experts issued a warning this morning after detecting infections caused by Searchmeup, the first adware to use the Exploit/LoadImage vulnerability which downloads itself onto computers without the user's permission. Panda Software's PandaLabs warned that the pages from which Searchmeup are downloaded also contain a series of exploits to download other malware onto the computer, such as the Tofger.AT Trojan, which steals banking passwords, Dialer.BB and Dialer.NO, and adware called Adware/TopConvert. Searchmeup affects computers running Windows 2003, XP, 2000, NT, Me and 98, and allows arbitrary code to be run. Microsoft has released a patch to correct this problem, and users are advised to install it immediately. Non-Affected Software:  Microsoft Windows XP SP2.
  • No new security updates from Microsoft for March - On 8 March 2005 the Microsoft Security Response Center is planning to release no new security bulletins. Although we do not anticipate any changes, the number of bulletins, products affected, restart information and severities are subject to change until released.
  • Security patches issued for RealPlayers - RealNetworks has released patches for its audio-video players in an effort to prevent attacks via buffer overflows.
  • Second kid sentenced for Releasing Worm That Attacked Microsoft Web Site -  A second person, a juvenile, has been sentenced in connection with the release of a computer worm in August 2003 that attacked the same vulnerability in computer software as the Blaster worm did.
  • Programmer sues author over role in Microsoft history - Tim Paterson, who created the software later known as DOS and sold it to Microsoft, filed a defamation lawsuit Monday against Harold Evans and the publishers of his book, "They Made America."  The lawsuit is over a chapter in Evans' book about Gary Kildall, who founded Digital Research and died in 1994 at age 52. The book claims Paterson's software was simply a "slapdash clone" and "rip-off" of Kildall's CP/M operating system, developed in the 1970s.
  • Symantec granted patent for virus scanning technology - The US patent office has granted Symantec is for technology allows just parts of threatened pieces of data to be scanned - such as e-mails - instead of full bodies of data. Older types of industry anti-virus software focus on portions of data portions or scan the full body of data. This has meant that the scanning process was slow or not reliable enough in response to evolving security attacks, such as self-mutating viruses, worms and spyware.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Knighthood for Microsoft's Gates - The king of computer software Bill Gates has received an honorary knighthood from the Queen. Mr Gates, 48, the world's wealthiest man, said it was "a great honour" to be recognised for his business skills and for his work on poverty reduction. As an American citizen he cannot use the title "Sir" but will be entitled to put the letters KBE after his name.
  • Unusual life forms found in the Atlantic - A strange world of see-through shrimp, crabs and other life forms teems around a newly explored field of thermal vents near the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, scientists report.
  • Adidas boots up smart trainer  - Adidas has developed intelligent training shoes which it claims will stop runners feeling down at heel by dynamically adjusting the cushioning it offers to aching feet. The Adidas-1 trainer, which hits the shops this week, is fitted with a microprocessor, sensor and motor.

TECHNOLOGY...

HARDWARE... 

  • Soundstorm is gone forever? - Hexus has a flashy headline proclaiming that SoundStorm is gone forever. This has been confirmed to them whilst talking about the NVIDIA nForce 4 SLi (P4 Edition).
  • Intel Pentium 4 660 and EE 3.73 GHz - BeHardware has posted a review on the Intel Pentium 4 660 and EE 3.73 GHz processors.
  • DDR-2 PC-5400 Performance Memory Shootout – OCZ vs. Corsair vs. Kingston - People intending on overclocking their DDR-2 system should probably choose the OCZ memory since like we have already highlighted, it loves every bit of its 2.2V memory voltage and is able to overclock quite a bit higher than the other modules.
  • Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC4000 2x512MB - Benchmarks show, even with the addition of the LEDs and control circuitry, that they retain all the performance and overclockability of Crucial's Ballistix line. Considering how remarkably the regular Ballistix perform, this is no small feat. The ability to overclock to DDR514 speeds and being able to run with low latency timings allows the user a lot of flexibility to configure these modules to their system setup.
  • Corsair XPert TWINXP1024-3200XL - The XPert memory modules worked best at 240Mhz Front Side Bus with best stability. These modules are mainly for show, but as most all Corsair memory modules, they always allow for overclocking headroom, and the XPert tapped out at around 245Mhz Front Side Bus, but not as stable.
  • Asus P5GDC-V Deluxe 915G Motherboard - The Asus P5GDC-V Deluxe is a unique Intel 915 motherboard from Asus that supports both DDR and DDR2, in addition to having the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 video onboard. This flexibility of technology allows you to use the integrated video and older DDR technology instead of having to upgrade to PCI Express and DDR2 respectively.
  • Gigabyte RADEON X700 - Gigabyte RADEON X700 128MB is an excellent competitor to GeForce 6600 in general, it often demonstrates higher performance, the only problem is the AA+AF modes (I guess, programmers from the Canadian company have much to think about).
  • Samsung TS-H552 DVD+RW - Samsung DVD±R/RW Drive is a new innovative product which provides powerful data storage. Features include creating personal DVD title : DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, data back-up for DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R, CD-RW, Buffer Under Run Free Technology with EIDE/ATAPI Interface with Ultra DMA 33 mode
  • Iiyama ProLite E435S 17" Monitor - I'm not sure how close iiyama really get to 10 ms, but having seen it in action that's almost academic. The E435S is the first budget/mainstream display that I'd feel comfortable telling a friend to buy, and though it comes up short on frills like headphone socket, USB ports and swivel/height adjustment, that doesn't alter the fact that it's a supremely capable performer at a very tempting price.
  • The Stylus Photo R1800 printer - The $549 large-format inkjet model offers several outstanding features, including very high resolution and enhanced fade resistance, which make it a good choice for photography buffs or anyone who wants to produce high-quality archival prints. I tested a shipping version of the R1800 and found it capable of producing beautiful color prints from a variety of images.
  • Samsung DVD-L300 Portable DVD Player - The Samsung DVD-L300 Portable DVD Player is a great value for both home and portable use. It features a 10-inch LCD screen, Stereo Speakers, Cinema Mode, Dialogue Enhancer and Chapter Preview. The unit is fully-featured for use as a home or travel DVD player

GUIDES... 

  • Digital Cables vs. Analog Cables - What's the Difference? - Many of the best video cables on the market today were designed primarily for use in the digital domain; but can a digital cable really perform well as an analog cable? Can an analog cable be used as a digital cable? What's the difference, anyway, between digital and analog cables? They both move electrons, don't they? All of these are interesting questions, and bear some discussion. To begin that discussion, let's first talk about what digital and analog signals are, and how they perform in cables.
  • How to enable Windows 98/ME/NT/Mac clients to logon to Windows 2003 based Domains - Most companies have legacy operating system like - Windows 98, that give them backward compatibility for legacy applications. The default settings of Windows 2003 domains prohibit the logon of these clients, to overcome this limitation, a change of behavior is needed.

SOFTWARE...

  • Kaspersky Free Cleaner 12.0.0.1 - Utility for cleaning infection by: I-Worm.Zafi.b, I-Worm.Bagle.at,au, Virus.Win32.Implinker.a, Not-a-virus.AdWare.Visiter. If program finds any processes in memory, infected by these viruses, it will try to unhook virus hooks and patch needed processes to stop reinfection or stop them and delete/cure their files on hard drive and delete links to their files from system registry and other startup places.
  • Fraps 2.5.3 - Fraps (download) is designed as a generic tool for DirectX and OpenGL games. In its current form Fraps performs many tasks and can best be described as: Benchmarking Software, Screen Capture Software and Realtime Video Capture Software.
  • SQL Server 2005 Express February CTP - Download the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition. Unlike beta releases that receive a much higher level of testing and feature work, CTPs are intended to expose the latest working build to developers.  SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (SQL Server Express) is the next version of MSDE 2000. It is a free, easy-to-use, lightweight version of Microsoft SQL Server 2005.
  • Some betas - 3D Traceroute 2.0.2:21 Preview  | Netscape 8.0 public beta | WinAce 2.6 beta 5 | Avant Browser 10.0 Build 133 | nLite v0.99.8 beta 4
  • WinDVD Platinum 6.0 B06.128  - WinDVD Platinum 6 (download) is the ultimate DVD software player, providing you with the finest quality video and audio playback. Watch movies with a theater experience right on your computer or laptop. WinDVD Platinum 5 is loaded with features.
  • AnyDVD 4.5.8.1 - SlySoft has updated its AnyDVD software to version 4.5.8.1. This new version adds once more support for a new version of the Sony ARccOS protection as found on "The Forgotten" (UK), "Little Black Book" (UK) or "She hate me" (UK) to the option to remove "Protection based on unreadable Sectors"
  • PE builder v3.1.4-beta - A new beta of PE builder is available ~ download.
  • Sysinternals tools updated - Process Explorer v9.02 / RootkitRevealer v1.10 / Autoruns v7.0 / PsService v2.13.
  • HDDlife 1.2.21 - HDDlife can work in the preventative mode when it checks the health of your hard drives at regular intervals and informs you about the results of these checks in an unobtrusive way. If you get warned about a possible hard drive failure , you will protect yourself against losing your naturally priceless personal data.
  • ForceWare 71.90 Win2000/XP WHQL - These drivers are date stamped at the 27th of January 2005 making them the absolute newest set to date. Furthermore these drivers WHQL (Microsoft tested) signed.
  • NVIDIA ForceWare 70.84 official beta drivers - NVIDIA has made a beta version of its latest driver, ForceWare 70.84, available on its nZone website.  They claim this new driver will improve performance of both single-card and SLI configs "significantly." The driver contains SLI profiles for over 70 applications, and NVIDIA has published a how-to guide for creating your own SLI profiles.
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,02 2005 - tech
Wednesday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 12:31 PM EST - Mar,02 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Microsoft claims disabling Internet activation won't be an issue - As reported earlier, the updated program calls for the top 20 PC makers to activate Windows XP on every system before it ships. If a customer has to reinstall the operating system, as long as they use the restore disks from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), activation will be automatic, said Keith Beeman, director of worldwide license compliance for Microsoft.
  • 8 More Bugs Found In Firefox And Mozilla - Don't panic folks, if you installed the 1.0.1 version of Firefox you’re fine. Now if you haven’t installed then you could be screwed.
  • Three more Bagle variants on the loose - Three newly discovered variants of the Bagle virus are running wild on the internet, security experts warned today.
  • Virus Top Twenty for February 2005 - Many antivirus experts believe that email worms are slowly dying out and being replaced by network worms with Trojan capabilities. February statistics confirm this trend. On the one hand, this could be the result of a successful campaign waged by av vendors against email worm outbreaks. The antivirus industry implemented a number of innovative technologies to halt email worms in their tracks: detecting worms in password protected archives, preliminary analysis of incoming emails with executable attachments and so forth.
  • Artists break with industry on file sharing - A prominent group of musicians and artists, breaking with colleagues and the major entertainment studios, is urging the Supreme Court not to hold online file-sharing services responsible for the acts of users who illegally trade songs, movies and software.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Star Wars Episode III (Revenge of the Sith) Trailer on March 10th - The much anticipated full release trailer for Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith is on its way. Consisting of over two minutes of new footage from the movie, the full trailer will soon appear on television, on starwars.com and in theaters. First, on Thursday, March 10th at 8 p.m., be sure to tune in to FOX to catch an all new episode of "The O.C." During the broadcast, FOX will air the Episode III trailer.
  • Vin Diesel working to reduce budget for Hannibal - Diesel is in soft pre-production, a term that probably means pre-pre-production, for Hannibal, a project he has been trying to get going for some time. It appears he got a budget returned from a studio quoting something like $217million...perhaps they were actually thinking of dropping Elephants by helicopter onto the top of the Alps? Diesel is having none of it. (thanks TheMovieBlog)
  • TV Ads For Violent Games Banned Before 9PM In UK - The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) was asked to investigate after receiving eight complaints about two adverts featuring game extracts. They were shown before 2100 GMT when children could have been watching.
  • Mel Gibson buys Fiji island - The director of "The Passion of the Christ" and star of the "Mad Max" films purchased the 5,411-acre (2,164-hectare) Mago Island from Japan's Tokyu Corp. for about US$15 million (euro11 million).
  • 10 Dirtiest Foods That Can Make You Sick - Men's Health magazine has identified the 10 dirtiest foods--from bad burgers and dangerous deli meats to hazardous health foods

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Microsoft Gears Up for Windows x64 April Launch - Microsoft Corp.'s officials expressed at Intel Developer Forum the company's strong intention to release its long-awaited operating system for computers based on the so-called x86-64 chips that can execute 32-bit and 64-bit code natively in April.
  • Internet Explorer 7 not just for Windows XP - Despite previous indications, the upcoming Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) will be available for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 SP1, as well as Windows XP SP2.
  • Online Community Set To Leap Beyond Solar System - Today craigslist announced plans to offer its users the opportunity to have their postings transmitted trillions of miles beyond the confines of the Solar System. craigslist currently handles 5 million earthly postings each month, from 8 million humans, in 99 cities and 19 countries on the planetary surface.
  • Sony Ericsson talks up Walkman MP3 phone - The W800 Walkman handset features a high quality digital music player with up to 30 hours battery life, and a 2-megapixel camera, the company said. The device is compatible with the MP3 and AAC music file formats, and comes with a 0.5GB Memory Stick Duo giving it capacity for around 150 music tracks. It also comes with Disk2Phone software to transfer music from CDs onto the phone via a PC.
  • Nokia unveils raft of new handsets - The 6230i adds a 1.3 megapixel camera and push-to-talk to the 6230. It is capable of recording up to one hour of video on a removable MMC and has a high resolution 208x208 pixels display. The on-board music player supports MP3, M4A and AAC files and sits alongside an FM radio with Visual Radio. There is also a hands-free speaker. With Bluetooth and tri-band support, the 6230i will cost around EURO350, excluding taxes. There were 339.80 million subscribers of mobile phone services and 315.63 million fixed-line telephone accounts in China, as of the end of January 2005
  • China had 339.80 million mobile-phone users by end of January 2005 - There were 339.80 million subscribers of mobile phone services and 315.63 million fixed-line telephone accounts in China, as of the end of January 2005

HARDWARE... 

  • ATI announces Radeon HyperMemory cards - ATI is announcing two HyperMemory products, the Radeon X300 SE 128MB HyperMemory, and the Radeon X300 SE 256MB HyperMemory. Both are native PCI Express parts and use the same RV370 SE GPU as other Radeon X300 SE cards. Both cards have a 325MHz core clock, a 300MHz memory clock, and a 64-bit local memory bus. They differ in the amount of memory they have on-board. The "128MB" HyperMemory card comes equipped with 32MB of local memory, while the "256MB" card gets 128MB. With a $59 suggested retail price and a projected sub-$50 street price, the Radeon X300 SE 128MB HyperMemory is perhaps the most promising HyperMemory card. If its price hits $50, the Radeon X300 SE 128MB HyperMemory card could look pretty good against the TurboCache competition.
  • IDF Spring 2005 coverage - IDF Spring 2005 Day 1 Keynote | Craig Barrett's keynote@AnandTech | Day 1 Coverage@X-bit Labs | Intel's dual core info &PCPer.com | PentiumD Info@AnandTech
  • Apple Mac mini - The Mac mini is a master stroke by Apple – it's essentially a headless iMac, supplied without a monitor, keyboard or mouse, enabling users to get on the Mac ladder for less money than ever before, by reusing their existing peripherals.
  • AOpen's XC Cube EY855-II mini-barebones system - AOpen's XC Cube EY855-II is an attractive small form factor system with many of the common SFF features (USB 2.0 and Firewire, Gigabit Ethernet and an AGP slot) and at least one very uncommon feature: a 479-pin socket suitable for a Pentium M.
  • INTEL 660 3.6Ghz & 3.73GHZ EE 64bit - As mentioned previously, Intel's prescott line of processors have been known to be rather warm. I found that the new 6XX based processors did indeed run a bit cooler at full load and did run quite a bit cooler at idle when compared to the full speed idle processor speeds applied with the older LGA775 Prescotts and Extreme Edition processors. Another review can be found on TrustedReviews.
  • Mid-Range PCI-Express shootout - The BFGTech GeForce 6600GT OC was able to be clocked to 589/1180MHz from its default 525/1050MHz clocks. The clock speeds that we have attained here fall in line with what other reviewers have been able to gain from this video card.
  • ATI ALL-IN-WONDER X800 XT - This is the new benchmark in multimedia performance cards, and while its $500 price tag may seem a little high at first, when you factor in everything you're getting, it's actually a pretty solid value.
  • ATI TV Wonder Elite - The ATI TV Wonder Elite features full hardware MPEG-2 compression, a 3D comb filter and full personal video recorder capabilities. Bundled with our review unit is ATI’s own Remote Wonder Plus remote control, the RF receiver, ATI’s Catalyst software drivers and a special version of Cyberlinks PowerCinema media software.
  • PowerColor Theater 550Pro TV Tuner - The PowerColor Theater is 550Pro is a very nice piece of hardware. MSRP is a very reasonable $99 USD and video quality is very good in general although the video seems a bit on the soft side. The filtering algorithms used by ATI seem to be effective the videos have very little noise and color bleeding seems minimal.
  • Leadtek PX6800 TDH - If you don't plan on investing in an SLI setup then I would suggest the X800 since you can currently find it for about $30 cheaper if you really hunt around for good prices plus it is a bit smaller and felt more stable when experimenting with overclocking. If you are going to give SLI a shot or are even considering that option then the 6800 is the way to go for sure. You can find the Leadtek PX6800 TDH 256MB PCIe video card for about $350.00.
  • Chaintech AV-710 Sound Card - This sound card is based on the VIA Envy 24 chipset, the AV-710. There isn't much to be found on the card, either; the most obvious part is the large IC in the middle of the board - the 24 bit Envy itself in all its glory. This is the HT-S version, unlike the HT, which can be found on high end gear like M-Audio Revolution.
  • Intel P4 Aircooling - Heatsink Roundup Q1 2005 - MadShrimps compared 11 different P4 heatsinks made by Thermalright, Spire, Primecooler, Zalman, Evercool, Vantec and Titan. Using different fans at low and high speed they try to find the best bang for the buck, best performer and most silent HSF combo out there.
  • Asetek Waterchill Watercooling - Can watercooling bring down that nasty temperature below 45-50 Degrees C? Of course Asetek can and even better.
  • Antec Phantom 350W Fanless PSU - Antec did it right with the Phantom; this is one fanless PSU that's hard to top.
  • TTGI PLUG-N 550W 14cm Fan Power Supply - There are lots of optional features with the PLUG-N line of power supplies, the most popular being: Active PFC or Passive PFC, Electronic Fan Speed Switch, and the Fan Delay System. Active PFC is a regulatory requirement in many European countries so technically it wouldn't be an "option", in the US many people like to have the feature but it is definitely not a requirement. The electronic fan speed switch allows for adjustable fan speed settings (Auto, Silent, Turbo), and the fan delay system keeps the fan running for 5 minutes after the system is shutdown, both of these options are highly recommended.
  • A4 Tech Wireless Battery Free Optical Mouse - I'm sure quite of you are wondering how well this NB-30 works for gaming, well to be honest, it's OK. I'm not going to say it's great, because going of the mousepad will kill you. But besides from that the response times are very good, and the mouse is accurate. Small movements are easily spotted, so you won't see yourself moving your mouse around like a DJ on steroids.
  • Ultrasone HFI-15G headphones - While Ultrasone products are not really aimed at gamers, it's hard to not justify their use in any audio application due to the high fidelity and reasonable pricing. Yes, they are more expensive than your typical ‘gamer headset', and lack a microphone for whatever you might need it for, but the cost isn't that far out there.

GUIDES... 

  • Optimizing PC Hardware for Gaming - Part 2: Cooling - This is the second part of the VIA Gamers Arena "Optimizing PC Hardware for Gaming" article (the first part focused on driver updates and BIOS tweaks). The second half will cover what is possibly the most vital aspect of any gaming rig. This is of course the cooling properties of not only the case but also other internal system components such as the processor, graphics card and even power supply. Even the more recent motherboards are beginning to generate quite a lot of heat causing even more issues for both processor and case cooling.
  • Current Problems with Linux - Why do this article? Well, in the interest of being fair.Yes, it is easy to dismiss Windows users as whiners, and people who can't be bothered to learn about their machines, but life is not that simple, is it?
  • How to remove Windows XP Service Pack 2 from your computer - This article describes how to remove Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) from your computer.

SOFTWARE...

  • Linux Kernel 2.6.11 - Linus Torvalds has just announced the availability of the newest Linux kernel release, 2.6.11 (download). The newest addition to Linux that's stirring up some excitement is the inclusion of Infiniband support.
  • SiSoft Sandra 2005 (1050) -  SiSoft Sandra 2005 Guru3D.com edition - SiSoft Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. This is the special Guru3D.com distribution edition.
  • Win32Whois 0.9.3 - Win32Whois (download) is a small and efficient Whois client. It is able to retrieve domain information for most of the common TLDs (top level domains). It has it is internal list of servers that it connects to in order to provide a detailed report on a requested domain
  • PeerGuardian2 Beta 2 - PeerGuardian 2 is Methlabs' premier IP blocker for Windows. With features like support for multiple lists, a list editor, automatic updates, and blocking all of IPv4 (TCP, UDP, ICMP, etc), PeerGuardian 2 is the safest and easiest way to protect your privacy on P2P. Plus, by integrating with Blocklist.org, lists are built custom just for you. (thanks NeoNSX)
  • Media Player Classic 6.4.8.3 - Media Player Classic (download Win2K/XP version / Win9x/ME version) 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.
  • QuickTime Alternative 1.41 - 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 1.31 - Real Alternative will allow you to play RealMedia files without having to install the official RealPlayer. You do need a media player that is capable of playing RealMedia files. The included Media Player Classic supports it. Supported are RealAudio (.ra .rpm), RealVideo (.rm .ram .rmvb), RealText (.rt), and ReadPix (.rp). Not fully supported are: Streaming smil files (.smi .smil) and Realmedia embedded in webpages.
  • K-Lite Mega Codec Pack 1.20 - K-Lite Mega Codec Pack combines the contents of three codec packs: K-Lite Codec Pack Full, QuickTime Alternative, and Real Alternative. It also includes some extra features: BSplayer.
  • ASUS Smartdoctor 4.64 - ASUS has a new version of their Smartdoctor monitoring utility for Windows available. This one supports all ASUS ATI and NVIDIA based videocards in Windows 2000 and XP.
  • Xtreme G 71.84 (ForceWare)  - This is the Xtreme G driver (download) which includes many performance and Image Quality tweaks. These are modified NVIDIA ForceWare drivers 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.
  • ForceWare 71.84 Win2000/XP - This new driver set was released as BEta driver by NVIDIA. The driver supports the entire range of graphice cards to date and most Mobile and Quadro cards also.
  • BIOS updates - PCTuning.cz has posted a lot of new motherboard BIOS updates
 Gameguru Mania News - Mar,01 2005 - tech
AMD Athlon64 PCIe Chipset Shootout - tech
(hx) 07:57 PM EST - Mar,01 2005 - Post a comment
GamePC have compared the four main Athlon64 chipsets on the market with PCI Express support. They compated motherboards based on nVidia's nForce4 Ultra and nForce4 SLI, along with new boards based on ATI's Radeon XPress 200 and VIA's K8T890 chipsets. Which platform is the best solution for running your new Athlon64 processor? Let's take a closer look. Here's an excerpt:
In terms of raw feature sets, the nForce4 SLI is still the top of the line, even though it only holds one major feature over the nForce4 Ultra, that being SLI graphics card support. That's a pretty big feature though, and many people will find shelling out the extra $30.00 for an SLI motherboard over an Ultra motherboard to be a good deal. If SLI isn't your thing, stick to the Ultra, and we think you'll be very happy.

The ATI Radeon XPress 200 is a very interesting contender as well, as the MSI board using this chipset sports a price tag of just over $100, which is about 1/3rd less than other Athlon64 PCI Express motherboards. In testing, we found the board to perform quite well in games and applications, although our performance numbers were somewhat erratic in some cases. We also found that VIA's Southbridge performance is still not up to par with their competitors, but there are making strides in the right direction. The Radeon XPress 200 will make for a great home theater box or a basic Athlon64 system, but we would still recommend the more stable nForce4 Ultra chipset if given the opportunity.

The VIA K8T890 is somewhat disappointing, as it has no major features to separate itself from the competition. Even worse, it had problems with our USB 2.0 speed tests, and these problems which do not appear to be isolated to our motherboard choice. Many first generation K8T890 boards appear to be suffering quite a few compatibility issues. It's hard to recommend the K8T890 at this time, especially when the nForce4 Ultra does everything the K8T890 does (but better) at the same price point. If VIA wants to compete with nVidia, they'll need to get a new Southbridge controller out the door with modern feature sets instead of relying on the aging 8237 design.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,28 2005 - tech
Nightly Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 08:47 PM EST - Feb,28 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Microsoft Steps Up XP Anti-Piracy Drive - Microsoft is cracking down on fake copies of Windows XP in use across Europe. The firm said it is beefing up procedures to deal with PCs sold in Europe with fake or stolen certificates of authenticity (COAs). If a user attempts to activate a copy of XP online using a suspicious COA number -- for example after rebuilding a machine -- they will be redirected to a call-center program. Staff will ask a series of questions, such as where the customer bought the PC, in order to work out whether it is a legitimate Microsoft product.
  • Microsoft suing Israeli spammer - Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against an Israeli man suspected of sending spam. The software giant alleges that Amir Gans, head of marketing company New Approach, has sent 10 million junk emails and is responsible for half of the spam sent from Israel.
  • Anti-piracy companies overcharge - Consumer electronics companies say they do not want to be over charged for the latest wave of anti-piracy technology. The price for anti-piracy technology, proposed by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), has been set at a dollar a unit. However, several producers have told Reuters that this is far too high.
  • Phishers chip away at web security - Nearly 13,000 new phishing emails and more than 2,500 phishing websites were spotted last month, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) has reported.
  • Study finds majority of US customers dislike copy protection - Among respondents in Parks Associates' survey "Profiles of PC Usage," when given a choice between a normal music CD and a "copy-once" CD priced $5 less, 33% of those who do not rip CDs and 27% who rip CDs preferred the copy-once CDs."

OFFTOPIC...

  • Texas Gaming Festival's ATI Ultimate LAN Party coverage - TechReport, EliteBastards
  • Short History of Cellphone Ringtones - This week's New Yorker magazine includes an interesting short history of cellphone ringtones, including statistics on their (huge) profitability worldwide.
  • Unseen Trinity's Revenge from The Matrix Reloaded movie - Here is the deleted scene of what Trinity actually did as a revenge on Neo when the white Twins were around :P

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Toshiba fuel cell is the smallest in the world - A direct methanol fuel cell created by Toshiba has been certified in the 2006 edition of Guinness World Records as the world's smallest DMFC. The device, which outputs 100 milliwatts of power and can power a small music player for as long as 20 hours on a single 2 cubic centimetre charge of highly concentrated methanol, is only 22 millimetres wide, 56 mm long and 4.5 mm high, making it the smallest fuel cell in the world. Toshiba plans to introduce commercial samples of the DMFC for small handheld electronic devices in 2005.
  • 5 Features Operating Systems Should Have - This article goes over five features that could be implemented into operating systems that could increase productivity, improve performance, and provide all kinds of new avenues for third party developers and users.
  • MP3 Download Prices to Rise? - Several big labels are in talks with online music retailers to get them to increase prices,according to the FT. The labels are looking to increase the wholesale prices shops pay for tracks. Sites in the US typically sell tracks for 99 cents each. The wholesale price is currently 65 cents per track, according to the FT.
  • AOL Integrates Buddy Lists With Outlook - Users of America Online Inc.'s instant messaging service can now automatically see from Microsoft Corp.'s popular Outlook e-mail application whether their friends and colleagues are online. A free tool AOL is offering beginning Monday integrates "buddy list" information from AOL Instant Messenger with Outlook.
  • IBM Teams with Zend on PHP Programming Core - In a move to expand its support for open-source technologies, IBM announced a partnership with Zend Technologies yesterday that will integrate Big Blue's Apache-based Cloudscape database and Zend's open-source PHP environment.

HARDWARE... 

  • Intel nForce Announced - NVIDIA has officially announced that their nForce chipset for Intel Pemtium 4 series of CPUS will be unveiled tommorow March 1st at IDF. The new nForce chipset line will include a chipset which will allow for Intel CPU powered SLI setups.
  • ATI Officially Releases New RADEON X850, X800 (AGP) - The RADEON X850 is a native AGP 8x visual processor (PR) family code-named R481 featuring the RADEON X850 XT and other models. The R481 is produced using 0.13 micron process technology with low-k dielectrics and can operate at up to 540MHz clock-speed. The RADEON X800 XL originally known as R430 is a native PCI Express visual processing unit (VPU) that uses ATI’s PCI Express to AGP Bridge chip code-named Rialto, which allows PCI Express graphics processors to be used in AGP-based computers. ATI produces R430 using 0.11 micron process technology at TSMC. While this process technology does not allow extremely high clock-speeds, it gives ATI opportunity to offer the chips at lower cost compared to 0.13 micron fabrication processes.
  • NV48 is NV45 with 512MB RAM - Despite earlier claims, Nvidia will introduce one more card codenamed NV48. It won't be an exciting part of the phenomenon hardware thang, as Nvidia will use NV45 chips and will plug 512 MB of memory at the card. Actually, this time NV48 is the codename for graphic card more than it is for the chip. Clocks will remain the same it will be the same card clocked to 400 MHz core and 1100 MHz memory as it is with NV45, Geforce 6800 Ultra card.  In related new, some 512MB GeForce 6800 Ultra in pictures can be found  here.
  • Voodoo Rage F:5 gaming PC - Inside, the machine packs an overclocked (by 100MHz, to 2.7GHz) Athlon FX-55 on an Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe board. Two nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra cards in SLI mode power the graphics, and there’s 2GB of Crucial Ballistix DDR400. Unlike the Katana SLi (reviewed on page 68), the Rage F:5 uses two 1GB DIMMs instead of four 512MB DIMMs. This provides an upgrade path that doesn’t involve junking your old DIMMs.
  • Sony VAIO VGN-FS115B Sonoma based notebook - Inside the FS115B is a 1.6GHz Pentium M CPU and 512MB of memory - although Sony has decided to go with DDR rather than DDR2 memory. Sony has made use of the dual channel memory support and installed two matched SODIMM modules. The down side of this is that you're left with no spare memory slots for future upgrades, although 512MB should be fine for most users of this type of notebook.
  • SLI comparison - DFI vs. Asus - Hexus compares the Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe to the DFI LanParty UT nF4 SLI-D.
  • Leadtek WinFast PX6800 GT TDH (GeForce 6800 GT) - Obviously, the 6800 GT should slap around the 6600 GT like a freshman in a locker room. That will not surprise anyone. The main thing I want to look at is if the price premium that the 6800 GT demands is worth it. For example, if 6800 GT performs less than 20% better than the 6600 GT on the majority of the benchmarks, perhaps paying twice as much for the higher-powered GPU is not worth it.
  • Netgear DG834GT - The main differences between the DG834GT and the older model is the fact that it supports faster 108Mbit/sec operations. Physically, it’s much smaller than its predecessor, although this white plastic lozenge offers an equally good hardware specification. For starters, you get an integrated ADSL modem teamed up with a four-port Fast Ethernet switch, while the internal wireless access point (AP) supports simultaneous access from 802.11b and g clients.
  • MSI MEGA View 561 - ViperLair take a look at MSI's latest media device, capable of playing not only MP3s, but DivX files as well.
  • LCD roundup: 7 low priced 20'' LCD - The release of reasonably priced 20" LCDs was, however, quite inevitable. They replace 22" CRTs which also have 1600 x 1200 pixels. The pixel size of the 20" LCD and 22" CRT is almost identical and the display surface the same (it’s even a couple of millimetres bigger for the LCD).

GUIDES... 

  • DVD Troubleshooting Guide - You really enjoy those DVD movies and games and the last thing you need or want is to experience problems with your DVD drive. If your DVD is not feeling its best, then this troubleshooting guide should bring it back to life.
  • Cooling down your video card - If your system is freezing or resetting when it's using a graphically intensive program (such as gaming), it could be caused by all sorts of issues and heat is one of them. It might be wise to investigate the matter further and possibly insert an extra case far to get air directly flowing over the video card. This guide will show you how.
  • OverClocking the Socket 754 AMD Athlon 64 - If you choose to overclock your system or any components inside of it, you do so at your own risk. This is simply an informational guideline, which you may use at your own risk.
  • The easy way to set up the hard drive and set up the system - Sooner or later every PC user faces a full operating system installation. While there is not absolute correct procedure there are hints, tips and tricks that can save any user time and problems in the future. This guide takes the novice step by step through the process of setting up Windows XP and reminds veterans of a few good habits.
  • 5 impressive Windows XP tricks - From the folks who brought you the ever sturdy, always controversial Windows XP operating system. Check it out.

SOFTWARE...

  • Update for Exchange 2003 - This update resolves problems that were found in Exchange 2003 since Exchange 2003 SP1 was released.
  • Attach Plus - Attach Plus (download trial version) adds a button to your e-mail application's "Select Files" dialog window. From the "Select Files" window you can attach the file "as-is", convert it to an Adobe Acrobat PDF or compress it into a ZIP file. On the same screen you can secure the file by selecting a password and choosing only the pages you want and attach. It's that easy, efficient and secure!
  • DVD Region+CSS Free 5.80 - DVD Region+CSS Free enables you to watch and copy any region-coded/CSS-encrypted DVD movies on any DVD drive! It works automatically in the background to make a DVD appear region code free and unprotected to any DVD player and DVD copy software. With its help, DVD copy software is able to copy DVD's which are CSS protected.
  • Nero InfoTool 3.00 / Nero CD-DVD Speed V3.70 - Nero InfoTool a utility which analyses and displays the most important information about a drive, disc, configuration and software. CD/DVD Speed is a CD-ROM/DVD-ROM benchmark which can test the most important features of a CD/DVD-ROM drive.
  • Serious Samurize 1.61 - Samurize (download / changelog) is a system monitoring utility with outstanding configuration power. The configuration program is totally separated from the client for minimal memory usage.
  • Maxthon (MyIE2) v1.2.000 - Maxthon (MyIE2) (download standard / combo) 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.
  • Yahoo! Messenger 6.0.0.1922 - download / homepage
  • Mozilla 1.8 Beta 1 - Mozilla (download / changelog) 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.
  • X-Setup Pro 7.0 - X-Setup Pro is a so-called "hacker" or "tweaker" program. It allows you to change settings that are normally hidden deeply in some configuration-files like the registry fast and easily. It offers several advantages, making it the "ultimate tool for black belt system tuning". It's runs on any Windows version, is clutter-free, easy to use, extensible, powerful, covers any aspect of your computer and has more configuration options than any other tweaker.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,27 2005 - tech
Details on 512MB Radeon X850 XT - tech
(hx) 05:15 PM EST - Feb,27 2005 - Post a comment
Yesterday at the Texas Gaming Festival in Dallas, Texas, ATI demonstrated their first generation of 512MB cards, the RADEON X850 XT 512MB HD. As its name implies, the X850 XT 512MB HD is based on ATI's RADEON X850 XT VPU, which is clocked at 520MHz core/540MHz memory. ATI outfits the board with 512MB of GDDR3 memory, using the same 8Mx32 modules used on X850 XT cards today.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,26 2005 - tech
Saturday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 02:08 PM EST - Feb,26 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Firefox fix plugs security holes - The open-source project released Firefox 1.0.1 to fix, among other bugs, a vulnerability in the Internationalized Domain Names (IDN), a standard for handling special character sets in domain names that lets companies register domain names that appear to be the same in different languages. (->download 1.01)
  • Bank of America loses a million customer records -  A "small" number of backup tapes with records detailing the financial information of government employees were lost in shipment to a backup center, Bank of America said on Friday. The tapes contained information on the customers and accounts of the U.S. government's SmartPay charge card program, which has more than 2.1 million members and annual transactions totaling more than $21 billion, according to the General Services Administration. Reports have pegged the number of cards affected at 1.2 million.
  • Think Finds Flaw Revealing Up To 100,000 Social Security Numbers - Think Computer Corporation has released another security-related White Paper detailing how anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 Social Security numbers may have been accessible to the public for several years. The discovery of the flaw is particularly timely given the recent controversy surrounding similar problems at ChoicePoint, Inc., as well as changes in California state law that require companies to notify California residents whose Social Security numbers may have been compromised.
  • Limp Bizkit porn leak could lead to Hilton hacker - Late Tuesday night, an amateur porn video of Limp Bizkit lead singer Fred Durst and an unknown woman hit the Internet. Schmidt, a Phoenix-based publicist who has made a business out of representing celebrities for the sale of nude photos, said that people describing themselves as hackers who stole the video from Durst's PC had approached him to cut a deal with the singer. The video appeared online after the purported hackers backed out of the talks, Schmidt said.

OFFTOPIC...

  • Web lets parents spy on driving kids - One in eight cars in the US currently has some form of data recorder installed which logs details of the vehicle's movements. But a wave of new devices is giving parents the chance to follow their offspring and receive alerts by email or phone of any dangerous driving, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.
  • Nanoscopic 'ruler' could provide microchip benchmark - The "nanoruler" was developed by researchers at the US government's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Maryland, US, and industry collaborators. They say it will enable nanoscale researchers and engineers working on nanoscale objects to calibrate their instruments more precisely, resulting in and guarantee greater accuracy in their work.
  • Kilogram Poses Weighty Problem - Work has been underway for about 25 years to switch the kilogram from being defined by a physical model to corresponding instead to a constant. A paper to be released Monday proposes redefining the unit via fixing the values of one of two well-known universal constants. The choices offered up are Avogadro's constant or Planck's constant; the former measures the amount of carbon-12 atoms in 0.012 kg of that element, while the latter is used to explain the sizes of quanta, which are tiny electromagnetic energy packets.
  • European scientists believe in life on Mars - European Space Agency scientists think there was and could even still be life on Mars - and they want a new European mission to the Red Planet to take samples, a conference heard on Friday.
  • Cultured bone offers novel wedding rings - Some will think it a romantic gesture, others will find it grisly. But one willing couple in the UK is about to get the chance, thanks to a government-funded project intended to promote awareness of the issues surrounding tissue engineering. The tricky part is that the lucky couple will have to provide bone cell samples, for which the team will get ethical approval only if both people already need surgery.
  • Hydrogen ball fuels dark-matter speculation - The discovery of a big ball of hydrogen in a far-flung region of the universe might help unravel one of the thorniest problems in modern cosmology: Where is the missing dark matter in the universe?
  • US Navy downs dummy ballistic missile - The US has successfully downed a dummy ballistic missile in a test of the sea-based element of its Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) programme. The cruiser Lake Erie used a Standard Missile (SM)-3 to intercept the mock warhead fired from the US Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Kauai. The SM-3 was guided by Lockheed Martin's Aegis Combat System, which can, according to the company, "detect, track, characterize and engage short- and medium-range ballistic missiles".
  • Final Fantasy creator working on Xbox 2 titles - Mist Walker, the development studio created by former Square executive Hironobu Sakaguchi - considered to be the "father of Final Fantasy" - has signed up with Microsoft Game Studios to create two RPG titles for the next Xbox console.
  • Virtual girlfriend comes to life - Hong Kong-based Artificial Life has created a virtual girlfriend (#pic) that it hopes to make available for users of 2.5G, 2.75G and 3G phones. Named "Vivienne Rose," she will flirt, chat and argue with subscribers, who will be able to call up panoramic views of her on the screens of their handsets. Continue to pages two through seven of this gallery for more images of Vivienne and her life.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Microsoft offers $5 windfall for errant software - Afraid Microsoft's anti-spyware will muck up your hard drive, erasing your digital photos, music collection and work files?  Don't worry, you've got a $5 rebate coming your way in this worst-case scenario--enough to buy five songs on iTunes. That is, if you read and take advantage of Microsoft's legal promise. According to the AntiSpyware Beta end-user license agreement (EULA), Microsoft will reimburse direct damages up to $5 for problems associated with the new downloadable tool that wards off spyware, adware and any other "potentially unwanted software."
  • Microsoft Preps for the 64-Bit Wave - Microsoft has made no bones about its plans to release new 64-bit versions of Windows client and server in the next couple of months. But until now, the company has said little about its schedule for porting some of its own applications to 64-bit systems. During the past couple of weeks, Microsoft has begun to inform customers and partners of its 64-bit migration strategy for SQL Server, Exchange Server, BizTalk, Virtual PC and Virtual Server, and other key enterprise applications.
  • Microsoft launches SQL Server for 2005 - The new products promise better reliability and security as well as improved user tools. The four new editions that comprise SQL Server 2005 are SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition targeted at large mission-critical business applications, a Standard Edition for medium-sized businesses, the Workgroup Edition a database solution majoring on ease of use for small to medium-sized organizations.
  • China favours EVD over DVD - China has formally declared its Enhanced Video Disc (EVD) format the national standard for digital video discs, its Ministry of Information Industry (MII) said this week.
  • Production of Sony's ill-fated PSX media centre halted - Sony Japan has stopped manufacturing both models of the PSX media centre cum game console, with the company revealing that production has stopped and giving no indication of whether it plans to resume at some point in future.
  • NTT Develops Mobile-Phone Hydrogen Fuel Cell - Nippon Telegraph and Telephone has developed a prototype fuel cell that it hopes to commercialize within three years at a size small enough to fit inside mobile phones and other portable consumer electronics devices, the company said Thursday. The prototype is a micro polymer-electrolyte fuel cell that works by combining hydrogen with oxygen, generating electricity and water. It is more powerful than the direct methanol fuel cells currently being developed by many companies, said Kazuya Akiyama, a researcher at the energy systems project at NTT's energy and environment systems laboratories.
  • Orange preps 240x320 SPV C550 - The first Smartphone to feature a QVGA resolution, the C550 features: 1.3 Megapixel Camera, GPRS Class 10, 240x320 65k TFT colour screen, 64MB Internal memory and Mini SD external memory, USB, IrDA and Bluetooth, Video MMS
    Java 2.0, the following features are unconfirmed, but rumoured:Integrated SZGA and Flash, 262K not 64K Display, May have 3G technology too but no internal camera.
  • Sony demos HTPS LCD panel with inorganic alignment layer - Sony announced today the development of the world's first HTPS LCD panel for front projector TV sets. The company said the technology increased display reliability and is capable of outputting higher picture quality through the incorporation of an inorganic alignment layer. Compared to conventional LCD panels, the use of this new material nearly quadruples HTPS panels' resistance to light which results in higher brightness and contrast ratio.
  • AMD claims it's catching Intel on 65 nano tech - Robert Rivet, chief financial officer of AMD, spoke at the Goldman Sachs technology investment symposium 2005 and gave a fair amount of details on its process plans. AMD is on track to produce 65 nanometre processors, he said. While he said that Intel is clearly behind AMD on 64-bit technology, AMD won't be that far behind the firm on the move to 65 nanometre. Reliable sources inside Intel claim Intel has already got 65 nanometre versions of its chips taped up and running at its development fabs.

HARDWARE... 

  • ATI's RADEON X850 XT 512MB: Not a Significant Design Challenge, Says ATI.- ATI RADEON X850 XT 512MB graphics card looks similar to ATI's RADEON X850 XT 256MB flavour: both have nearly the same power supply circuitry, coolers, etc., the actual difference is in memory layout. ATI Technologies, the world's largest supplier of graphics and multimedia processors, will demonstrate its graphics cards with 512MB of onboard memory at the Texas Gaming Festival in Dallas, February 25th to 27th, 2004.
  • VIA unveils K8N800A chipset for slim AMD-based notebooks - VIA officially announced the availability of the new mobile chipset with integrated graphics - K8N800A. The novelty supports all the current AMD Mobile Athlon64 and Mobile Sempron processors as well as the coming Mobile Turion64. It´s especially underlined that the chipset also supports all energy saving features of processors aforementioned.
  • LinuxHardware.org 64-Bit Desktop Battle! - For the majority of people that say they do more of the other tasks presented here, Athlon 64 processors are really your only options. The Pentium 4 in most applications just does not have enough performance versus the competition. If you look at value, AMD gives you more performance, at the same price point, in more applications. It will also be easier to cool it using less expensive cooling methods and save you on energy costs
  • NVIDIA Multi-GPU SLI Technology: New Approach to Old Ideas - That said, we could agree with NVIDIA's claims about a super-high efficiency of SLI technology if it were not for one problem. SLI does not work with all games. In many gaming applications there was no performance gain whatever or there even was a negative effect from enabled SLI. In some cases enabling SLI made the system unstable, or a game just would not start up. Another drawback of SLI technology is its dependence on the optimizations for each particular game in the ForceWare driver. If the game is optimized for SLI, the performance gain can be huge, but if the game is not in the database, there's a high probability of your getting a very small speed bonus (far from the promised 70-90 percent) or none at all.
  • Intel Pentium 4 600 series & 3.73EE CPU - The Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor has now moved to 90nm process. It has 2MB L2 cache but also has slightly faster clock speed of 3.73GHz and 1066MHz FSB support but is otherwise the same core as normal Pentium 4 600 series. But of course AMD Athlon 64 processors running at much slower clock speeds still give higher performance. It only needs AMD to increase the speed and they will leave Intel in their dust.
  • Mushkin PC4400 1GB DC Kit - InsaneTek has posted a review on the Mushkin PC4400 1GB DC Kit.
  • MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI Motherboard - The MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI is actually the third revision of MSI's popular K8N Neo series, and it's now based on the brand new nVIDIA nForce4 SLI chipset. The motherboard supports Socket 939 AMD Athlon64 processors with HyperTransport running at a smooth 1 GHz.
  • nForce4 SLI, Real World System -  Since a GeForce 6800 GT can play any game out at this moment with all the setting set to high at 1280x1024 without problems, we ran all three of our tests at 1600x1200 with 4xAA and 8xAF. Also, the game settings are set too have all the settings set to highest detail. This should give you an idea how the cards can handle high stress.
  • GeForce Go 6800 Ultra: Powering the Dell Inspirion XPS Gen 2 - The "new" GeForce Go 6800 Ultra graphics card is exactly the same as the original Go 6800, except that we are finally seeing it at the high clock speeds NVIDIA originally promised we would see.
  • SB Audigy 4 Pro & Audigy 2 ZS notebook card - In an effort to maintain its leadership position in the PC sound card market, Creative Labs has recently released its new Notebook Audigy 2 ZS PCMCIA card and Audigy 4 Pro PCI card for desktops. The card itself only has the three main speaker outputs on it, and a modular plug for the break-out box - all other connections go straight to the box. Once again, we don't care for this design as it requires some sort of dependency on the bulky box if you want to use all the available features of the Audigy 4 Pro.
  • U.S. Robotics 802.11g wireless turbo multi-function access point - U.S Robotics's Wireless 'turbo' access point is capable of delivering 100Mbit/s wireless networking - in theory at least. The access point increases standard 802.11g performance up to 25 per cent, according to the company, and comes with built-in 256-bit Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption and WPA (Wi-Fi protected Access) to help protect against hackers.
  • LG Flatron L1740P monitor - TrustedReviews has posted a review of the LG Flatron L1740P 17in TFT monitor which has taken more than one design que from the latest Sony panels.
  • Lexmark T430 laser printer - Lexmark makes a full range of business laser printers from simple, one-per-desk models through to full departmental devices, with all the collators and stackers you could reasonably want. The T430 sits around halfway between these two types and is a typical small workgroup printer with an output speed of an impressive 30 pages per minute.
  • Sony PSP - Overlocking project take a look at the Playstation Portable, which is currently set to launch in North America on March 24.
  • Siemens SF65 1.3 mpixel Camera Phone - OCW has posted a review of the Siemens SF65 1.3 mpixel Camera Phone. With an integrated 1.3 mpixel digital camera and 18MB of storage, LED Flash, 4x Zoom, swivel action screen and 65K colour TTF display,every single moment can be captured in details. SF65 has a high gloss finish in Polar White and a distinctive minimalist feel. It is stylish and weighs only 97g.

GUIDES... 

  • ATI Radeon to ATI FireGL mod guide rev. 4.2 - If you read our Radeon 9800 SE to Radeon 9800 Pro Mod Guide, you should have known ATI's R350 and R360 cores are used in the Radeon 9800 series of graphics cards. In fact, ATI used the same cores in their FireGL X2 workstation graphics card as well! Yes! The GPUs ATI used in their desktop graphics cards are the same GPUs they use in their FireGL series of workstation graphics cards! They only make some minor changes to the PCB of the FireGL cards. In some cases, it looks like they even use the same PCB used in the desktop cards!
  • 3D Performance with Chronicles of Riddick: High-end cards - As far as performance is concerned, NVIDIA's GeForce 6800 GT and GeForce 6800 Ultra put up a very strong showing in Chronicles of Riddick, sweeping all tests we conducted. At lower resolutions, the margins between the NVIDIA and ATI cards are pretty great - in one case the X850 XT PE trailed the GeForce 6800 GT by 15% at 800x600 -- but the X850 XT Platinum Edition begins to reel in the 6800 GT once AA and AF are turned on, especially at 1600x1200, thanks to the X850 XT PE's memory bandwidth advantage. For example, with 4xAA and 8xAF enabled, the GeForce 6800 GT outperforms the X850 XT PE by just 3% at 1600x1200, but at 800x600 the margin between both cards is a more substantial 9%.
  • Memory Timing Comparison - For testing at DDR400 I ran the processor at 10x200, with a htt multiplier of 5x and for ddr500 I ran at 8x250 with a htt multiplier of 4x. This insures that everything is running at the same speed other than the memory
  • Quadro vs FireGL - In some areas the cost performance ratio is heavily outweighed by the PNY Quadro in its outstanding excellence and prevailing raw performance in the applications. Many customers still rely upon the Quadro name for quality and long term value.
  • Installing The XP Fax Service (XP Pro/Home) - Not everyone has a dedicated fax machine in their home or office. XP includes a fax service that provides you with complete faxing capabilities. Using your XP computer, you can send, receive, track, and monitor faxes. The Fax service is not installed with XP by default. Therefore, if you want to utilize this feature, you must first install it. Once you have the Fax service installed, you must configure it before you can start using it.
  • What is Bluetooth Technology? - Just like 802.11 b/g wireless networking systems and many cordless telephones, Bluetooth devices operate on 2.4 GHz radio signals

SOFTWARE...

  • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition RC2 Preview -  In short, XP x64 looks and acts like the 32-bit version of XP Pro with Service Pack 2 (SP2). Virtually everything you see in a default XP Pro system is present in XP x64, including the Security Center, with just a few exceptions. There are also occasional features in XP x64 that aren't present in XP SP2, such as a 64-bit version of Internet Explorer.
  • Apache HTTP Server for Windows 2.0.53 - Undoubtedly the best HTTP server. For those of you experiencing crash during shut down of apache, try to update your OpenSSL DLL files in your windows\system32 directory. When I was using old versions of openssl dll, the apache would crash during shutdown. This problem can easily be reproduced. Update to latest version, no more problems!
  • Update for Windows XP (KB884883) -When you work in a program that loads both version 5 and version 6 of the Comctl32.dll file in Microsoft Windows XP, the program may stop responding, and an access violation may occur in the Comctl32.dll file. (patch)
  • SimplyMEPIS 3.3 - For the beginner, SimplyMEPIS is a complete desktop Linux that bundles and preconfigures the KDE 3.3.2 desktop, OpenOffice 1.1.3 (with WordPerfect document support), Firefox 1.0, Mplayer plugin, Gaim, Xchat, Konqueror, Kmail, Pan, Skype, GIMP, Digikam, Acrobat Reader, Real Player, Xine, XMMS, Kino, GTKPod (with automatic support for both Mac and PC iPods), Scribus, Checkbook Tracker, KPilot, QTParted, Synaptic, Kpackage, and many other applications.
  • Trillian 3.1 - Trillian is a multi-network chat client that currently supports IRC, AIM, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo! Messenger.
  • PDFCreator 0.8.1 RC5 - PDFCreator easily creates PDFs from any Windows program. Use it like a printer in Word, StarCalc or any other Windows application.
  • XP Codec Pack 1.0.5 - XP Codec Pack is one of the most complete codec pack which helps you to play all major audio and video formats. And to complete your multimedia experience, instead of 3 or 4 different players you get one simple integrated player that plays almost all audio and video files: Media Player Classic
  • MenuShrink  - MenuShrink (download) is a small app that lets you compress DVD motion menus by turning them into still menus with or without audio. In many cases, the space savings is tremendous. For the Star Wars movies, the main menus take about 600MB, and can easily be shrunk to about 40MB (keeping the audio).
  • CCleaner 1.17.094 Final - 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.
  • SCARABAY v2.5 - SCARABAY is an easy to use password manager that can store your Web site logins in an encrypted database. It offers a convenient drag and drop approach to enter the username and password into the Web site form. The program includes a built-in password generator, and supports multiple users, each with their own database files.
  • Opera 8.0 Beta 2 - Opera has released their second beta version of Opera 8.0. There are a few apparent changes such as the new Appearance settings and a new option to "Report a site problem".
  • ResizeSearchBox for Firefox - ResizeSearchBox is an extension that adds a resize thumb to the toolbar which can be used to resize the search box. The resize thumb is added by customizing the toolba
  • ATI Tray Tools v1.0.1.527 - ATI Tray Tools is a small utility that can be found in the windows tray which then allows instant access to options and settings.
  • DHzer0point Drivers 0.6766 (ForceWare) - Zer0point Drivers are modified Forceware drivers, meaning they are NOT supported or endorsed by nVidia, or any 3rd party OEM manufacturers. They are not covered by any warranty or guarantee, and you install them at your own risk
  • Xtreme G 75.90 (ForceWare) - This is the Xtreme G driver which includes many performance and Image Quality tweaks. These are modified NVIDIA ForceWare drivers for Windows 2000 & XP. 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. Please bare in mind that the driver manufacturer, in this case NVIDIA, does not support drivers like these.
  • ATI Radeon DNA-drivers 3.7.5.2 - These are modified/hacked ATI Catalyst drivers, use them at your own risk. The drivers have been optimized with two things in mind, better Image Quality and more/stable frames per second when compared to the Beta Catalyst drivers from ATI.
  • ForceWare 71.84 Win2000/XP - This new driver set was tracked down by rflair, one of Guru3D forum members. The driver supports the entire range of graphice cards to date. As far as I could tell these drivers are not WHQL (Microsoft tested) signed.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,24 2005 - tech
Nightly Tech Madness - tech
(hx) 07:53 PM EST - Feb,24 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • U.K. to issue public virus alerts - The British government has created a Web site with virus alerts and security advice for home PC users and small businesses. The site, called ITsafe, will provide free information on the latest virus threats as well as advice on Internet surfing, e-mail use and protecting personal and business data.
  • Virus hidden in fake FBI email - The FBI is warning internet users to beware of a virus masquerading as an email from the US law enforcement agency. The scam emails tell the recipients that their surfing has been monitored by the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Centre and that they have accessed illegal websites. Recipients are urged to open an attachment and answer some questions, but the attachment contains a computer virus.
  • Microsoft Confirms IE Phishing Flaw - According to a Microsoft spokesperson, Windows XP SP2 requires the URL of pop-up ads to display in the title bar when a pop-up has been opened without the address bar. "Our early analysis indicates that only pop-up ads that contain extremely long URLs can be spoofed in this scenario," the spokesperson confirmed.
  • Microsoft Patches "Blue Screen Of Death" In Windows XP SP2 - The problem, which has actually been public since December 2004, also affects Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005. In some cases, installing third-party anti-virus or firewall software -- Microsoft didn't name makers or package titles -- can bring down the operating system in a Blue Screen of Death with a cryptic error that reads "Stop 0x05 (INVALID_PROCESS_ATTACH_ATTEMPT)."
  • Office 10 applications & flashdrives can be used to browse restricted drives (Win2k) - After you establish a group policy to restrict access to a drive by selecting the Hide these specified drives in My Computer and Prevent access to drives from My Computer options, you can use a Microsoft Office program to browse and read the contents of the drive.
  • More Security Problems for phpBB - An update of phpBB has been released to address new security holes in the open source application. "One of the potential exploits addressed in this release could be serious in certain situations and thus we urge all users to upgrade to this release as soon as possible," the phpBB Group said in its advisory. The security fixes address multiple bugs that disclose the full path to system files in phpBB, which is powered by the PHP server-side scripting language. A vulnerability reported by iDefense could, under some configurations, allow malicious users to view system files.
  • Multiple Vulnerabilities in RealArcade - The vulnerability lies in the handling of RGS files. Each RGS file is defined using an integer of a 32 bits that specifies the length of a GUID string and a name of a game to install. When the user launches a RGS file he can choose if to continue installing or not.
    The vulnerability allows to overwrite the return address of the vulnerable function which in turn can be used by an attacker to execute malicious code.
  • Changes in Windows XP Product Activation - On February 28, Microsoft will disable Internet activation for all Microsoft Windows XP product keys located on the Certificates of Authenticity (COA) labels distributed by large, multinational OEMs. The first phase of this Product Activation policy update will affect product keys from the top 20 Direct OEMs only. This policy will go into effect on February 28th with additional updates throughout the year to extend this policy to all OEMs authorized to use SLP. This change will affect all Windows XP product keys already shipped from the top 20 OEMs in the market today as well as shipments going forward.
  • Silence Fuels Speculation on Microsoft Security Plan - Microsoft's silence on its Next-Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB) architecture has some industry insiders wondering if the technology has been substantially delayed, or even axed. Microsoft unveiled NGSCB, formerly known by its Palladium code name, in 2002. The technology, Microsoft has said, uses a combination of software and hardware that boosts PC security by providing the ability to isolate software so it can be protected against malicious code
  • Arrest, But no Relief From IM Spam - Anthony Greco of Cheektowaga, New York, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on February 16, and charged with violating the federal CAN-SPAM Act, after the 18-year-old allegedly sent over 1.5 million instant messages advertising mortgage refinancing services and adult pornography to users of MySpace.com's IM service, according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Debra W. Yang.
  • Microsoft says sorry for AntiSpyware error - Microsoft has publicly apologized and compensated Web directory Startpagina.nl, one of MSN's main competitors in Holland, after the software giant's anti-spyware product incorrectly flagged the site as malicious.
  • Free SSL Certificate Project - Most web servers, such as Apache, IIS and others are capable of running the 128-bit secured and encrypted SSL protocol. All you need, in most cases, is a SSL certificate to make it work. StartCom is going to provide you with this certificate through a simple web based interface wizard and sign up process free of charge. Together with the installation instructions, you'll have your secured web site running within a few minutes.

OFF-TOPIC...

  • The History Of The Computer - Unlike most devices, the computer is one of the few inventions that does not have one specific inventor. Throughout the development of the computer, many people have added their creations to the list required to make a computer work. Some of the inventions have been different types of computers, and some of them were parts required to allow computers to be developed further.
  • Frozen Bacterium Has Implications for Mars -NASA - A newly discovered life form that froze on Earth some 30,000 years ago was apparently alive all that time and started swimming as soon as it thawed, a NASA scientist reported on Wednesday, in a finding he said has implications for possible contemporary life on Mars.
  • Hydroelectric power's dirty secret revealed - The green image of hydro power as a benign alternative to fossil fuels is false, says Éric Duchemin, a consultant for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "Everyone thinks hydro is very clean, but this is not the case," he says. Hydroelectric dams produce significant amounts of carbon dioxide and methane, and in some cases produce more of these greenhouse gases than power plants running on fossil fuels.
  • The Power of Nukes - This video shows nukes in all of their amazing albeit destructive beauty. If only people could forget the destructive power of nukes and focus on the good they could achieve.
  • Compression algorithms harnessed to fight HIV - HIV mutates rapidly, thus evading the human immune system. This means that vaccines developed to counteract one strain may not be effective against another variant. But the researchers hope that algorithms capable of finding patterns in digital information could also help identify key genetic features across many different strains of HIV. This could enable them to engineer an HIV vaccine that is effective against several strains at once.
  • Battlestar Galactica Season 2 This Summer - SCI FI Channel announced that the second season of its hit original series Battlestar Galactica will premiere this summer with 20 new episodes, after earlier confirming their commitment to the show.
  • Quentin Tarantino to direct CSI season finale - Quentin Tarantino has signed to direct the season finale episode of CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, says The Hollywood Reporter. Tarantino also has come up with an original story for the episode, which is expected to shoot in early April and air May 19, according to "CSI" executive producer Carol Mendelsohn.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Internet Explorer 7 Preview 1 - From a factual basis, here's what we know about IE 7 right now: IE 7 was originally scheduled for Longhorn. The new features we're going to see in IE 7 were originally going to be available only as part of Longhorn, IE 7 will be focused on security, not new features. Like the version of IE that Microsoft shipped in XP SP2, IE 7.0 will consist, mostly, of security-oriented features. One of these features will be an anti-phishing technology. IE 7 will be free. Like previous versions of IE, IE 7 will be free.
  • WinZip Companion For Outlook Launched - WinZip Computing has introduced WinZip Companion for Outlook, which is designed to make it easy for Outlook to zip and encrypt attachments to their outgoing e-mail messages.The WinZip Companion can be configured to zip files automatically, to ask if the user wants them zipped, or to manually zip and attach files. Toolbar and menu items control the program's functionality on a message-by-message basis.
  • How to Kill Linux - While chatting over dinner with the executives of a middleware company during the recent RSA conference for encryption and security in San Francisco, I heard about a secret project. It concerned the development of a version of Linux that runs smoothly as a task under Windows. The project was completed and then shelved. Whether it will ever reemerge is doubtful, but it does offer some interesting possibilities and hints as to what Microsoft may be up to with MS-Linux
  • Peer Impact P2P signs deal with four major labels - Wurld Media, provider of Peer Impact P2P software, has completed a deal with four major music lables including Sony/BMG and Universal Music Group. In case you don't know, Peer Impact is an application that allows the downloading of music legally, but with a twist. You can potentially earn money if the music you like and buy, is uploaded to another peers computer. Details are not clear as the program is presently in the beta stage.
  • German Search Engines Self-Regulating - Heise reports the German search engines Google.de, Lycos Europe, MSN Germany, AOL Germany, Yahoo.de, T-Online and T-Info today in Berlin announced the forming of a self-regulating organization (Babelfish version) under the hood of the German FSM (the "Voluntary Self-Control for Multimedia Service Providers"). (thanks Slashdot.org)
  • Xbox 2 set to feature removable hard drive - reports - Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console is set to feature a removable hard drive bay, according to online reports today, which will allow users to upgrade their entry-level systems to include mass storage capabilities.
  • Apple pipes in new iPods - The company introduced a higher-capacity, 6GB Mini, along with new 30GB and 60GB iPod Photo models (photo), which can use an adapter to connect directly to digital cameras and display photos. The Minis also feature a boost in battery life.
  • AMD to demo a dual-core desktop chip - The chip, code-named Toledo, will feature two separate Athlon 64 processing cores on the same piece of silicon. It will start appearing in PCs in the second half of 2005, said Theresa DeOnis, desktop brand manager for AMD. Putting two cores on a chip will allow a computer to perform two tasks at once, she said, or run specially tweaked applications faster. Windows XP Professional will be the operating system of choice for many dual-core desktops, as it is already threaded to run two processors.
  • Dell No Longer Plans to Use AMD Processors - CEO - Following Intel Corp.'s release of Intel Pentium 4 processors 600-series as well as yet another lineup of Intel Xeon DP, the world's largest computer maker Dell Inc., who exclusively use Intel's microprocessors in its products, said the company does not have plans to introduce systems powered by AMD processors.

HARDWARE... 

  • NV44a is native AGP 6200 - NV44 PCIe is what we know under the Geforce 6200 TC brand but the AGP version won't be TC - Turbo Cache compatible, as this is a PCIe game only. It still might be called Geforce 6200. Nvidia needs a good card in a market that brings a lot of money to the company and has to fight ATI's offering in this league. Now, that's the Radeon 9250 but we heard that ATI might have a new low end AGP player soon as well.
  • First pictures of ATI's 512MB Radeon X850 - EliteBastards just received the first images of the 512MB variant (pic#1 / pic#2) of ATI's Radeon X850 board.
  • Evesham Duel SLi gaming PC - The star of the show internally is the pair of GeForce 6800GT cards, located in the two PCI Express slots on the Asus A8N-SLi motherboard. There is in fact another PCI Express slot in between these but it is totally obstructed by the large bulk of these cards. Evesham has selected to use Leadtek cards, probably for the simple reason that it was able to secure supply of this brand. This is slightly unfortunate as while these cards certainly perform well, they make an awful lot of noise. In fact as well as a CPU fan, there's a 120mm rear fan, a front fan, and even one on the motherboard Southbridge chip.
  • Intel Pentium4 3.73GHz EE - From the past few pages of benchmarks, its quite clear that the performance of the 3.73GHz EE is not what one would expect from Intel’s highest-end desktop CPU which is about 300Mhz faster than their previous EE CPU. This was bound to happen as Intel moved the EE to the 90nm based Prescott core which has a longer 31 stage pipeline. We saw the same thing when the normal Pentium4 shifted from Northwood to Prescott.
  • AMD's Athlon FX - CPU Scaling to 3GHz and 250MHz dHTT - AMD recently released their latest Opteron running at 2600MHz, the same speed as the Athlon FX-55. With one Opteron speed hike usually comes the next one on the desktop, which for Athlon FX means 2800MHz and FX-57. Apply the logic above and we can examine the performance of FX-57 before launch, using an existing FX processor and its unlocked multipliers. With FX-55, all that means is the use of the 14x multiplier at the standard 200MHz dHTT (derived HTT, calculated by the use of the base HTT clock and clock divisors). While it's not quite a front-side bus, since the memory controller always runs at core frequency, it's close.
  • Pentium 4 at 5.2GHz - Due to diminishing returns the Pentium 4 processor needs a whopping 5.2GHz clock speed to keep up with AMD's flagship processor. So was it a good decision on Intel's part to announce it will not be shipping a 4GHz processor? We think so, as the Pentium 4 was just never going to best AMD's Athlon 64
  • OCZ's DDR Booster - OCZ's DDR Booster is a supplemental power supply for your DDR memory that plugs into an empty DIMM socket to improve memory stability.
  • ATI Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition - Looking back at our tests on the X800XT, X800 Pro, 9800XT and so on, it's easy for me to say that the X850XT Platinum Edition is the best and the fastest video card we have ever seen. The card has everything any computer enthusiast could ever want, but like most things it's not completely perfect. I hate to be nitpicky, but I feel that the cooling system could be a little better by using a larger copper heatsink. With the amount of heat this card produces, better cooling couldn't hurt.
  • Gigabyte Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition -  Legion Hardware take a look at the Gigabyte Radeon X850XT PE. This is not only the fastest graphics card ATi currently has on offer; it is also the most expensive. The average Radeon X850XT PE can be had for anywhere between $500 and $700 US.
  • Sapphire Radeon X850 XT - Traditionally Sapphire's retail cards haven't varied very far from ATI's reference design, after all, in many cases, ATI has farmed out production of their boards to Sapphire, therefore it was no surprise to us to see that Sapphire's RADEON X850 XT was so similar to the X850 XT reference board
  • Dual MSI NX6600GT-TD128E SLI videocard -  PC Stats has posted a review of Dual MSI NX6600GT-TD128E SLI Videocard
  • BenQ DW1620A DVD±RW/R Drive - This overall nice impression is somewhat spoiled by some flaws concerning DVD burn operations which I hope will be corrected in future firmware updates. Another point in favor of the BenQ is its wide functionality. Besides Plextor's devices of the 712 and 716 series, the BenQ DW1620 is among the most feature-rich optical drives in the market.
  • Asetek WaterChill Antarctica KT12A-L30 Water Cooling System - The Asetek WaterChill Antarctica KT12A-L30 kit includes three water-blocks: for the CPU, GPU and the chipset's North Bridge. They are all designed alike: a copper sole with a milled channel for the passing of the liquid plus a thick acryl cap the 0.5” Push-on fittings are attached to.
  • Logitech MX1000 Mouse - Cleverly packaged, and with out-of-the-box use, the MX1000 appeals to graphics professionals, gamers and mainstream users alike; comfortable and easy to use, the SetPoint software only extends its functionality.
  • Slappa Optical Disc Storage - So, putting the name to one side, what Slappa produces is a range of high-end storage and transport solutions for your digital media. OK, so that's a fancy way of describing CD/DVD cases, but calling the Slappa products CD cases seems to be selling them short - these cases really are a cut above the your average optical disc storage solution and sport a number of very useful features.
  • Canon PowerShot SD300 - Offering a 4 megapixel output and 3x optical zoom, the SD300 has a lot to offer. On top of the basic still recording modes that we have come to expect from current digicams, the SD300 offers a versatile movie mode that can record at 640x480 at 30 fps. It can even record at 60 fps with a resolution of 320x240
  • Kreisen LT-30FMP HDTV - Kreisen's LT-30FMP has a lot to offer and should not be a disappointment for those that do research before purchasing. Because Kreisen uses panels from both Samsung and LG.Philips, you are sure to get a great looking picture. PC Users will love how the LT-30FMP doubles as a PC monitor and with the advanced PIP options; you can watch television at the same time.

GUIDES... 

  • AMD Cool'n'Quiet How-To - EN staff member Troy Fontaine has put together a quick and easy guide on how to put AMD's Cool'n'Quiet technology to use. If you're finding yourself confused trying to get it working, this guide should help get you on the right track.
  • Making Windows XP Start Faster - Whenever you start your computer, you are faced with a few moments of thumb twiddling while Windows XP boots and prompts you to log on. Although you should expect to wait for a few moments, sometimes Windows XP seems to boot rather slowly. In fact, you may notice that over a period of time the PC that used to roar to life seems a bit sluggish instead. Fortunately, you can perform several techniques that help Windows XP get the bootup speed you want. This chapter explores how to put these techniques to work.
  • Optimize XP - A Windows XP Optimization Guide v1.9.0 - Clean Spyware and Viruses + Optimize Windows XP to improve both work and gaming performance safely. Windows XP's default configuration is far from optimized. This guide will help you improve your overall system performance.
  • How To Make A Slipstreamed Win XP SP2 Disc - What is the solution? "Slipstreaming" is the process of taking that old, non SP2 (or in my case not even SP1) copy of Windows XP and upgrading it to a fully patched (well, close to fully patched) version that can be installed in one-step
  • ForceWare Driver 75.90 Performance Comparison - Origo3D have published their ForceWare 75.90 Driver Comparison (translated by Google) They tested ForceWare 75.90 against ForceWare 71.50 ,71.25 ,71.80, 71.81 and 67.71 using a Geforce 6800 Ultra.

SOFTWARE...

  • Critical Update for XP and 2003 on Windows Update - You receive the Stop error "Stop 0x05 (INVALID_PROCESS_ATTACH_ATTEMPT)" in Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Server 2003. This patch has been available since nov 2004, but is now available on windowsupdate and autoupdate.
  • phpMyAdmin 2.6.1-pl1  - phpMyAdmin (changelog) can manage a whole MySQL-server (needs a super-user) but also a single database. To accomplish the latter you`ll need a properly set up MySQL-user who can read/write only the desired database
  • NetServer 0.1 Beta 3 - You want to get hosting for your website? You can't afford a hosting service for your website or you don't like the services offered by free hosts? You have a PC at home that you can connect to the Internet 24/7 ?You need a development platform for your PHP scripts? Download NetServer and your PC will become a Web Server, MySQL Server, FTP Server, Mail Server in 5 minutes.
  • DVD Rebuilder 0.74 - One click DVD backup tool that uses CinemaCraft Encoder Basic/SP or QuEnc(ffmpeg) encoder or ReJig transcoder engine. This tool helps you to do a full dvd backup(movie, extras, menus) of your DVD9s to one DVDR using one of the best video encoder available, CinemaCraft Encoder.
  • BSPlayer 1.2 Build 815 - BSplayer (download) is a Windows player that plays back all kinds of media files ( avi / mpg / asf / wmv / wav / mp3...) and specialises in video and divx playback.
  • Fraps 2.5.2 - Fraps is a tool that lets you monitor current framerates in a corner of the screen for programs using DirectX or OpenGL technology. It also allows you to easily take screenshots of games, make movies of gameplay, and manually determine the average framerate between two points.
  • BWMeter v2.3.0 - BWMeter is a powerful bandwidth meter, monitor and traffic controller, which measures, displays and controls all traffic to/from your computer or on your network. Unlike other products, it can analyze the data packets (where they come from, where they go, which port and protocol they use). BWMeter can create statistics for all computers in your network, measure, display and control all LAN traffic as well as download / upload from the internet.
  • Screamer Radio 0.3.6 - Screamer Radio (download) is a simple to use Internet radio player and recorder. Supported stream formats include Shoutcast/Icecast (mp3 and ogg) and Windows Media Audio
  • Nokia Lifeblog 1.50.8.2 - Nokia Lifeblog is a PC and mobile phone software combination that effortlessly keeps a multimedia diary of the items you collect with your mobile phone.
  • nLite 0.99.8b - nLite is an all-in-one GUI utility that will give you the ability to permanently remove unwanted components such as Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Media Player, MSN Explorer, MSN Messenger and a variety of other components from your own Windows CD. This results in a slimmer Windows CD, faster Windows installation, more hard disk space, and is also known to free up RAM resources when using a cut-down version of Windows
  • Matrox Parhelia/P650/P750 AGP/PCI 1.08.00 driver - Matrox has released new Matrox Parhelia drivers - download
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,23 2005 - tech
Gainward Launch 512MB Graphics Card - tech
(hx) 09:40 AM EST - Feb,23 2005 - Post a comment
Hexus.net is reporting that Gainward will today be launching a GeForce 6800Ultra with 512MB of memory! Gainward have an exclusive SKU just for their SLI "CoolFX" solutions. They have coupled the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra GPU with 512MB of 1.6ns (1.2GHz) G-DDR3 memory on each of the boards. This coupled with the water cooled units, these cards of course will run on the PCI-E bus.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,22 2005 - tech
Tuesday's Tech Madness - tech
(hx) 11:46 AM EST - Feb,22 2005 - Post a comment / read (1)

SECURITY...

  • Microsoft To Force SP2 Update On All XP And XP SP1 Machines - April 12th is the very last day - the day that your Windows XP or Windows XP SP1 computer will be automatically updated to XP SP2 (Service Pack 2) whether you want it to or not. Period.
  • Agressive New Sober worm moving fast - A new version of the Sober worm wriggled out of its hole early today and set about quickly attacking computers in Europe and the U.S., a security services company said. The worm is a mass-mailer, meaning it spreads itself via e-mail using contacts listed in the address books of computers it infects.
  • Security breakthrough kills "evil twins" - Unveiled at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the 'delayed password disclosure protocol' was created by Markus Jakobsson and Steve Myers of Indiana University. The pair said that the system may have applications in any environment where "mutual identity authentication" is required. The protocol is designed to prevent consumers from getting tricked into connecting to a fake wireless hub, a so-called evil twin, located by hackers in public spaces alongside legitimate access points.
  • IE 7: No Phishing Allowed - The full version of IE 7.0 will be included in "Longhorn," which is due next year. Gates said the new version will include significant security upgrades, namely technologies to help prevent URL spoofing in phishing attacks.
  • Paris Hilton's cell phone hacked? - Paris Hilton seems to be having more trouble keeping her personal life personal, and this time the socialite apparently exposed several A-list celebrities after the contents of her cell phone were published on the Internet. The content included the phone numbers of the hotel heiress' friends. A representative for T-Mobile confirmed Monday that information from Hilton's T-Mobile Sidekick has been posted online.

OFF-TOPIC...

  • Mars Express finds evidence of frozen sea - Images captured by Europe's Mars Express spacecraft have revealed what could be a frozen sea, surviving as blocks of pack ice, just below the surface of the Red Planet, according to an international team of scientists. The apparent underground sea is located just five degrees north of the Martian equator, and as such, it would represent the first large body of water to be found beyond the planet's polar ice caps.
  • Good vibrations rule the termite's world - Termites use the vibrations produced when they chew into wood to decide which bits to eat, researchers have discovered. They also seem to use the acoustic vibration signals to detect the presence of other species of termite on the same piece of wood, and to help control the development of immature workers into sexually-active breeders.
  • 10 Things Your Lawyer Won't Tell You - Expecting a bundle from a big lawsuit? Don't start spending it yet. You may be shocked to learn how little you'll get to keep. Lawyers may not like to mention it, but federal taxes  - at a rate of 25 to 35% - can easily wipe out most of the money you win in civil lawsuits; bodily injury suits are the only exemption. You'll probably even have to pay federal taxes on the part that's earmarked for your attorney, unless you live in the one of the few regions, including Alabama, Michigan and Texas, where federal appeals courts have sided with taxpayers.
  • Crazy Woman Starts Fight in Pizza Parlour Boyfriend Enters And Beats The Crap Out of Patrons - check it out!

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Opera Calls for Consortium on IDN Fix - Opera Software has called on its fellow browser makers and the Internet community as a whole to band together in an effort to fix the security issues related to Internationalized Domain Names. The problem with IDN stems from its use of the Unicode character set to enable domain names that include international letters. But because the DNS system that facilitates the Internet only understands ASCII, or U.S. English characters, Unicode URLs must be converted by a Web browser into a format called "Punycode." 
  • 90 million Chinese now use Internet - The population of Internet users has kept rising. By June 30, 2004, there were 87 million Internet users in China. The number topped 90 million by the yearend. The Internet sector is also regarded as the industry in China that merges into the international market most closely. It has changed the life of many Chinese people.
  • Did the Army get out-gamed? - In a unique deal with Hollywood, the Army spent more than $5-million in taxpayer money to create Full Spectrum Warrior, a video game that was supposed to teach soldiers about urban combat. The Army got what some say is a mediocre training tool, but the companies that designed the game got a sweet deal. Pandemic Studios and its partner THQ have sold nearly 1-million copies for PCs and the Xbox game system; a PlayStation 2 edition will be released next month.
  • More Megapixels Hit Your Pocket - A dizzying array of camera models are on display at the PMA 2005 show here. But standing out from the mix of the powerful--such as Canon's EOS Digital Rebel XT consumer SLR--and the penny-pinching--Concord's $80 3-megapixel starter 3047--are compact, point-and-shoot digicams cameras that pack at least 7 megapixels of image resolution.

HARDWARE... 

  • Intel unveils new class of Pentium 4s - Intel introduced a line of Pentium 4 desktop chips Sunday that contain 2MB of secondary cache, twice as much as current Pentium 4s, as well as technology from its notebook line that's designed to cut power consumption. Larger caches, a pool of memory located on the processor, generally improve performance. The four chips included in the new 600 series of Pentium 4s range in speeds from 3GHz to 3.6GHz, and all of them feature an 800MHz bus. The top-of-the-line 660 Pentium 4 sells for $605 in quantities of 1,000, while the 630 sells for $224.
  • Intel releases information on their new 64-Bit Processors - The company said that these new processors when coupled with the Intel 925/915 Express chipset family would improve performance and response times of applications comprehensively. The five processors are: Intel Pentium 4 Processor Extreme Edition 3.73 GHz and four others in the Intel Pentium 4 Processor 6xx sequence. All of these processors support Hyper-Threading (HT) technology and comes with support for 64-bit memory addressability through Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology (Intel EM64T).
  • AMD readies faster Opterons - AMD has announced faster versions of its Opteron 64bit processors, and detailed plans for dual-core and multi-core Opterons. The AMD Opteron Models 152, 252 and 852 have a clock speed of 2.6GHz. The 252 and 852 chips are due to ship this month. The 152 will be available from April.
  • AMD Sempron 3000+ to have 128KB cache - AMD recently announced the Sempron 3000+, a socket 754 CPU featuring 128KB cache, The Sempron 2600+ also features 128KB cache, while the 2800+ actually managed to climb to 256KB of memory.  The 3000+ rocks at 1800MHz and has thermal dissipation of an acceptable 62W. The Sempron 2800+ with 256KB cache, has max power of 62W and works at 1600MHz. The slowest of the socket 754s, the 2600+, also works at 1600MHz but in this case has only 128Kb of cache. And 128KB of cache makes it a 2600+. Its maximal thermal power also stops at 62W.
  • Shuttle launches first Nvidia nForce4 SFF PC - The XPC SN25P features a Socket 939 motherboard supporting AMD Athlon 64 CPUs, a 1GHz HyperTransport system bus, one PCIe x16 slot and one PCIe x1 slot, as well as support and physical space for three hard drives (two IDE and one SATA drive). Built using an Nvidia nForce MCP (media and communication processor), the system also supports an integrated hardware firewall, SATA I and integrated RAID. In addition, the SN25P is housed in Shuttle’s P chassis, which features a 350W power supply yet still only produces noise at about 31dB when the system is at rest, the company stated.
  • Plextor introduces PX-716AL - The Plextor PX-716AL is a highly versatile 10-in-1 slot-loaded DVD/CD burner that supports 6x DVD+R DL Double Layer, 6x DVD-R Dual Layer, 16x DVD+R, 16x DVD-R, and 48x CD-R Writing; 8x DVD+RW, 4x DVD-RW, and 24x CD-RW Rewriting; and 16x max DVD-Reading and 48x max CD-Reading.
  • Less is More? Part One - NVIDIA's TurboCache -  EliteBastards take their first in a two-part look at ATI and NVIDIAs new low-end video card technologies. Part one today takes a theoretical look at NVIDIA's TurboCache technology - Part two will cover ATI's HyperMemory upon its official launch.
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory - A Shader Model 2.0-free zone - It seems that such marketing-related deals may be taking a more sinister turn. I give you Exhibit A: The leaked demo (thanks Olcay Sonkurt) of the next Splinter Cell title, Chaos Theory. Take a look at the graphical options for this leak and you'll find two options with regard to Shader Model - 1.1 and 3.0. Yep, that's right - Shader Model 2.0 is conspicuous by its absence.
  • Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz - Reviews can be found on AnandTech | Beyond3d | Hexus.net | GamersDepot | MBReview | Hardcoreware | HotHardware | LegitReviews | PC Perspective | TweakTown | X-bit Labs
  • Corsair XMS2 DDR2 TWIN2X1024-4300C3PRO - Corsair has tightened the reigns on DDR2 latencies reducing seek times below that of many high-speed DDR kits. Able to run at CL3-3-3-6, Corsair's 4300C3PRO has brought hope to those who believed the only way to extract performance from DDR2 was to run the memory at super high clock speeds and hope for bandwidth. Does Corsair's 4300C3PRO perform and overclock without the need for insanely high latencies?
  • Ultra Products PC3200 XL 2-2-2 DDR Memory - Ultra can proudly boast that its new PC3200 XL RAM can hang with the best and put up impressive performance and overclocking numbers.
  • Abit KV8 Pro - The KV8 Pro BIOS comes with some great voltage options and memory adjustments. Although not as rich as the DFI LANParty UT nF3 250Gb, the KV8 Pro also provides extra memory settings than the typical CAS, TRCD, TRP, TRAS. While the VDIMM may seem a little lacking to some, it is actually enough for the popular TCCD based memory. If you own a pair of BH5 or UTT, you'll be happy to know that uGuru supplies up to 3.2v.
  • Albatron 6600Ultra - The Albatron 6600U is a very impressive video card, providing some outstanding numbers and great game play detail. This card came with 128 megs on board and 16X graphics, DVI and TV-out connections which simply added to the extras. Also with the card designed with high clock speeds and using BGA memory, this unit promises has the ability for overclocking.
  • MSI RX850XT 256MB PCI-Express - This card is based on the Radeon X850 chipset architecture and is, at the moment, the fastest card on the market. With 16 pixel pipelines and up to 43 billion shaders per second, the fastest and the most valuable card for gamers.
  • PowerColor 550 Theater Pro TV Tuner - The PowerColor 550 Theater uses the newly designed ATI 550 Theater chipset (go figure). This particular chipset includes such features as noise filtering and a 3D comb filter which scans a frame ahead and calculates what the picture should look like. This all translates to, supposedly, a better picture with lower power consumption and CPU load.
  • Seagate Pocket External 5GB Hard Drive - A portable microdrive tucked away into a small, circular, well designed plastic shell. It was envisioned by Seagate to provide consumers an easy, affordable, and convenient way to bring almost any type of data on the road with them.
  • Iomega NAS 200d - The 480GB model on review is equipped with a triplet of 160GB Hitachi Serial ATA hard drives in removable carriers. These are accessed behind the front door but are only cold-swap units so the appliance must be powered down before any can be removed and replaced. The 200d is well endowed with network connectivity with a pair of Intel Gigabit Ethernet adapters and these can be teamed together for fault tolerant or high speed links.
  • NEC ND-3520A - If you're looking for a fast DVD writer, the ND-3520A won't disappoint. Thanks to its 16x DVD+R and DVD-R writing speeds, the NEC's new drive took less than 6 minutes to write an entire 4.7GB DVD. This level of performance carried over to our rewriting tests where the ND-3520A turned in some very good writing times with both DVD+RW and DVD-RW media. For whatever reason though, the drive would not erase or packet write to DVD-RW discs at anything faster 4x. Writing to double layer DVD+R media wasn't a problem for the ND-3520A either. While it wasn't able to top the Plextor PX-716A, it took less than 27 minutes to burn an entire 8.5GB DVD. Unfortunately, due to the lack of media, we weren't able to test the ND-3520A's DVD-R DL writing speeds.
  • Plextor PX-230A CD-RW - The PX-230A is an internal 3-in-1 CD-RW drive; writing at 52x, rewriting at 32x, and reading at 52x. Now, here's the best part. Remember what I said just a second ago about being willing to pay a little more for a Plextor? Well, PX-230A has an M.S.R.P. of only $65.
  • Plextor ConvertX Personal Video Recorder - video-review @ 3DGameMan
  • OCZ ModStream 450 Watt - Overall for a good looking solid performer the OCZ ModStream series is a good choice. Some improvements could be made to really make this a top of the line power supply, but it'll look great inside most anyone's case!
  • Content Switches roundup - Network Computing compared four content switches (thanks Milhaus)
  • Advent 7056 Laptop - The Advent 7056 is based on a Mobile Pentium 4 processor which ticks over at a reasonable 3.2GHz, with a 533MHz bus. Add to this 512MB of memory and you have a specification that can challenge many desktop PCs. The only downside is that the memory is made up of two 256MB modules taking up both the available memory slots.
  • Digiana AudiaX Version 2 (FM tuner) - The ideal way would be to plug your iPod or other portable music device directly into your car stereo, but then very few offer an auxiliary input, and very few of us still have cassette decks in our car to use that type of adapter. This leaves us with really one option, barring the purchase of a new stereo deck with an aux input, that option is FM modulated transmission.
  • USB Powered Thermal Wrist Protector - Supposedly, the USB Thermal Wrist Protector will alleviate some pain resulted from repetitive stress injury until you get real help. The neoprene band secures to your wrist and uses the Far Infrared Ray to create soothing heat to relax the muscles.
  • Nikon CoolPix 4800 digital camera - The 4800 is a mid-range 4megapixel camera designed for the user who wants something a bit more impressive than a pocket compact but doesn't want to go to the expense of buying a full-spec semi-pro model such as the CoolPix 8800. With a comparatively low street price of around L249, the 4800 offers a tempting specification and seemingly good value for money.

GUIDES... 

  • Serial ATA - technology backgrounder - James Morris explains why we need this new hard-disk connection.
  • NVIDIA 6600GT Thermal Paste Upgrade - Very easy, don't be afraid, just be careful. The results speak for themselves.
  • Disable Call Waiting In XP - If you are using a dial-up connection to access the Internet, you may find that you get disconnected by incoming calls, especially if you use your home phone line to dial into your ISP. You can easily fix this problem by disabling call waiting.
  • Convert DVD Soundtracks to CD - Read this free tutorial on converting DVD audio to CD to find out how.
  • HOWTO defeat the DRM on your coffee-maker - If you've got a Senseo coffee maker -- the kind that takes little proprietary, pre-measured coffee "pads" and converts them to hot mud -- then you've got a DRMed kitchen appliance. Those little pads contain countermeasures to keep them from being refilled and/or replaced by third-party coffee delivery-systems. This HOWTO explains how to circumvent your coffee-maker's DRM and roll your own pads.

SOFTWARE...

  • New game development tools - Irrlicht Engine v0.8 (3D Engine C++) | Espresso3D v0.3 (Java-based 3D engine) | True Axis Physics SDK (physics engine) | VC++ 2005 IDE Enhancements
  • CentOS-4.0 (RC1) for x86_64 - The CentOS team is happy to announce the availability of CentOS-4.0 (RC1) for x86_64. This product supports AMD Opteron, AMD Athlon64, AMD AthlonFX and Intel EM64T CPU based computers. A bittorent for the 4 CD binary installation set (in .iso format ) is available from here.
  • Bluetooth AutoSync for Microsoft Smartphone 2003 - BTAutoSync SP (Bluetooth AutoSync) for Smartphone 2003, is an application which will schedule repeated, automatic ActiveSync over Bluetooth! BTAutoSync SP will "wake up" at user-defined intervals (as often as every minute) and attempt to locate your Bluetooth/ActiveSync partner desktop (over Bluetooth) and establish an ActiveSync connection.
  • McAfee AVERT Stinger 2.5.2 - Stinger is a stand-alone utility used to detect and remove specific viruses. It is not a substitute for full anti-virus protection, but rather a tool to assist administrators and users when dealing with an infected system.
  • ForecastFox v0.59 - ForecastFox is an extension for Firefox that displays the current and upcoming U.S. weather in the browser status bar.
  • AbiWord for Windows 2.2.4 - AbiWord is a free word processing program similar to Microsoft Word. It is suitable for typing papers, letters, reports, memos, etc. It is designed to integrate perfectly with the operating system it runs on. It will take advantage of the functionality provided by the system, such as image loading or printing capabilities.
  • Directory Printer 5.01 - Karen's Directory Printer can print the name of every file on a drive, along with the file's size, date and time of last modification, and attributes (Read-Only, Hidden, System and Archive)! And now, the list of files can be sorted by name, size, date created, date last modified, or date of last access.
  • Style XP 3.01 - Style XP (download) is theming software that helps customize the way your Windows XP, Windows XP Service Pack 1, Tablet PC, or Server 2003 system looks. Style XP can manage and rotate themes, visual styles, backgrounds, and logons, which are freely available at ThemeXP. Now with Win XP SP2 Final support.
  • Yahoo! Messenger 6.0.0.1921 - Yahoo!'s Instant Messenger (download) service has been updated again.
  • PuTTY beta v0.57 - PuTTY is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH for Win32 and Unix platforms, along with an xterm terminal emulator. The new version fixes two security holes which can allow a malicious SFTP server to execute code of its choice on a PSCP or PSFTP client connecting to it.
  • FileZilla 2.2.11 - FileZilla is a fast FTP and SFTP client (download) for Windows with a lot of features. FileZilla Server is a reliable FTP server. This new minor version fixes a critical security vulnerabilty  which may allow remote code execution.
  • RegDefend v1.000 - RegDefend is a kernel based registry protection system, designed to use as few resources as possible. Instead of polling the registry looking for changes, RegDefend intercepts the changes before they occur. RegDefend comes installed to protect registry autostarts and some special registry keys, custom rules can also be added.
  • Keyboard Tweaker 2.1 - Keyboard Tweaker is a Hotkeys manager. It transform a normal keyboard with 101/102 keys into a multimedia keyboard using the hotkeys. The program sets some combinations to the keyboard keys for a function.
  • Nero Burning Rom 6.6.0.8 - Nero has released an updated version of Nero on its FTP mirrors. They also released version 1.4.0.29 of its Nero Media Player and NeroMIX 1.4.0.29.
  • PlexTools Professional V2.20 - Plextor has today released a new version of their PlexTools Professional software
  • ATITool 0.24 Beta 2 - ATITool is an overclocking utility designed for ATI video cards.
  • VIA Sound Drivers (Vinyl Stylus Audio) v.5.80c - VIA Tech has released new drivers (changelog) for the internal AC97 sound in their chipsets i.e. south bridges VT82C686A, VT82C686B, VT8231, VT8233, VT8233A, VT8233B, VT8233C, VT8235, VT8237, VT8287. The driver can also be found on Guru3D.
  • Xtreme G 71.81 (ForceWare) - This is the Xtreme G driver which includes many performance and Image Quality tweaks. These are modified NVIDIA ForceWare drivers for Win2k/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
  • ForceWare 75.90 Win2k/XP - These drivers support everything ever made by NVIDIA, multiple info files with device info on many devices are included, setup.exe and of course it's multi-language supported.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,20 2005 - tech
Intel's Pentium 4 600 series processors - tech
(hx) 03:44 AM EST - Feb,20 2005 - Post a comment
The Pentium 4 600 series is a new tier of performance-oriented Pentium 4 processors that will be sold alongside the existing P4 500 series. Based on the Prescott design, the 600-series core adds key features intended to pep up Prescott's performance and curb its power consumption. Not only that, but these are 64-bit CPUs. Based on the same new CPU core as the 600 series, this puppy runs at 3.73GHz on a 1066MHz front-side bus, and it has 64-bit support, as well. Can this new variation of the Prescott core help Intel recapture its supremacy in desktop processor performance? The chaps over at TechReport have had Intel's new CPUs on the test bench for over a week now, and they have some answers:
All told, the Pentium 4 600 series represents good progress for Intel. Power consumption is down, performance is up a bit, and some of the new features are important developments, like 64-bit support and SpeedStep. Unfortunately, the jump from 1MB of L2 cache to 2MB doesn't seem to offer big returns in most desktop applications, but it doesn't hurt, either. I haven't yet tested 64-bit performance, so I won't comment on that, although it's nice to know the capability is in the chip.

Having said that, I am a little bit conflicted about what to think. The truth is that all of the new capabilities in this processor—dynamic power management, NX bit protection, 64-bit extensions, and better performance than the Pentium 4 500 series—were available in the first Athlon 64 processors that debuted in September 2003. AMD vaulted so far out ahead of Intel in terms of technology and performance that it's taken quite a while for Intel to catch up.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,19 2005 - tech
Saturday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 03:28 PM EST - Feb,19 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Mobile Phone Virus Found in United States - The world's first mobile phone virus "in the wild" has spread to the United States from its birthplace in the Philippines eight months ago, a security research firm said on Friday. The virus, called Cabir, has spread slowly into 12 countries and marks the beginning of the mobile phone virus era, which could one day disrupt the lives of many of the world's 1.5 billion mobile phone users.
  • Another Form of Encryption Goes Down for the Count - The findings are that SHA-1 is not collision free and can be broken in 2^69 attempts instead of 2^80. This is about 2000 times faster. With todays computing power and Moores Law, a SHA-1 hash does not last too long. Using a modified DES Cracker, for the small sum of up to $38M, SHA-1 can be broken in 56 hours, with current computing power. The scope of the problem is enormous. Virtually all application and server software that incorporates SHA-1 into its functions--including Web browsers, e-mail clients, instant messaging programs, secure shell clients, and file- and disk-encryption software--will need to be replaced or upgraded.
  • Yahoo! Messenger File Transfer Filename Spoofing - Secunia Research has discovered a vulnerability in Yahoo! Messenger, which can be exploited by malicious people to trick users into executing malicious files. The problem is that files with long filenames are not displayed correctly in the file transfer dialogs. This can be exploited to trick users into accepting and potentially executing malicious files. Solution: Update to version 6.0.0.1921.
  • Multiple vulnerabilities in Glftpd v1.26 - v2.00 default zip - The exploit is not in glftpd itself, instead inside a suite of zip based plug-ins that come with the glftpd package by default, these plug-ins are widely used in installations of glftpd. This advisory will focus on the plugin sitenfo.sh, a script to allow users
    to read .nfo and .diz files from within zip archives("SITE NFO" by default). Although the exploits are synonymous with all the .sh scripts listed above. Due to improper input validation several flaws exist in the script that can allow for unprivileged access to files within the glftpd chroot and information disclosure of private files. (thanks Paul Craig)
  • Phishing hole found in IE and OE - Another major vulnerability has been found in Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. The flaw is in the way that these applications can be manipulated in simple HTML code to display an URL other than the one specified in a link, to be displayed in the status bar.
  • Experts beat script kiddies at their own game - Script kiddies could be easier to defeat than at first thought, security experts have claimed. Iain Thomson at the RSA Conference in San Francisco explained that hackers would formerly spend time investigating specific systems, spending hours researching their targets, going through office litter to find information and then launching attacks based on that background work. In contrast, today's script kiddies simply download tools from the internet and scan automatically to try and find vulnerable systems, finding targets of opportunity rather than tackling specific companies.

OFF-TOPIC...

  • NASA Plans Discovery Launch May 15 - More than two years after losing the space shuttle Columbia and its seven crew, NASA said Friday it has set May 15 as its target date for once again launching shuttles into space.
  • The Top 100 Gadgets of All Time - Whether they're strapped to our belts, sitting on our desks, or jammed in an overstuffed closet, we absolutely love our gadgets.
  • Study Points to Sixth Sense in Humans - While some scientists discount the existence of a sixth sense for danger, new research from Washington University in St. Louis has identified a brain region that clearly acts as an early warning system -- one that monitors environmental cues, weighs possible consequences and helps us adjust our behavior to avoid dangerous situations.
  • Huge "star-quake" rocks Milky Way - Astronomers say they have been stunned by the amount of energy released in a star explosion on the far side of our galaxy, 50,000 light-years away. The flash of radiation on 27 December was so powerful that it bounced off the Moon and lit up the Earth's atmosphere.
    The blast occurred on the surface of an exotic kind of star - a super-magnetic neutron star called SGR 1806-20. If the explosion had been within just 10 light-years, Earth could have suffered a mass extinction, it is said.
  • Reno 911 goes fantasy - FiringSquad posted a funny downloadable video clip (3.3 MB ~ WMV).
  • Paranormal Photography - This website offers some Paranormal Photos and Videos.
  • Cameras Capture Oxnard Train Accident -  A man who set up videocameras near an Oxnard rail crossing to gather evidence in a traffic dispute inadvertently captured dramatic footage of a passenger train slamming into a semitrailer loaded with strawberries, authorities said Thursday.
  • Gibson says her Playboy pics better than Tiffany's - Eighties pop music sensation Debbie "Shake Your Love" Gibson says she's still hotter than longtime rival Tiffany. And skeptics need only eyeball the March issue of Playboy to see why.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Firefox breaks 25 million downloads in less than 100 days - On February 15th, exactly 99 days after it was released, Firefox 1.0 smashed through the 25 million download milestone.
  • Are Wine Users Just "Whining" About Microsoft's Anti-Piracy Plans? - Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program has had its share of critics. But this week, a number of open-source advocates joined the ranks of those questioning Microsoft's methods for thwarting software piracy.
    On Wednesday, a developer of Wine, an open-source implementation of the Windows application-programming interface that allows Windows applications to run on Unix and Linux, said he discovered that Microsoft's Windows validation tool checks for Wine and generates an error when it is found.
  • Typing Style Can Be Password - The way you type is as unique as your eye color or speech patterns and can be used instead of a password to protect your computer, researchers at Louisiana Tech and Penn State say.
  • Microsoft Smartphone with QVGA display - MSMobiles.com has posted the first photos of Microsoft Smartphone that has QVGA display, i.e. 240x320 pixels, instead of usual 176x220 pixels.
  • Intel promises light-speed computing - According to the chip giant, the technology could bring relatively inexpensive, high-quality lasers and optical devices to mainstream use in computing, communications and medical applications. The breakthrough centres on using the so-called Raman effect and silicon's crystalline structure to amplify light as it passes through the material. When infused with light from an external source the chip produces a continuous, high-quality laser beam.

HARDWARE... 

  • Archos hits 100GB for portable video player - The company announced on Friday its Pocket Video Recorder AV4100, as well as $50 price cuts to other devices in its AV400 series. The AV4100 will cost $800 and will be available in retail stores by the end of February. The 20GB AV420 now costs $500, and the 80GB AV480 costs $750. The devices can play back MP3, WMA or WAV files.
  • Intel Pentium 4 EE 3.74 to arise on Feb 21st - Intel decided to introduce this CPU on the 20th/21st of February. This new member will feature 2MB of L2 cache.
  • ATI's Radeon X800 256MB and Radeon X850 PRO - They're effectively the same GPU, built on different process nodes at TSMC, ATI's discrete GPU fabricator. Both are natively PCI Express, both have four fragment quads (groups of four fragment units), a sextuplet of vertex units to feed them, a 256-bit wide memory bus and all the core R4xx series technologies that define ATI's latest parts. That includes support for anti-aliasing at ever higher resolutions, 16X angle-adaptive anisotropic texture filtering and bilinear texture samplers (one per fragment unit), to name just a few.
  • Gigabyte 3D1 (2xGeForce 6600GT) and K8NXP-SLI Motherboard - What suggested the idea to combine two GeForce 6600GT processors on a single PCB? The product will require a motherboard with SLI anyway! I have been thinking hard about the expedience of such a solution, and nothing but marketing and advertising considerations crossed my mind.
  • Abit Fatal1ty AA8XE - This motherboard, based on the i925XE chipset for LGA775 Pentium 4 processors, has a very complete feature set and an excellent array of overclocking options.
  • Trinity PC6600U - PC Stats takes a look at the latest 6600 variant by Albatron, the Trinity GeForce PC6600U.
  • Western Digital's WD3200JB: 320 GB - The drive also offers very good performance as well, as its data transfer rates can be compared to those of the WD320 Raptor. The 36GB Raptor still offers a higher minimal transfer rate and lower seek times, but other than that the 320GB Caviar SE combines the performance comparable of the first 10,000 rpm drive with the pleasanter general framework of a 7,200 rpm drive.
  • Philips unveils 16x DVD writer with LightScribe support - DVDR16LSK is the model name of Philips' first DVD writer featuring support for LightScribe. In case you somehow have missed what LightScribe is, it's a technology developed by HP that makes it possible to burn a label on specially coated discs using the DVD writer's laser. Besides burning nice labels the DVDR16LSK also supports writing 2.4x DVD+R DL, 16x/4x DVD+R/RW, 8x/4x DVD-R/RW and 40x/24x CD-R/RW.
  • Wireless Trust Televiewer V2 - Xtreme Computing has posted a review of  the Wireless Trust Televiewer V2.
  • Zalman VF700-AlCu - Taking a look at another VGA cooling solution from Zalman, the VF700-AlCu has a lot to offer in terms of performance and noise reduction. Overclocking was no problem for this unit...

GUIDES... 

  • America's Army Tweak Guide Version 2.3 - TweakGuides.com has updated their America's Army Tweak Guide.
  • 17 Inch LCD Display Buyer's Guide - The Buyer's Guide is going to take a look at some of the many 17" LCD display out there so as to help consumers learn a little bit and get a point to start from. The selection of 17" LCDs is almost unlimited so this is easier said than done, but if you know what you are looking for its not as daunting a task as it may seem.

SOFTWARE...

  • GameVision SDK 2005  - Big Daddy Games announced the release of the GameVision SDK 2005, offering a 2D rendering API for Windows that's aimed specifically at 3d hardware using Direct3D.
  • Love Invaders 1.0i - Love Invaders is a free retro game in which you may re-enact the famous "battle of '78" in space with your alien friends. It is simple to play, in classic style. Love Invaders supports systems with correctly-configured OpenGL
  • xprobe2 v0.2.2 - Xprobe2 is a remote active operating system fingerprinting tool which uses advanced techniques, some which where first to be introduced with Xprobe2, such as the usage of statistical analysis ("fuzzy logic") to match between probe response(s) to its signature database and others, in order to provide with accurate results regarding the underlying operating system of a probed element(s).
  • MySQL 4.1.10 - MySQL (changelog / download) is the world`s most popular open source database, recognized for its speed and reliability.
  • AVG Free Edition 7.300 Build 456 - AVG Free Edition is designed and made available for individual home PC use and may not be used in business, commercial or organizational environments.
  • Pimpzilla theme Firefox - Pimpzilla is a theme for the browser Firefox. It's also probably the most tacky & overdone piece of GUI design out there, aimed solely for true internet-connaisseurs. If you are into fur and lot's of bling, this is the theme for you.
  • FileZilla Server 0.9.5 - FileZilla (download) is a fast FTP and SFTP client for Windows with a lot of features.
  • World Wind 1.2e - Zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth ~ download
  • ICQ 5.03 - A new version/build of ICQ client (changelog) is available.
  • Gaim 1.1.3 - Gaim is a multi-protocol instant messaging client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows. It is compatible with AIM (Oscar and TOC protocols), ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, and Zephyr networks.
  • DVD Region+CSS Free/LiTE v5.70 - DVD Region+CSS Free enables you to watch and copy any region code DVD movies on any DVD drive! It works in the background to make DVDs appear region free and unprotected for DVD player and copy software automatically.
  • The Codecs 2.7 - This version (lite / full) includes the following codecs: Divx (5) Free, DivX ;-) MPEG-4 Video (Fast&Low), XviD Koepi's build, ffdshow filter, Intel I.263 Video Driver, Huffyuv lossless video codec, AC3Filter (Audio), MPEG Layer-3 Audio Codec, InterVideo Audio Decoder, Moonlight Odio Dekoda, Ogg Vorbis Filter, and MM Stream Switcher.
  • SpeedFan 4.21 - SpeedFan is a freeware program that monitors fan speeds, temperatures and voltages in computers with hardware monitoring chips. SpeedFan can even access S.M.A.R.T. info and show hard disk temperatures too, if supported
  • NiBiTor v2.0 - Extremetheme has just released a new version of NVIDIA BIOS Editor (NiBiTor) software. This tool allows users to tune and edit the NVIDIA GeForce BIOS. This to gain some extra performance and stability on the NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards.
  • NVIDIA nForce RAID driver 5.06 - ASUS has released some new nForce RAID drivers (nForce1/2/3 | nForce4). Both are for Windows 2k/XP and Microsoft WHQL Certified.
  • nForce2 C0/C1/C2 Cooling Patch V2.1 - Allow nForce2 chipset based motherboards with AMD CPUs to use C2/C1 idle state (S2K bus disconnection without HALT detection) reduce idle/load temperatures by 1-10c degrees!
  • Overdrive 67.66 Final (ForceWare 67.66) - These are 3d party modified drivers based on ForceWare 67.66 Changes (67-65 to 67-66) and mainly targeted at the GeForce 4 series. 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.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,17 2005 - tech
Nightly Tech Madness - tech
(hx) 08:58 PM EST - Feb,17 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) Refresh Released - Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) is a security technology that helps protect Windows users from spyware and other potentially unwanted software. This download has been updated to include signature version 5687, which is the most current as of February 10, 2005. Customers who have installed Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware prior to this date do not need to re-download. They will receive signature updates as part of their next automatic or manual signature update.
  • MyDoom Worm Spreads Via Search Engines - Internet users are being threatened by yet another variant of the MyDoom mass mailing worm, which is spreading in part by using e-mail addresses found through popular search engines, security experts warn. The worm proliferates by e-mailing itself through its own SMTP engine, according to Sophos. When it infects a computer it scans the hard disk for e-mail addresses and then takes the domains of the addresses it finds and queries search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Lycos looking for similar addresses, Cluley says. Here's an updated W32.Mydoom@mm Removal Tool 1.5.1 removal tool from Symantec.
  • "Deadcode" virus attempts political mischief - Security experts today warned users to be on their guard against the newly discovered Deadcode-A virus which infects executable files on compromised computers and displays a political message when launched. The text of the message, which reads 'BlackHand.w32 Long Live Great Serbia', is believed to refer to a nationalist slogan used by Serbian Radical Party politician Tomislav Nicolic to finish his speeches.
  • Microsoft fixes potential antipiracy hole - Microsoft said Tuesday that Japanese hackers had discovered a potential weakness in its copy protection technology but that the software company fixed the flaw before it was widely used.The Redmond, Wash., giant on Tuesday introduced an update to its Windows Media Player, which included changes aimed at blocking the Japanese hackers' work, as well as a security update
  • Microsoft on 'rootkits': Be afraid. Be very afraid. - Microsoft security researchers are warning about a new generation of powerful system monitoring programs, or "rootkits," that are almost impossible to detect using current security products and that could pose a serious risk to corporations and individuals. With names like "Hacker Defender," "FU" and "Vanquish," the programs are the latest generation of remote system monitoring software that has been around for years, according to Mike Danseglio and Kurt Dillard, both of Microsoft's Security Solutions Group.

OFF-TOPIC...

  •  New Model Army Soldier Rolls Closer to Battle - The Pentagon predicts that robots will be a major fighting force in the American military in less than a decade, hunting and killing enemies in combat. Robots are a crucial part of the Army's effort to rebuild itself as a 21st-century fighting force, and a $127 billion project called Future Combat Systems is the biggest military contract in American history.
  • Xbox 360 Revealed? - Kotaku claims to have an "exclusive source" who revealed to them many details of the Xbox 360, as it is now apparently known.
  • Bubbles Flash Game - Your objective is to float a bubble through the water while collecting other bubbles to increase your size and score. Also, you must beware the nasty spiked balls that happen to be passing by that will pop your bubble and end the game. Check it out.
  • Microsoft's Parent's Primer to Computer Slang - Leet words can be expressed in hundreds of ways using different substitutions and combinations, but once one understands that nearly all characters are formed as phonemes and symbols, leetspeek isn't difficult to translate. Glad to hear that someone at Microsoft is "1337" ;)
  • Less liver cancer in coffee drinkers - A study of more than 90,000 Japanese found that people who drank coffee daily or nearly every day had half the liver cancer risk of those who never drank coffee. It's the caffeine in coffee that makes some people nervous and it has been shown in other studies to prompt mental alertness in many people. Some studies have suggested caffeine aggravates symptoms of menopause or intensifies the side effects of some antibiotics. Heavy caffeine use has been linked to miscarriage. But studies have also shown that a skin cream spiked with caffeine lowers the risk of skin cancer in mice.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Major Recall Burns Xbox Users - Microsoft announced today that it will recall 14.1 million Xbox power cords after discovering that a defect in the cords gave some users minor burns or damaged carpet. The recall involves Xboxes manufactured before October 23, 2003, in all worldwide regions except continental Europe. In continental Europe, the recall affects Xboxes manufactured before January 13, 2004. Xboxes made since then have been changed and don't exhibit this problem, Microsoft says.
  • N.Y. Times to buy About.com for $410 million - The New York Times Co. on Thursday said it will buy online information portal About.com for $410 million from publisher Primedia as it looks for new ways to advertise itself online. The Times Co., whose newspapers include The New York Times and The Boston Globe, said it will expand About.com's content and visibility and use the site to market its products.
  • Get a 1000 Mb Gmail account for free - Go to gmail.afraid.org and enter your e-mail address. Then you'll receive an invite to open a 1000 Mb Gmail account for free.

HARDWARE... 

  • SiS PCI Express chipsets in mass production - Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) announced that the SiS656, SiS649, and SiS756 PCI Express chipsets have entered mass production. The SiS656, SiS649, and SiS756 chipsets are being adopted by at least 10 motherboard manufacturers.
  • ATI's DX9 chipset hits the road - The graphics mavens up Toronto way have unveiled a new mobile chipset today, the Radeon Xpress 200M, for AMD-based laptop computers. The new chipset is substantially the same thing as the Radeon Xpress 200 with the addition of a few power-saving tricks for mobile applications, like this one, explained in this press-release.
  • AMD's New Low-Power CPUs - AMD has released a new family of CPUs targeted at the portable computing market. The new CPUs, collectively named Alchemy, consume less than 1Watt of power! The CPUs have already been named the CPU of choice for Tivo's new Tivo-To-Go technology and are powerful enough to run DivX, WMV9, and MPEG. The AU1550 consumes just 0.5 Watts at 400 MHz and the AU1100 consumes 0.25 at the same clock speed.
  • Samsung builds DDR3-1066 prototype - Samsung today said that it has produced the world's first working DDR3 DRAM module. The memory technology will replace today's DDR2 sometime next year with clock speeds of at least 800 MHz.
  • Mushkin 1GB PC2-4200 (533) Dual Pack CL 3-2-2 - Overclocking wise, how can we complain? These Mushkin modules were able to take us up to DDR2-640MHz at tight timings of CL 3-2-2-6 and up to DDR2-750MHz at its most relaxed timing. That's 217MHz over its rated speed. You get a headroom that is sure to handle even the most extreme overclock while running at the tightest possible timings. And with the cost of PC4200 modules getting cheaper by the day, the Mushkin 1GB PC2-4200 (533) Dual Pack is a great buy no matter where you look at it.
  • Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS (NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra) - The inaccurate CPU overclocking functions and the unstable operation at high frequencies of the clock generator somewhat spoil the impression from the product. On the other hand, the WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS can be a good choice if you are not into overclocking, provided its retail price is sufficiently low.
  • Gigabyte 3D1 (Dual GPU) - Guru3D have tested Gigabyte's DUAL GPU based GV-3D1 which of course runs in SLI mode and is a rather cool looking graphisc card.
  • Swiftech H20-120-FB Water Cooling Kit - Swiftech updates their popular H20-8600 water cooling kit, a new compact and silent pump and a large radiator and accompanying 120mm fan can make the H20-120 a true performer. Read on to find out how hard it can help push an A64 FX-55 and X800XT-PE towards overclock-heaven.
  • ACER Travelmate 8104 - Looking closer, the specs on this baby are pretty impressive. ATI have replaced the powerful Mobility Radeon 9700 GPUs with their PCI-E X700 something to make the desktop and mini-server box boys a tad jealous. Sure, they might have X850s, but can they leg it for the last bus? Didn't think so. Other specs for this version you see here include a 2Ghz CPU, 1Gb dual DDR, 15" WSXGA screen, 100Gb HDD, tri-mode Wifi with 802.11a/b/g support and a dual layer DVD burner.
  • IBM ThinkPad T42p - The T42p is Centrino branded, so it comes as no surprise that there's an Intel Pentium M CPU inside. This particular model has a 1.8GHz chip, backed up by 1GB of RAM - the spec definitely reinforces this machine's workstation aspirations. What's particularly impressive is that IBM has fitted a 1GB SODIMM inside the T42p, leaving the end user a free slot to increase the memory without having to discard any.
  • Panasonic Technics RP-DH1200 headphones - The first thing you'll notice about these headphones is that they provide plenty of power. Part of the reason for this volume is the 50mm drivers that the sound is coming from. The headphones have a total impedance of 50 ohms, and a max current of 3500 mW, which is further proof of how much power these things can handle. These headphones are also relatively sensitive, rated at 107 dB/mW.
  • Canon Selphy CP500 compact photo - The Selphy CP500 is about the size of a thick paperback, though there's a separate black power supply block and a cassette carrying the 6 x 4-inch postcard blanks, which clips in at the front. You also need to allow a space on your desk at the back of the printer, to accommodate each card as it's fed out during the printing process. Various other paper sizes, including credit card, are available, with separate cassettes and ink film cartridges for each.

GUIDES... 

  • AMD K8 E4 Stepping: SSE3 Performance - The goal of this article is to bring out a quick look at what SSE3 brings to the table for Opteron and the future revision E Athlon 64 cores. As desktop parts do not enable coherent HT links at all, the 1GHz support won't matter. Also, the newer A64 parts are already 90nm on organic packages. Other than the usual small tweaks we see between steppings, the only thing that will be new across the board for K8 processors is SSE3
  • ATI Radeon 9800 to FireGL X2 hard mod guide - As the title suggests, this guide is going to teach you how to hard-mod your Radeon 9800-series card into a FireGL X2 workstation card. This guide will cover all Radeon 9800 cards - Radeon 9800 SE, Radeon 9800, Radeon 9800 Pro and Radeon 9800XT.
  • Mikhailtech's basic system buyer's guide (Feb2005) - Check it out!
  • Wi-Fi hotspot security tips - Wi-Fi Hotspots are great but don't get so relaxed that you ignore security and give all your confidential information to some unscrupulous hacker. The next time you're at a Hotspot, use these security tips to keep yourself safe.
  • Half-Life 2 optimization guide (updated) - The testbed has changed for this optimization guide. I have added a few more cards to the lineup and have dropped the MX440 8X and the Radeon 8500. The MX440 really has no chance of even pulling 30FPS out of this game with decent quality

SOFTWARE...

  • Windows XP x64 RC2 available - Microsoft has finally made Windows XP Professional x64 Release Candidate 2 available to the general public through its Customer Preview Program
  • Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) Refresh Released - Windows AntiSpyware (Beta) is a security technology that helps protect Windows users from spyware and other potentially unwanted software. This download has been updated to include signature version 5687, which is the most current as of February 10, 2005. Customers who have installed Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware prior to this date do not need to re-download. They will receive signature updates as part of their next automatic or manual signature update.
  • McAfee AVERT Stinger 2.5.0 - Stinger is a stand-alone utility used to detect and remove specific viruses. It is not a substitute for full anti-virus protection, but rather a tool to assist administrators and users when dealing with an infected system.
  • Symantec W32.Mydoom@mm Removal Tool 1.5.1 - Symantec Security Response has developed a removal tool to clean the following infections: W32.Mydoom.A@mm | W32.Mydoom.B@mm |W32.Mydoom.F@mm | W32.Mydoom.G@mm | W32.Mydoom.H@mm | W32.Mydoom.L@mm | W32.Mydoom.M@mm | W32.Mydoom.Q@mm | Backdoor.Zincite.A | W32.Zindos.A | Backdoor.Nemog.
  • YahooPOPs! 0.7  - This application emulates a POP3 server and enables popular email clients like Outlook, Netscape, Eudora, Mozilla, Calypso, etc., to download email from Yahoo! accounts
  • Google Toolbar 3.0.119.6 Beta - When the Google Toolbar (download beta WinXP/2k ~ Win9x/ME) is installed, it automatically appears along with the Internet Explorer toolbar. This means you can quickly and easily use Google to search from any website location, without returning to the Google home page to begin another search.
  • MemTest86+ 1.51 - MemTest86+ 1.51 has been released. This new version adds support for Intel i955X (Glenwood) and for nVidia nForce4.
  • Pioneer A09 / DVR-109 Firmware 1.17 - This new firmware (DV adds support 16x writing on New 16x DVD-R Media, 16x writing (Mitsubishi Chemical/Maxell), 12x writing(FBeALL), Support 16x writing on New 16x +R Media, Support 8x writing on New 8x DVD-R Media, 8x writing(Daxon/Gigastorage), DVD-R/RW/+RW Writability Improvement  and Error correction at the Packet Write on the CD-RW. Here are two links to the appropriate firmware: Link one and Link two.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,16 2005 - tech
Wednesday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 09:42 AM EST - Feb,16 2005 - Post a comment

SECURITY...

  • SHA-1 Broken - The research team of Xiaoyun Wang, Yiqun Lisa Yin, and Hongbo Yu (mostly from Shandong University in China) have been quietly circulating a paper announcing their results: collisions in the the full SHA-1 in 2**69 hash operations, much less than the brute-force attack of 2**80 operations based on the hash length; collisions in SHA-0 in 2**39 operations; collisions in 58-round SHA-1 in 2**33 operations. This attack builds on previous attacks on SHA-0 and SHA-1, and is a major, major cryptanalytic result. It pretty much puts a bullet into SHA-1 as a hash function for digital signatures (although it doesn't affect applications such as HMAC where collisions aren't important).
  • Napster hack leads to free downloads - Blogs were buzzing Tuesday about the resurgence of an old technique for recording music on a computer, reapplied to Napster's all-you-can-eat subscription music plan. Using software freely available from America Online's Winamp division, it's possible to turn Napster's copy-protected downloads into unprotected files that can be burned by the hundreds or even thousands freely to CDs.
  • Hacking victims face legal threat - Home computer users could be sued if they allow their computers to be taken over and used by hackers, legal representatives speaking at the RSA Conference in San Francisco have claimed. A panel looking at the usefulness of insurance against cyber-crime discussed the likelihood of home users being sued if their computers were used to perform distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Court: Wife broke law with spyware - A wife who installed spyware on her husband's computer to secretly record evidence of an extramarital affair violated state law, a Florida court ruled Friday. The Florida Appeals Court, Fifth District said that Beverly Ann O'Brien "illegally obtained" records of husband James' online conversations with another woman as the two played Yahoo Dominoes together. "It is illegal and punishable as a crime under (state law) to intercept electronic communications," wrote Judge Donald Grincewicz on behalf of a three-judge panel.
  • T-Mobile hacker in guilty plea - Nicholas Lee Jacobsen was arrested in October on suspicion of accessing the personal information of potentially hundreds of T-Mobile customers. Under the initial charges Jacobsen faced two felony charges. That will now be reduced to a single charge of intentional access to a protected computer and recklessly causing damage as part of his guilty plea. The hacker could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
  • Microsoft to offer free spyware blocker - Stepping up its fight against computer threats, Microsoft Corp. announced yesterday that it will give away a program to combat PC-clogging spyware and other virtual pests. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates also unveiled plans to release antivirus tools for consumers and make a major security upgrade to its Internet Explorer Web browser. At the same time, he showed off new software for businesses to combat security threats.
  • Microsoft to Put Patch Service to the Test - Microsoft Corp. Tuesday confirmed that it will release in March a beta version of what it is calling a unified software update service for consumers and small and midsize businesses.  Called Microsoft Update, the service will provide a single location for users to get security and performance patches for Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Office 2003 and Exchange Server 2003.
  • Free Tool Identifies Hidden Data in Office Docs - A company called Workshare Technology now offers a free safety net from the potential embarrassment of a public display of these hidden and forgotten comments and changes. The company's Trace application sends out an alert if hidden information, also known as metadata, is embedded in a Microsoft Office file. When hidden data is identified, a dialogue box pops up from your system tray alerting you. Clicking on the alert message generates a report of all the hidden data inside the file. Workshare Trace, announced early this month, is available for download now.
  • Quake 3 Infostring DoS - The Quake 3 engine has problems to handle big queries allowing an attacker to shutdown any game server based on this engine: ERROR: Info_SetValueForKey: oversize infostring; In some of the vulnerable games is also possible to crash the server.

OFF-TOPIC...

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Trailer - The new trailer for The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is now online.
  • Straczynski Offers To Re-Boot Star Trek - J. Michael Straczynski (creator of Babylon 5 and Jeremiah) made a post on usenet where he talks about the cancellation of Enterprise. It seems he and a collaborator have already written a series bible and treatment for a new version of Star Trek - but it's not been pitched to Paramount out of 'political considerations' (Berman refusing to give up his dead horse?). JMS calls for everyone who thinks a JMS-run Star Trek series would be a good idea to write Paramount and let them know (thanks Slashdot.org)
  • Brainpower as easy as X and Y - Michael Gurian, psychologist and author of "What Could He Be Thinking?", believes there are about a hundred structural differences that have been identified between the male and female brain. To find out why these differences exist, scientists have taken voyages deep inside the gray matter using MRI scans. The scans show that in most women, the corpus callosum area, which handles communication between the brain's two "hemispheres", is larger.

TECHNOLOGY...

  • New copy-proof DVDs on the way? - Macrovision on Tuesday released a new DVD copy-protection technology in hopes of substantially broadening its role in Hollywood's antipiracy effort. Macrovision executives said that even if it's not perfect, the new RipGuard DVD technology can prevent much of the copying done with such tools and can help bolster studios' DVD sales.
  • IE 7.0 Leaves Windows 2000 Users Out in the Cold? - As I mentioned yesterday, Microsoft is planning a new version of Internet Explorer for Windows XP SP2. However, it seems that IE 7.0 will be available only to Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2) customers. Asked to explain the rationale for limiting IE 7.0 to XP SP2 users when the majority of businesses are still running Windows 2000, Barzdukas (director of product management in Microsoft's security business technology unit) left the door open slightly. "Windows XP SP2 is the scope of the project at the moment. That's what we feel comfortable committing to. We haven't closed the door on potentially providing it to other platforms," he said.
  • Novell Releasing Hula and 200,000+ Lines of Code - The project is derived from the Novell NetMail product and provides web-based email and calendaring.
  • Ballmer *hearts* the new Xbox (Xbox 2) - In typically exuberant form, Steve Ballmer talked about the new Xbox yesterday at Microsoft's Redmond campus, telling tales of its 'unbelievable' graphics and stating that it was 'an amazing, amazing innovation.'
  • Nvidia launches new wireless multimedia processor - Nvidia released a new wireless multimedia processor  - the GoForce 3D 4800, for mobile devices. The processor boasts pixel-shading and support for up to six simultaneous textures, which can improve the look of mobile games. It also handles 3D graphics better than its predecessors and includes a codec-supporting, VGA-resolution video of up to 30 frames per second. The GoForce 3D 4800 is expected to be less power-hungry than other chips, prolonging battery life. Phones based on the processor are expected at the end of 2005.
  • SiS signs 1066MHz-FSB licensing agreement with Intel - Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) has signed a licensing agreement with Intel that will allow SiS to produce chipsets supporting front-side bus (FSB) speeds up to 1066MHz, according to a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE).

HARDWARE... 

  • Dell announces 24" widescreen LCD - The UltraSharpTM 2405FPW will be on sale for $1,199 in the Americas and Europe on March 1, 2005. The wide-screen monitor is ideal for graphics professionals, computing enthusiasts and gamers. The native resolution of 1920x12002 helps ensure detailed images are crisp and clear and typical response times of 12ms3 mean fast-moving content is displayed with minimal distortion.
  • Sapphire Radeon X850 XT - The GPU of this card is the R480 - yeah we know it's listed as a completely different model than the R420 predecessor, however, it's functionally the exact same chip. The primary difference is that it's built using an advanced .11-micron process which allows for an overall smaller chip that can run at faster clock rates. It still has 16 pixel pipelines, six vertex shaders and a 256bit memory interface.
  • Prolink GeForce 6600 GT AGP - When we tweak the product we see some nice overclocking potential, the 562 MHz core is good and boosting another 200 MHz out of its memory again will bring you an extra overall ~10% performance increase. So here you have this AGP 8x product with great performance, is 100% stable in an AGP 8x configuration (we did not have one crash), offers dualview, the latest 3D feature set including Shader Model 3.0, offers HDTV output and in general offers anything you expect from a good graphics cards these days
  • Foxconn's WinFast NF4UK8AA motherboard - Foxconn's WinFast NF4UK8AA is the least expensive nForce4 Ultra motherboard on the market. With a street price hovering under $110, the board costs $30-40 less than most other nForce4 Ultras. That's quite a savings when you consider that the $110 price point is largely occupied by nForce4 "4x" motherboards that don't officially support a 1GHz HyperTransport link.
  • 8ms 19" LCDs: Speed for Gaming, but at What Cost? - THG tested three 8ms 19" LCD monitors: the BenQ FP937s+, the Hyundai L90D+, and the much-awaited Samsung 913N.
  • ViewSonic VP171b 8ms LCD monitor - Right now there are still plenty of 16ms monitors available in stores, so be sure to verify with the vendor that you want in the 8ms version. If the seller isn't sure, there are a number of ways to determine this. I'd ask them to confirm the model number, which can be found on the box. If the last two characters are either '4W' or '5W' then it's the 8ms display. If they are '2W' or '3W', it's the 16ms display. For those who have already bought one, you can always check out the model number by navigating your way to the 'Information' menu in the on-screen display (OSD).
  • Canon's $250 Pixma IP90 portable photo printer - Canon's $250 Pixma IP90 portable photo printer offers good prints for mobile users. The 4-pound unit prints better and faster than its predecessor, the Canon I80, and even competes with full-size rivals. The PC World Test Center clocked the IP90 printing text at 6.3 pages per minute--faster than many desktop inkjet printers and 10 percent quicker than the I80. Color graphics came at a relatively slow 1.4 ppm, but our test photo printed in a reasonable 2 minutes, 33 seconds, nearly a minute faster than the I80.

GUIDES... 

SOFTWARE...

  • Excel 2003 Add-in: XML Tools Add-in - Learn how to use the Microsoft Office Excel 2003 XML Tools Add-in Version 1.1. With it, you can provide information about a selected cell's XML properties, create XSD files for XML maps, rename the Root and Row elements, or refresh all of the XML maps in a workbook at once.
  • Windows Media Player 10 Build 10.00.00.3802 - MicroSoft has released an updated build (non-english) of its Windows Media Player 10 bringing it to version 10.00.00.3802
  • FastStone Screen Capture 1.5 - FastStone Screen Capture is a screen capture utility with integrated image viewer. It enables you to capture Windows, objects, selections or the entire desktop, and apply additional editing tools like resizing, sharpening, and more.
  • SpamExtract 2.10 - SpamExtract (download) is built to understand that what may be considered spam to you, may not be considered spam to someone else. SpamExtract is effective because it uses complex algorithms to sort between what is spam and what is not spam.
  • ActiveLaunch v 1.71 (shw) - ActiveLaunch (download trial version) gives you the ability to open frequently used applications and documents from the keyboard, without having to memorize a multitude of hotkeys.
  • ASUS Ai Booster 1.01.14 - The ASUS Ai Booster (info ~ PDF)is an innovative application that allows overclocking of system components in Windows environment. This utility lets you overclock the CPU either manually or automatically without the hassle of entering the BIOS Setup.
  • NVIDIA Forceware 71.81 - This one is version 71.81, works for Windows 2000/XP and is Microsoft WHQL certified. The driver is dated January 28 2005.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,15 2005 - tech
Microsoft plans Internet Explorer 7 - tech
(hx) 03:24 PM EST - Feb,15 2005 - Post a comment / read (1)
According to this article at CNN Money, Microsoft is planning a new version of Internet Explorer for Windows XP SP2:
The new version of IE, which will be released for preliminary testing this summer, will have new protections against viruses, spyware and "phishing" scams, which fool users into entering sensitive information on Web pages that appear to be legitimate.

Gates said security remains the biggest threat to the "fantastic advances" happening in the world of technology, and that Microsoft was spending more than a third of its annual $6 billion in research and development spending on security.

The move comes three years after Microsoft, the world's biggest software company, launched a major initiative to improve the reliability and security of its software, which runs on about 90 percent of all personal computers.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,14 2005 - tech
Morning Tech Madness - tech
(h) 09:07 PM EST - Feb,14 2005 - Post a comment / read (2)

SECURITY...

  • Vulnerability prompts forced upgrade for MSN Messenger users - Starting February 10, 2005, the MSN Messenger service will notify customers running a vulnerable version of MSN Messenger that there is an upgrade available. Customers that have accepted this upgrade and have applied the update will be protected from this vulnerability. Customers that have not accepted this upgrade may not be allowed to connect to the MSN Messenger service with a vulnerable version of the client. Clients may be upgraded immediately by installing the update available here - MSN Messenger 6.2.0205 / Windows Messenger 4.7.2009 (SP1) | 4.7.3000 (SP2).
  • Teen Sentenced in Microsoft Attack - On Friday a federal judge sentenced a teen to probation and community-service for releasing the so called RPCSDBOT worm which infected computers and directed them to attack the Microsoft.com website. The Microsoft website was taken down for four hours due to the attack in 2003. The Judge Robert Lansik sentenced the teen to 3 years probation and 300 hours of community-service, he also wants the teen to write him a letter every six months describing his community-service activities.
  • Microsoft Plots Fixes to IE Browser - Microsoft Corp. recently held a secret Webcast with some of its closest partners to discuss ways in which the company might improve its Internet Explorer browser and customer confidence in the platform. Sources said Microsoft officials discussed potential "fixes" to IE as the company is losing market share to other browsers, such as the open-source Firefox. Though the strategy is still in its initial phases, Microsoft is looking to resolve some fundamental issues with IE's operating system.
  • Lavasoft and Pest Patrol removed WhenU? -  According to this thread on Broadband Reports security forum, both Lavasoft and Pest Patrol removed WhenU from their detection databases. Lavasoft removed WhenU's applications from their definitions database sometime in the last month -- it looks like it was probably the Feb. 5 update, but it might have been earlier. It also appears that Pest Patrol removed WhenU from its detections database, though the situation here is a bit murkier.
  • Apple attacked for attacking hacks' sources - US Organisation the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said it has asked the California supreme court to protect three online journalists being forced by Apple to reveal their sources. The EFF said Apple is asking a court to get three hacks to turn over their unpublished materials to the corporation. But, says the organisation, US online journalists are protected by the reporters privilege laws from doing that.
  • China net cafe culture crackdown - Chinese authorities closed 12,575 net cafes in the closing months of 2004, the country's government said.
    According to the official news agency most of the net cafes were closed down because they were operating illegally.

OFF-TOPIC...

  • NASA: 2005 could be warmest year recorded - A weak El Nino and human-made greenhouse gases could make 2005 the warmest year since records started being kept in the late 1800s, NASA scientists said this week. While climate events like El Nino -- when warm water spreads over much of the tropical Pacific Ocean --affect global temperatures, the increasing role of human-made pollutants plays a big part.
  • Altered HIV Attacks Mice Tumors - The UCLA AIDS Institute scientists genetically altered HIV and folded it into an envelope made of another virus called sindbis, which typically infects insects and birds. That turned the altered HIV into a missile that hunted down metastasized melanoma cells in the lungs of living mice.
  • Europe launches super rocket - Europe's reputation for rocket engineering got a boost with the successful launch of the Ariane 5 ECA at 21:03 GMT on 12 February. The 50-metre high rocket is Europe's largest, able to deliver up to 10 tonnes of payload into orbit around Earth.
  • Hobart man dies testing bulletproof vest - A man whose friends initially said he was killed by gunfire outside a Gary liquor store actually died after he donned what he thought was a bulletproof vest and asked a cohort to shoot him. A friend then shot Daniel Wright with a .20-gauge shotgun, but it turned out the vest Wright had put on Thursday was a flak jacket not designed to stop a bullet. Wright, 20, was mortally wounded in the shooting and died later at a Gary hospital after two of his friends drove him there.
  • This must be love - If you're 35 and you've been sleeping on the same pillow for 31 years, you don't take that lightly." This isn't a joke to Raza, or to the many other adults who are deeply attached to the cushions that lull them to sleep each night. Before getting married, Raza told his fiancee, "My pillow is really important to me." She laughed, so Raza reiterated: "No, I'm not kidding. This is really important." Despite the occasional joke about security blankets, "she has actually been very respectful of it," he says. "She knows what I'm like without it."
  • Microsoft goes Hollywood: "Halo" to hit big screen - Microsoft may finally be getting into a business where "blue screen of death" could actually be a good thing. The company is going from writing code to writing a movie script adapting the "Halo" video-game franchise, according to a report yesterday in Daily Variety.
  • Britney Spears Wins First Grammy -  Pop star Britney Spears won the first Grammy Award of her brief but colorful career on Sunday, taking the prize in the best dance recording category.
  • The Credibles! - Check it out! (Flash)

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Xbox 2 to Release in Fall of This Year - GamesIndustry.biz has the news that the Xbox 2 will be launched sometime in late fall of this year.
  • Microsoft & Nokia Collaborate on Digital Music - Today at 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, Microsoft and Nokia announced an agreement to give Nokia handsets the benefit of Windows Media Audio and Windows Media Digital Rights Management 10. Microsoft and Nokia are working to ensure consumers can enjoy music from the newly-launched Nokia and Loudeye mobile music service platform on both Nokia handsets and Windows XP-based PCs.
  • Motorola Unveils RAZR Successors, iTunes Phone - The popular RAZR ultra-thin flip phone which was launched last year will be joined by three more high-tech models, dubbed the RAZR black, the SLVR and the PEBL. The black RAZR, nicknamed BLZR, will be available for the Oscars this spring. The SLVR, a model without a flip, will be thin like the RAZR with Motorola hoping to bring excitement back to monoblock phones, which have lost ground to clamshell designs.
  • Motorola, Oakley introduce Bluetooth sunglasses - Available in three frame colors, RAZRWire was developed to meet the needs of active consumers seeking seamless mobility, offering them an integrated easy-to-use design. For cyclists, skateboarders, rock climbers, golfers - practically anyone who is active outdoors - the innovative eyewear encourages hands-free connection while on the go.
  • Meet the A1010, E1060, E1120 Motorola communicators - The new Motorola A1010 communicator sports WCDMA 2100 MHz, GSM/GPRS 900/1800/1900 MHz functionality, a large TFT screen with a resolution of 208 x 320 pixels, a 2 MP and a VGA camera enabling 2-way video conferencing, as well as multimedia streaming, capture and playback (MP3, MPEG4). Running Symbian OS 7.0 and the UIQ 2.1 platform, the A1010 is also utilizing the Opera web browser and its small screen and full screen rendering technology. Other software include Picsel Document Viewer/Edit and PIM applications. The A1010 is also equipped with a TransFlash memory slot, A-GPS support for location services, and Bluetooth. The Motorola A1010 is expected to be available in Q4 2005.
  • British Broadband Picks Up The Pace - Many BT customers will now have download speeds of 2Mbps, although there are usage allowances of between one gigabyte and 30 gigabytes a month. The new speeds start to come into effect on 17 February for home customers and 1 April for businesses.
  • MySQL Network shifts pricing and licensing - The company is expected to announce on Tuesday at LinuxWorld here the MySQL Network, a yearly subscription service, rather than an up-front fee, for the right to use the MySQL software and access the company's support services.
  • Sun beefs up Java Comms Suite security - The JSC Suite, which includes System Messaging Server, System Calendar Server, and System Instant Messaging, is designed to provide a platform for deploying email, calendar, instant messaging and other collaboration services. Enhanced features include support for the Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions protocol in the Communications Express web client, which now enables users of the JSC Suite to sign and encrypt messages, resulting in increased client-side security and stronger end-to-end security.
  • New Xandros V3 Open Circulation Edition available - The Open Circulation Edition of the Xandros Desktop OS provides a secure, stable Windows replacement for everyday desktop use and everything users need for a carefree Internet experience . It offers free Skype-to-Skype calling worldwide, Firefox browsing, and Thunderbird e-mail with automatic spam filtering.

HARDWARE... 

  • AMD cuts chip prices - The company nipped the price of its flagship Athlon 64 4000+ chip by 12 percent to $643. The Athlon 64 3800+ and 3700+ processors were lowered by 34 percent and 30 percent, respectively, to $424 and $329. The Sempron for desktops using Socket A motherboards--the same type of socket used by the company's older Athlon XP chip--were among those cut. The Sempron 2800+ for Socket A boards was clipped by 17 percent to $90. The Mobile Sempron 2800+ for full-size notebooks, meanwhile, dropped 19 percent to $87.
  • AMD unveils latest x86 Opterons - According to the firm, the 852 and 252 chips feature performance-enhancing features including support for SSE3 software instructions, and better HyperTransport performance through an increase in bus frequency to 1GHz. AMD also announced its AMD-8132 HyperTransport PCI-X 2.0 tunnel, scheduled to ship for servers and workstations this month.
  • Intel ships 2MB cache 64-bit Xeon - The new Xeon DPs contain 2MB of on-die L2 cache, up from the 1MB built into the previous version, and are clocked at 3.0, 3.2, 3.4 and 3.6GHz. The chips are priced at $316, $455, $690 and $851, respectively.
  • SanDisk queues up 1GB mini memory card for $100 - Underscoring the dramatic price drops in the market for memory cards, flash memory specialist SanDisk said Monday that it will sell a 1GB mini SD card for $100.
  • GeForce 6600 goes mobile - NVIDIA has announced the launch of their GeForce 6600 Go GPU for thin and light laptops. The GeForce 6600 Go GPU is like its desktop counterpart is SM 3.0 compliant and has Purevideo technology. NVIDIA has also announced the immediate availabilty of PCI Express GeForce 6600 Go and GeForce 6200 Go powered laptops from a wide range of vendors
  • Intel Xeon 3.6 2MB vs AMD Opteron 252 Database Test -  For dual-processor applications, Intel leads the way in everyday small to heavy transactional applications, whereas AMD shines in the analytical side of database applications "Data Warehousing".
  • NVIDIA nForce4 Chipset Series for AMD64 - The new generation of chipsets from this company is represented by three products. The basic modification is "simply" called nForce4, the modification with advanced functionality - nForce4 Ultra, and finally the topnotch modification with intuitive name - nForce4 SLI.
  • The ASUS DRW-1604P DVD±RW DL drive - Besides its 16x DVD+/-R capabilities, this drive will write a DVD+R DL at 4x, DVD+/-RW at 4x, CD-R at 32x and CD-RW at 24x speed. It reads DVD-ROM with a maximum of 16x and CD-ROM with a maximum of 40x speed.
  • ViewSonic VP171b - up of the ViewSonic VP171b 8ms 17in TFT display which you can find here - Trustedreviews take a look at the ViewSonic VP171b 8ms 17in TFT display.

GUIDES... 

  • Curing Laptop Overheating - This article focuses on the true "air breather" laptops/notebooks; those that have case openings, an internal heat exchanger and (usually) a fan.
  • Memory Market Overview: February 2005 - New releases, company news, prices, events...@X-bit Labs
  • How To Avoid Internet Theft, Fraud and Phishing - Phishing is one of the main scams in the present moment. People set up phoney websites and email addresses. Then they spam Email inboxes with official-looking messages explaining that your account with Company X has encountered a problem and that they need you to login and confirm some details. The email addresses are masked to appear official and the links provided in the email all seem to check out. If you click on the link provided then you will usually be taken to a site that looks for all intents and purposes to be official. When you click 'submit' your details will be sent to a criminal somewhere who will do as they please with your information, such as withdrawing money from a bank account or purchasing things in your name.
  • ATI Catalyst 5.2 Performance Analysis - EliteBastards take a look at this driver to see how it measures up against ATI's claims. Another similar article can be found on TweakTown.

SOFTWARE...

  • Firefox Preloader Build 366  - This is a little program for people who use Mozilla Firefox on older machines. It is designed to preload Firefox in the background so it will load faster when requested.
  • XP Codec Pack 1.0.3 - XP Codec Pack is one of the most complete codec pack which helps you to play all major audio and video formats.
    And... to complete your multimedia experience, instead of 3 or 4 different players you get one, simple integrated player that plays almost all audio and video files: Media Player Classic.
  • VirtualDub 1.6.4 Experimental - VirtualDub (changelog ~ download ~ download AMD64 version) is a video capture and processing program. It features fast capturing, process files larger than the 2 gigabyte limit, optimized for linear editing, support for Motion-JPEG, MPEG-1 video and layer 3 audio, real-time and near-realtime video processing, video job queues, and much more.
  • Jet-Audio 6.1.1 - Jet-Audio (download) features an impressive home audio system interface, including independent A/V components for Digital Signal Processor, Audio CD Player, Digital Audio (MP3, RA, etc.), MIDI (MID, MOD etc.), and Digital Video (AVI, MPG, MOV, etc.), along with a Mixer and a Remote Controller.
  • SSH Tunnelier - Windows - Tunnelier is a friendly and flexible SSH client for Windows which includes state of the art terminal emulation, graphical as well as command-line SFTP support, an FTP-to-SFTP bridge, powerful tunneling features, and also remote administration for WinSSHD. Free for individual use!
  • nHancer v1.0.3 - nHancer (NVIDIA Advanced Profile Editor) is a replacement for NVIDIA's own Profile Editor, which is integrated in their driver. With nHancer you can also change the global driver settings, but the focus is on creating and manipulating profiles.
 Gameguru Mania News - Feb,12 2005 - tech
Saturday Tech Reading - tech
(hx) 11:09 AM EST - Feb,12 2005 - Post a comment / read (2)

SECURITY...

  • Virus warning hits Windows Media Player - Computer users have been warned to be on their guard when viewing images after the discovery of a vulnerability affecting the processing of PNG (Portable Network Graphic) files by popular applications including MSN Messenger and Windows Media Player. The issue affects applications including Windows Media Player 9.0 (when running on Windows 2000, XP Service Pack 1 and Server 2003), Windows Messenger version 5.0 (standalone version that can be installed on all supported operating systems), and MSN Messenger 6.1 and 6.2.
  • F-Secure flaw opens door to intruders - The security hole in the antivirus library affects 18 products for desktops, servers and gateways, with the network products at "critical" risk, F-Secure said in a bulletin Thursday. By creating a specially crafted ARJ archive file, an intruder could use a buffer overflow to run arbitrary code on an unpatched machine, said Tony Magellanez, a systems engineer at F-Secure. Update details are here.
  • TriCipher Ships Multipart Authentication System - TriCipher Inc., which was spun off from Japanese technology company Nippon Systems Development Inc. in Kansai, Japan, says its authentication technology uses a multipart credential. This works by placing part of the authentication credential on the user's computer, and the other part on the server on which authentication is desired.
  • Hewlett-Packard throttles viruses between network and desktop -  Rather than offering yet another hunter for viruses, HP's new virus throttle software takes an unusual approach: It acts as border patrol and aims to contain attacks. Instead of relying on existing virus definitions, the software monitors network connection requests and detects "abnormal" activity that could indicate an attack.
  • Windows more secure than Linux - Nash said that Vole compares very favourably with Linux on security. In the year-to-date Microsoft has fixed 15 vulnerabilities affecting Windows Server 2003. However, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 users have had to patch 34 vulnerabilities and SuSE Enterprise Linux 9 users have had to patch over 78 vulnerabilities.
  • Proposed Norwegian law limits cross-media copies - The Norwegian government has proposed a new copright law regarding copying music. The proposed law would make it illegal to copy songs from CDs to a different medium such as an MP3 player. It would still be legal to duplicate a CD, as long as it's copied to the same medium.
  • Lokitorrent website downed - Despite attempts to raise money to defend itself, it seems that web site Lokicurrent has lost. The website, here, has a notice on it from the Motion Picture Association of America, warning about breach of copyright. The notice says that the site has been permanently shut down by court order because it contributes to the illegal downloading of films.
  • Philips developing tools to identify and block P2P video content - Researchers at Royal Philips Electronics are developing new "fingerprinting" technology that could automatically identify and block transmission of digital-video files, potentially handing movie studios a new weapon in its war on peer-to-peer networks.
  • Hackers sued for tinkering with Xbox games - According to the complaint, Greiling and Glynn were webmasters of ninjahacker.net, an online forum dedicated to creating custom content and modifications for certain video games. Also included in the suit, filed January 21st in Illinois, are up to 100 anonymous users of the site, whose identities the company vowed to unmask.

OFF-TOPIC...

  • Man constructs replica of Apollo guidance computer - CNET News has a fun story about John Poltorak, who spent his free time the last few years building a reconstruction of the guidance computer used in the Apollo space missions: "The AGC is a piece of computing history. It had a 1MHz processor, 1K of random-access memory and 12K of read-only memory. By contrast, typical desktop computers today have about 1,000 times the processor speed and about 500,000 times the RAM, and have dropped ROM for hard drives with millions of times the capacity."
  • Falling in Love in Three Minutes or Less - It seems that the heart wants what the heart wants -- and it can figure it out fairly quickly, according to evolutionary psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania. Psychology has often viewed relationships as transactions where people select mates based on substantial qualities a mate has to offer, such as power and money. According to Kurzban, the data show that, when people meet face-to-face, things like smoking preferences and bank accounts don seem to loom large in intricate complexities of attraction.
  • Man Arrested Over Valentine's Net Suicide Pact - An American man has been arrested after allegedly trying to arrange a mass online suicide pact for Valentine's Day on Monday. Gerald Krien, 26, was caught after one woman alerted authorities after hearing one of those planning to take part talking about killing her children. Krien, of Klamath Falls in Oregon, had apparently recruited more than 30 people to take part in the pact, which had been arranged through chatrooms. Police are now trying to trace some of those involved in an attempt to make sure they are safe.
  • Chinese used diamonds to polish sapphire-rich stone in 2500 BC - Researchers have uncovered strong evidence that the ancient Chinese used diamonds to grind and polish ceremonial stone burial axes as long as 6,000 years ago -- and incredibly, did so with a level of skill difficult to achieve even with modern polishing techniques.
  • Tom-Yung-Goong Trailer -  The trailer for Tony Jaa's (star of Ong Bak) new action film Tom-Yung-Goong is now online and ready for visual consumption
  • Nuke Test - This is video of an underground nuclear bomb test

TECHNOLOGY...

  • Microsoft Delays CRM Update, Again - Microsoft's famously slippery ship dates are sliding once again when it comes to the company's long-delayed Microsoft CRM 2.0 update. Microsoft said this week it is expanding the software's feature set and delaying its release-to-manufacturing until the fourth quarter of 2005.
  • Google Offers Assistance To Wikipedia - Google has offered to assist online encyclopedia Wikipedia, by providing some much needed storage and hosting services to the giant non-profit site.
  • Cell phones get surround sound -  A new line of multimedia phones has hit the streets in Japan over the past few weeks that incorporates three-dimensional sound technology from British start-up Sonaptic. As yet, the content for it is slim--a fishing game, a handful of sound and video clips--but the technology promises a substantial advance for mobile-phone audio.
  • Macromedia Flash On Nokia Mobiles - Nokia is to install a version of Macromedia Flash in its Series 60 mobile platform. The licencing agreement between the two companies will also stretch to other Nokia devices. Tools will be made available to allow developers to produce cell phone flash content with ease.
  • First Linux-powered UMTS 3G mobile arrives - The world's first UMTS/Edge smartphone reference design based on the Linux operating system has been unveiled. Developed by a group of companies including Samsung Electronics and Infineon Technologies, the platform is designed to incorporate advanced 3G and multimedia services such as UMTS/Edge dual mode voice calls, video calls and video streaming. It also supports high performance multimedia applications (H.264, MPEG-4, AAC+, MP3), ultra-fast web browsing, stereo loudspeaker with 3D audio and Java-based 3D gaming.
  • Sony Movie Unit to Issue Films for PSP Game System - Sony Pictures Home Entertainment said it will release "XXX," "Hellboy," "Resident Evil 2" and "One Upon A Time in Mexico" on April 19 in the Universal Media Disc or UMD format, with additional monthly releases in the future. The unit did not set a price for the movie discs. The small UMD holds 1.8 gigabytes of data, three times the capacity of a CD-ROM. It was designed as a vehicle for games and other media on the PSP.
  • Nokia 7710 communicator now shipping - Announced as recently as in November 2004, Nokia has now started shipping the Series 90-based 7710 communicator device in Europe and Africa. Featuring tri-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE 900/1800/1900 MHz connectivity, the 7710 is Nokia's first touch screen-enabled smart device, and features handwriting recognition software similar to that found in numerous Windows Mobile handhelds.

HARDWARE... 

  • Toshiba's 17" Satellite P35-S611 gaming notebook - Adding to its existing line-up of P35 gaming notebooks, Toshiba has introduced the Satellite P35-S611, designed as a desktop replacement with a 17" screen and powerful specifications. Joining the existing P35-S6111 and P35-S629 models, the P35-S611 comes with Windows XP Home as opposed to Windows XP Professional, and includes an ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 graphics card less powerful than that of the top model.
  • Intel Quietly Adds New Chipsets into Lineup - Intel's i915PL and i915GL chipsets support dual-channel PC3200 (400MHz) memory only, instead of supporting both DDR and DDR2 which is a standard for the i915P and i915G chipsets, but still boast with support for LGA775 processors and PCI Express interconnection. In contrast to usual i915-series chipsets, the i915PL and i915GL support only 2GB of memory, not 4GB of RAM.
  • AMD Readies New Opteron Processor for 1000MHz HT Bus - The forthcoming AMD Opteron processor 252 will be clocked at 2.60GHz, will incorporate dual-channel PC3200 memory controller, 1MB of cache and SSE3 technology, something that only Intel Corp.'s chips have sported so far. The upcoming Opteron chip will also sport 1000MHz HyperTransport bus, a speed boost over contemporary AMD Opteron products with 800MHz HT bus, according to CNET News.com web-site.
  • DFI LANParty UT nF3 250Gb - The LANParty UT nF3 250Gb comes with 2 IDE ports and allows a total of 4 devices to be installed. The devices can be hard drives or optical drives, whichever you choose. Since SATA hard drives are becoming the norm, the LANParty UT nF3 250Gb offers 4 SATA ports for up to 4 SATA hard drives. The two located right below the CPU socket are controlled by the nForce3 250Gb chipset. The nForce3 250Gb controlled SATA ports allows RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, and JBOD.
  • Sapphire Toxic Radeon X700 Pro and Hybrid Radeon X800 - AMDZone has posted a review of Sapphire Toxic Radeon X700 Pro and Hybrid Radeon X800
  • Gainward PowerPack! 6800 - For Gainward, we have mix feelings. The certainly won't impress gamers who are looking for free packaged games with their graphics cards and they certainly won't impress HTPC users with DVD software that many manufacturers include, but modders are a possibility for them. If someone is looking for a red theme, Gainward has the answer.
  • Sapphire Hybrid Radeon X800 XL - The Sapphire Radeon X800 XL is a great card. It offers very similar (and sometimes slightly better) performance than a 6800 GT at a price that is very similar. The Sapphire X800 XL (OEM version) can be found for as low as $380 according to our price search engine. A simply packaged 6800 GT PCIe card can be found for about the same. This is going to be a very interesting $350-420 battle over the coming months as PCIe gets more and more popular.
  • Chaintech GeForce 6600 GT AGP - The only real drawback with the card was the heatsink not having any contact with the memory chips. This was by design and not accident. The memory chips were declocked 10% with the Chaintech card and I can't help but speculate that the cooling, or lack there of is why.
  • NEC ND-3520A DVD Writer - The ND-3520A will write to DVD+/-R media at 16x, DVD+R Dual Layer discs at 4x, DVD+RW media at 8x and DVD-RW discs at 6x. The big news here is, of course, the performance boost in the RW space.
  • Samsung CLP-550N Colour Laser Printer - PC Stats has posted a review on the Samsung CLP-550N Colour Laser Printer.
  • Divx/dvd portable player Gold G40 - Digital Gamers posted a review of the Divx/dvd portable player Gold G40.
  • Kodak EasyShare DX7590 - The 5 megapixel DX7590 replaced the 4 megapixel DX6490 as Kodak's second 10x ultra-zoom digicam. The DX7590 features a Schneider-Kreuznach lens capable of a 38 - 380mm zoom (35mm equivalent). It offers a wide range of still recording modes from full auto to manual exposure in addition to 14 preset scene modes and a movie mode with a maximum resolution of 640x480. Like all of Kodak's EasyShare cameras, the DX7590 has an intuitive menu and controls that lead to a hassle-free shooting experience.
  • Apple iPod Shuffle - First the top-end daddy iPod with its big scroll wheel. Then the mid-market girly iPod Mini, which puts the buttons into the scroll wheel. They can hold about 120 or 240 songs encoded at 128Kbps; I managed 220 on a 1GB stick with songs encoded at 160Kbps, still more than enough to get lost in music.
  • New MSN Direct Services Found In A Fossil - It's been possible to read the time from your wrist for many decades. But the ability to get news and weather information off your wrist has only been around for a couple of years. We take a look at the latest Smartwatch from Fossil to see what it can do now, and learn what else may be possible in the future.

GUIDES... 

  • Blu-ray Disc technology editorial - The fact is that blue-ray technologies and high def won't be meaningful until 2006 and won't be mainstream until 2007. But that timespan isn't deterring the two camps because there will be huge amounts of money involved in licensing fees from the people who decide to produce players, drives, recorders, content and recordable media.
  • How Motherboards Are Made: A Gigabyte Factory Tour - As PCSTATS recent trip to Gigabyte's Nan-Ping factory in Taiwan showed us last summer during Computex 2004, there's a lot more to it
  • 32 Cards in Doom 3 tested - Version 0.2 - The article is now updated to version 0.2 and it includes more pages and a final conclusion as requested. 19 cards are AGP based and 13 cards are PCI-Express
  • Browser speed comparisons - There is a speed war on the web. Browsers compete on many fronts; security, standards support, features and speed. Most people are aware of which major browser fails on three of these, but one of them is still open for grabs.
  • Windows XP Tweaking Companion - The Windows XP Tweaking Companion (XPTC) is the complete Windows XP and system optimization guide. No longer do you have to put up with so-called XP Tweak Guides which have a handful of Registry tweaks and some vague optimization advice - the XPTC brings an enormous range of detailed descriptions and resources together in one free 170 page downloadable PDF file.

SOFTWARE...

  • Apache 2.0.53 -  Apache 2.0 (download / changelog) offers numerous enhancements, improvements and performance boosts over the 1.3 codebase.
  • WinSCP 3.7.4 - WinSCP (download) is an open source freeware SFTP client for Windows using SSH. Legacy SCP protocol is also supported. Its main function is safe copying of files between a local and a remote computer.
  • VNCScan 2005.2.10 - VNCScan allows you to remotely control and manage your workstations and servers. VNCScan is the legendary front end to VNC.
  • SpoofStick for Firefox 1.05 - SpoofStick is a simple browser extension that helps users detect spoofed (fake) websites. A spoofed website is typically made to look like a well known, branded site (like ebay.com or citibank.com) with a slightly different or confusing URL.
  • Winamp Cover Notifier Alpha 1 - Winamp Cover Notifier is an alert that will show a CDs cover and music name everytime Winamp starts a new song. If no picture is found, a default picture will be shown. The alert will be shown next to the Windows clock
  • HyperSnap-DX 5.62.04 (shw) - HyperSnap-DX 5 is a screen capture and image editing tool for MS Windows. It captures screens from standard desktop programs and even those hard-to-grab DirectX, Direct3D, 3Dfx Voodoo and Glide mode games
  • ZoneAlarm Free 5.5.062.011 - ZoneAlarm includes five interlocking security services that deliver easy-to-use, comprehensive protection.
  • CPU-Z 1.27 - CPU-Z is a diagnostic tool that provides information on your CPU, including: processor name and vendor, core stepping and process, processor package, internal and external clocks, clock multiplier, partial overclock detection, processor features, supported instructions sets, L1 and L2 cache information, location, size, speed, and technology.
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