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 Gameguru Mania News - Jan,08 2007 - tech 
ASUS Unveils External Graphics Card - tech
(hx) 06:15 PM EST - Jan,08 2007 - Post a comment / read (1)
ASUS today announced the XG Station, a dedicated external graphics card for laptops. The XG Station is an external graphics card that allows laptop users to enjoy high end graphics performance while plugged in. As the XG Station is an external graphics it can be unplugged when portability is needed. The XG Station connects to any notebook's ExpressCard slot and provides a PCI Express x16 slot for graphics cards. Since ASUS has opted to equip the XG Station with a standard PCI Express x16 slot, the station can be equipped with any PCI Express based graphics card: AMD, NVIDIA or even Matrox. ASUS launched the default XG Station with an NVIDIA 7900GS powered graphics card. The XG Station is powered externally. A separate power brick plugs directly into the adaptor. An integrated LCD display and control also grace the XG Station. The display is customizable and can display information such as frame rate, fan speed, GPU temperature and more while the control knob can change various settings of the XG Station such as the core and memory clocks. The XG Station is currently scheduled to be released at the beginning of Q2 2007. Pricing of the XG Station is unknown at the moment.

So, if you wanted a GeForce 8800 board for a laptop, this is the only way to go (for now). Portability will hurt a bit, but it is by far lighter than lugging a full blown desktop rig. Nice for playing at a hotel or at out of town locations :-D
Nvidia releases Vista RTM drivers - tech
(hx) 11:09 AM EST - Jan,08 2007 - Post a comment / read (3)
In preparation for the retail launch of Windows Vista, which is scheduled for January 30, Nvidia has released a new set of WHQL-certified ForceWare drivers in both 32-bit flavor as well as the 64-bit variety. Nvidia says the drivers bring better application compatibility and performance than previous ForceWare releases for Vista, as well as a round of bug fixes. That said, the company stresses in its release notes (PDF) that some functionality, such as SLI multi-GPU support and DirectX antialiasing settings in the Nvidia control panel, isn't yet fully implemented. Grab them if you need them.
NVIDIA has released the following WHQL certified drivers for use with Windows Vista RTM that will enable you to test the basic features and capabilities of the new operating system. These drivers are only compatible with Windows Vista RTM build 6000 and higher, and should not be used with other versions of Windows Vista.
In other Nvidia-related news, the company has completed its acquisition of PortalPlayer. Like a number of Apple's previous iPods, the purported device will feature silicon designed by PortalPlayer, according to rumors.
 Gameguru Mania News - Jan,05 2007 - tech
TechNews - 1 TeraByte HDDs announced - tech
(hx) 09:43 PM EST - Jan,05 2007 - Post a comment
 Gameguru Mania News - Jan,03 2007 - tech
Building a Core 2 Duo gaming system for under $1000 - tech
(hx) 10:16 AM EST - Jan,03 2007 - Post a comment / read (1)
TechSpot published an article about building a Core 2 Duo gaming system for under $1000:
The question arises then on what parts present themselves as the best value solutions? At the time of writing the article "Building an affordable AM2 Gaming System" on November, the GeForce 7900GS was the best videocard option in the sub $200 price bracket. Now the Radeon X1950 Pro takes the spot, even with it does cost a little extra, we have found it to be more than worth the small premium. The Athlon64 3800+ is an amazing value at $135, but if you can afford to spend $180 on the Core 2 Duo E6300 we feel this is an even better value option.

Where we went wrong was with the motherboard, having originally selected the ASUS P5VD2-MX sporting the VIA P4M890 chipset. Having quickly replaced this motherboard with the Gigabyte 965P-DS3, we were much happier with the performance, feature set and overclocking abilities of our system. Although we are recommending that you do not purchase the P5VD2-MX for a gaming machine and suggest that you go with a motherboard such as the 965P-DS3, we left the P5VD2-MX results to show you the kind of gains dual channel can offer Core 2 Duo users.

Looking back at the Prey performance, you cannot deny the performance of the Athlon64 3800+ processor. This is such an old processor and at $135 it is incredibly cheap, yet it was able to hang with the new E6300 for the majority of the real-world testing. The AMD Athlon range has always been a gamers' best friend and it wasn't until recent times that Intel was able to stole some of AMD's thunder. While we do recommend the Core 2 Duo E6300 over an AMD Athlon64 processor, we still recognize the power and performance of these affordable AMD processors.

On a final note, while we tested these systems at 1600x1200 with a monitor other than the recommended Acer AL1917ABMD 19" 8ms LCD, running at native 1280x1024, the Radeon X1950 Pro paired with the Core 2 Duo E6300 delivered well over 100fps in Quake 4, UT2004 and Prey, along with an impressive 77fps in X3: Reunion. This means that at 1280x1024 users can expect to enjoy crisp image quality with heavy use of FSAA and Aniso settings without affecting performance. Overall, for roughly $1000 this Core 2 Duo system should keep any gamer grinning for some time to come.
 Gameguru Mania News - Jan,02 2007 - tech
TechNews - Sound Blaster X-Fi Issues Explored - tech
(hx) 07:11 PM EST - Jan,02 2007 - Post a comment / read (3)
  • MSI's P965 Platinum and 975X Platinum mobos - Both boards support CrossFire and Intel's latest Core 2 processors, but the 975X Platinum costs about $20 more.
  • GeForce 8800 cards not working with some mobos? - The Inquirer thinks the cards don't work because they aren't fully PCI Express compliant.
  • Israeli GPU Company Receives Funding from Intel - EE Times reports Israeli graphics company Lucid Information Technology Ltd has raised 12 million dollars for research and development. They are working on a traffic hub chip designed to route data between graphics processors. The chip can spread loads between as many as four GPUs, and Lucid is also developing an associated driver to make multi-GPU setups transparent to software. Lucid plans to have silicon samples out by the end of this year and to eventually kick off volume sales to a major board manfuacturer like Asus, Leadtek, or Gigabyte.
  • Gigabyte H663 Home Entertainment System - Your next HTPC? - The motherboard has an onboard Intel GMA950 graphics adaptor, but there is also a PCI-E Gigabyte GC-ADD2EF-RH graphics card with DVI and S-Video - this card isn't an independent graphics card in its own right, it simply expands the capabilities of the GMA950 adaptor.
  • ASUS WL-500W SuperSpeed N Wireless Router - This router can be combined with an external hard drive to set up a file server, or a printer to set up a print server.
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Issues Explored - Two motherboards out of five caused the X-Fi to produce crackling and popping noises.
  • Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi series Vista Driver 2.13.0001 Beta -  This download is a driver providing Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit and Windows Vista 32-bit support for Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi series of audio devices. This download supports the following audio devices only: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic, Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer, Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum, Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty and Creative Sound Blaster Elite Pro.
  • Miranda IM 0.6 - Miranda IM (download) is designed to be resource efficient and easy to use while still providing many features including support for AIM, Jabber, ICQ, IRC, MSN, Yahoo, and more. The Miranda IM 0.6 release introduces UPnP support to improve file transfer and direct connect reliability through routers. Other changes include improved support for UTF-8 strings, improved tabbed options support, and numerous bug fixes. If you are using Miranda IM 0.5.1 or earlier, this is a highly recommended upgrade.
  • AIMFix 1.6.12.747 - Remove all known AIM viruses (download) with one consolidated removal tool.
  • How to crash a Windows mobile using MMS - It is still unknown which phones are vulnerable to this exploit. Collin's research has confirmed a vulnerability in the IPAQ 6315 and i-mate PDA2k, but it is quite likely that all Pocket PC 2003 and Windows Smartphone 2003 devices are also vulnerable.
  • Serious Gmail Vulnerability Fixed - The problem is only partially fixed. The vulnerability exposed through video.google.com has been patched up, but there are other subdomains where the problem still exists.
  • 10 registry hacks for hardening Windows XP security - Windows XP out of the box is not as secure as it could be. See how to make WinXP computers more secure by tweaking a few registry settings. In other news, this registry file enables you to modify that setting if you determine that your hardware can safely support S3 mode
  • The Definitive BIOS Optimization Guide v9.5 - Tech ARP has updated their BIOS Optimization Guide with an ACPI 2.0 Support section
  • Bluetooth Hijacking Demonstrated - If you own a Bluetooth enabled phone, you really need to watch this video :-D
  • AllofMP3.com Responds to RIAA Lawsuit - AllofMP3 has now responded to the lawsuit with a statement, and the company apparently plans to continue business as usual.
  • YouTube fails to meet copyright system deadline - The missed deadline could have to do with the Google buyout that followed, although Google itself stated in October that it would take a 'tough stance' on copyright infringement once it completed the acquisition.
  • Merger Approval Means Cingular Will Be Renamed AT&T - The biggest telecommunications merger in U.S. history just received federal approval.
  • BenQ Mobile faces liquidation - 'Unsustainable losses' have plagued Taiwanese hardware maker since it acquired handset division from Siemens.
  •  $100 laptop project launches 2007 - Millions of computers built for the One Laptop Per Child project could reach users by July this year.
  • Walletex developing credit-card sized MP3 player -  The Wallet MP3 player is billed as the world's slimmest MP3 player and builds on the innovations introduced with the Wallet Flash device. It will apparently come with a built in USB 2.0 connector that will be used not only for loading up those tunes, but also for charging and as the audio jack ("normal" headphones need not apply, at least without an adapter).
  • Science's 10 Most Beautiful Physics Experiments - Robert P. Crease, a member of the philosophy department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the historian at Brookhaven National Laboratory, recently asked physicists to nominate the most beautiful experiment of all time.
  • Aspirin - can it cure cancer? - Aspirin stops headaches, reduces fever and prevents blood from clogging. Now a new research shows that the familiar drug can also stop the expansion of cancer tumours.
 Gameguru Mania News - Dec,31 2006 - tech
ATI R600 gets leaked on the web - tech
(hx) 02:09 PM EST - Dec,31 2006 - Post a comment / read (5)
Level 505 has leaked benchmarks  (thanks DailyTech) and specifications of AMD's upcoming ATI R600 graphics processor. In summary, the pre-release R600 is around 5% above the current 8800GTX in most tests, except the games, where it shoots up to 20% above the NV offering. So, prepare for a very interesting battle when it finally comes out: not only will ATI further optimise the drivers, so will Nvidia, on top of faster overclockers' editions of G80. The upcoming graphics processor is expected to launch in January 2007 with an expected revision arriving in March 2007:
64 4-Way SIMD Unified Shaders, 128 Shader Operations/Cycle
32 TMUs, 16 ROPs
512 bit Memory Controller, full 32 bit per chip connection
GDDR3 at 900 MHz clock speed (January)
GDDR4 at 1.1 GHz clock speed (March, revised edition)
Total bandwidth 115 GB/s on GDDR3
Total bandwidth 140 GB/s on GDDR4
Consumer memory support 1024 MB
DX10 full compatibility with draft DX10.1 vendor-specific cap removal (unified programming)
32FP internal processing
Hardware support for GPU clustering (any 2^n number, not limited to Dual or Quad-GPU)
Hardware DVI-HDCP support (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection)
Hardware Quad-DVI output support (Limited to workstation editions)
230W consumption
Multi-GPU cluster solutions will be available for the workstation market only until March, 2007.

Processing Power:
105,000,000,000 SOps (Shader Operations Per Second)
2,000,000,000 TCps (Triangle Calculations Per Second)
28 GTps (Gigatexels Per Second)
 Gameguru Mania News - Dec,30 2006 - tech
TechNews - 6 GHz PC CPU To Be Revealed in Feb - tech
(hx) 06:33 AM EST - Dec,30 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
  • 5 And 6 GHz PC CPUs To Be Revealed In February - The first-generation Cell Broadband Engine chip, co-developed by IBM, Sony, and Toshiba, has just appeared in Sony's PlayStation 3 game console and can run at 4GHz. The second-generation chip will run at 6GHz, according to the ISSCC program. In addition, the new chip will have a dual power supply that increases memory performance--a major bottleneck in computer designs today.
  • AMD 3000+ Sempron For $10 - I spotted this deal today for a socket 939 Sempron 3000+ that is only $9.97 after rebate. I dont know about you but that is a pretty damn nice deal. You better hurry though, the deal ends on the 31st.
  • Notebook Trio: ASUS A8JS and G2P and ABS Mayhem Z5 - The ABS Mayhem Z5 is almost the exact opposite of the G2P: it is a true gaming notebook, with one of the most powerful mobile graphics chips currently available stuffed into its chassis. There are a few games that are beginning to tax the GeForce Go 7900 GTX these days, particularly if you want to run games at the native 1920x1200 LCD resolution.
  • Fuel Cell powered laptops run for a month - According to Engadget, the new docking station, which works with Samsung's Q35 ultraportable laptop contains a 1200-watt-hour fuel cell. The dock can power a laptop eight hours a day, five days a week for a month. Apparently the boffins are working on a miniature version which can power a laptop for more than 15 hours "on a coffee cup's worth of fuel". Although it is not clear how much fuel there is in a cup of coffee.
  • 1080p and 1080i High Definition Resolution explained - 720p and 1080i were initially set out as the two key standards for High Definition content, with Sky HD, HD DVD and the Xbox 360 supporting these formats. Any TV that supports 720p and 1080i is classed as HD Ready.
  • LabelFlash vs LightScribe - According to a news published at Digitimes, Pioneer is relaunching the LabelFlash technology to counteract Lightscribe's disc labeling system with its DVR-A12J, a 18x DVD Dual burner recently released in Japan.
  • Firefox Creator No Longer Trusts Google? - Blake Ross, one of the guys behind Firefox, says that he no longer trusts Google after the company announced that it will promote its own products over everyone else.
  • iHolic MP3 player with T-DMB support -  It features 2.4-inch TFT-LCD, T-DMB receiver, audio/video playback, image viewer, SD card slot and voice recorder.
  • Magnetic satellite launch system - The current LaunchPoint Technologies design has a large ring of superconducting magnets that would fling the object into space, or into orbit around the world. A high-speed accelerator would whip an object weighing up to 220 pounds around a circular vacuum tunnel that has a 1.5-mile-radius
  • PS3 Grill In Action - What about a real PS3 grill, cooking a steak?
  • Honda says fuel-cell cars can be mass-produced by 2018 - Japanese carmaker Honda believes it can mass-produce environmentally friendly fuel-cell cars by 2018.
  • OFF-TOPIC: Saddam Hussein hanged - Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi dictator who spent his last years in captivity after his ruthless regime was toppled by the U.S.-led coalition in 2003, was hanged before dawn Saturday for crimes committed in a brutal crackdown during his reign.
  • Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Exhibition: 42 games - A collection of Flash games produced as part of the London Science Museum's Hitchhiker's exhibition. They include some arcade games where you get to control Marvin and some trivia challenges
  • Family Survival Kit - Hah, check it out!
  • Best 50 hacks for your Life - Invest your time - read them.
  • Silent Hill 2 movie "well underway" - Gans confirmed in an interview with French magazine DVDrama, "There will indeed be a Silent Hill 2 and it is officially ordered and is already well underway. Once he has finished his adaptation of Driver, Roger Avary will be [working on the script], helped by his friend Neil Gaiman." Gans added that he may not have time to take on the project himself, due to his commitments on the adaptation of another video game project, Onimusha.
  • Britney Spears' #1 Fansite Closes Because Owner Says Britney's "Done" - Ruben Garay, who has hosted WorldOfBritney.com since October 2000, yesterday announced the site will no longer exist after January 31 because the singer is "losing her identity and credibility with fans and industry people."
  • Is Your Name... Hannibal Lecter? - Amazon in the U.K. has posted the new international trailer for MGM and The Weinstein Company's Hannibal Rising, coming to theaters in North America on February 9.
  • Indiana Jones 4 Coming May 2008 - George Lucas said Friday that filming of the long-awaited Indiana Jones 4 will begin next year with Harrison Ford set to star again. Lucas said he and Steven Spielberg recently finalized the script for the film.
 Gameguru Mania News - Dec,28 2006 - tech
TechNews - HD-DVD Protection already hacked? - tech
(hx) 07:31 AM EST - Dec,28 2006 - Post a comment
 Gameguru Mania News - Dec,25 2006 - tech
Rainbow Six: Vegas: A Performance Analysis - tech
(hx) 06:32 PM EST - Dec,25 2006 - Post a comment
The chaps over at AnandTech take a look performance in Rainbow Six: Vegas with mainstream/mid-range and low-end graphics cards from ATI and NVIDIA. The NVIDIA cards they tested Vegas with are the 7300 GT, 7600 GS, 7600 GT, 7900 GS, 7950 GT, 7900 GTX, and the 8800 GTS and GTX. From ATI, they have the X1300 XT, X1650 Pro, X1650 XT, X1900 XT 256, and X1950 XTX. Here's a taster:
Our performance tests show that in order to play this game smoothly with the resolution and quality settings at their highest, you will need at least an NVIDIA 8800 GTS (or possibly an overclocked X1950 XTX). The X1950 XTX and 7900 GTX at reference speeds can run the game at these settings without too much trouble, but they still see some choppiness when in a large firefight with a lot of stuff going on. Fortunately, the game still looks and plays well with the resolution and quality settings turned down, so don't despair if you aren't an owner of an 8800 yet and want to get a hold of this game. We still don't recommend playing Rainbow Six: Vegas on a low end card like the 7300 GT, because even at the lowest resolution and settings you will still probably run into choppy gameplay at certain points in the game, and the action can be fast-paced enough that this is a real problem. At this point in time, to really enjoy this game at a decent resolution you will probably want to go with at least a 7600 GT from NVIDIA or better yet an X1650 XT from ATI if you can get your hands on one. GeForce 7900 GS and Radeon X1900 GT are also good options.

Hopefully we will see some improvements in performance for Vegas on NVIDIA's hardware soon, because as it stands, the game clearly favors ATI parts, with the obvious exception of the 8800. That is a trend we've seen more of over time, however: G70 series hardware does very well at DX8 graphics, but when more DX9 effects are enabled the pixel shaders on many NVIDIA chips don't seem to do as well as ATI's hardware. We might have liked to see the kind of control over graphics quality in Vegas that we've seen in games like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, especially considering that maximum detail settings result in performance that is often lower than what we saw with Oblivion. Still, kudos to Ubisoft on this nice addition to the Rainbow Six series, and we look forward to further enjoying this game, as well as seeing what else comes along using the Unreal Engine 3 in the near future.
 Gameguru Mania News - Dec,22 2006 - tech
TechNews - Intel to break the 4GHz barrier in 2008 - tech
(hx) 08:17 AM EST - Dec,22 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
  • Intel to break the 4GHz barrier in 2008 -The report says Bloomfield, one of Intel's upcoming 45nm quad-core processors based on the Nehalem architecture, will be clocked at speeds exceeding 4GHz when it comes out in 2008
  • AMD Socket-F Opteron vs. Intel Woodcrest - It would appear the major difference between the Opteron 285 and 2218 is power consumption.
  • Intel integrated G35 supports DirectX 10 - It is called G35 and this is a brand name not the code name, it seems. It supports Intel Clear Video marchitecture and DirectX 10
  • AMD Says DX10 Will Not Take Off Until 2H 2007 - AMD is speculating that demand for DirectX 10 compliant video cards will not take off until the second half of 2007.
  • Windows Vista Memory Test Round-Up - With Windows Vista, its a must to have good fast memory installed in your PC. In other news, TweakTown tested the Crucial's High-Performance RAM - Ballistix PC2-8000 EPP.
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB - Perpendicular recording at its best - The drive is not cheap coming in at around $400 USD (about $560 AUD in Australia) but indeed you get what you pay for.
  • Creative Live! Cam Optia - It captures video at up to 640x480 pixels, and photos at up to 1.3-Megapixel resolution (interpolated). With Certified Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connectivity, raw data is transferred from the Web camera to a PC without compression, providing video quality at up to 30fps (frames per second).
  • Why 99% of Power Supply Reviews Are Wrong - Learn why the vast majority of power supply reviews published on the web are wrong.
  • AutoPatcher XP Update December 2006 - AutoPatcher could be described as an offline Windows Update. AutoPatcher provides an interface to a large collection of updates, common applications and registry tweaks, that can be easily and quickly applied to your computer system.
  • CloneCD 5.3.0.0 - CloneCD (download) is a powerful CD-Copy program. It writes in Raw mode, which allows it to have total control on the data written. Therefore, it will produce real 1:1 copies of your CDs. This new version added full support for Windows Vista, including 64-bit versions.
  • Firefox 2.0.0.1 Update - The following list of security issues have been fixed ~ download
  • Thunderbird 1.5.0.9 - Mozilla Thunderbird (download / release notes) is a redesign of the Mozilla mail component.
  • FileASSASSIN 1.01 - FileASSASSIN can delete locked malware files on your system. It uses advanced techniques to unload modules, close remote handles, and terminate processes to allow the removal of the file.
  • Google Talk 1.0.0.103 - Google Talk (download) enables you to call or send instant messages to your friends for freeanytime, anywhere in the world.
  • Skype 3.0.0.198 - Skype uses P2P (release notes / download) technology to connect you to other users. Not to share files, but to talk with them for free.
  • Logitech SetPoint 3.15  - Logitech MouseWare is the software used to install and control Logitech mice. Incredible! 40 meg for a mouse driver... !
  • 'Windows XP Hack' E-Book (FREE) - An E-Book of Windows XP Hacks (download link) available for free to the masses.
  • VMware Virtualization for Mac Beta Program - The new VMware desktop product for the Mac, codenamed Fusion, allows Intel-based Macs to run x86 operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, NetWare and Solaris, in virtual machines at the same time as Mac OS X.
  • Multiple Processors + WinXPSP2 - May Experience Decreased Performance - Have an Intel dual core or multi processor system? Might want to get this patch (download)
  • Microsoft Starts Handing Out SUSE Linux Subscriptions - Redmond has handed out some 16,000 subscription certificates for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
  • Integrate software into your WinXP install CD - The whole procedure takes from 5 to 20 minutes (burning of the CD included).
  • Setting up HDMI on your HDTV - nVidia vs. AMD - When you connect a computer to your TV using a digital signal like HDMI, the process isn't as seamless as connecting a dedicated piece of AV hardware, like a TV tuner or DVD player. This is because AV equipment makes automatic allowances for overscan whereas graphics cards don't. To fix this, theres a certain amount of manual tweaking required in the driver.
  • AllofMP3.com Sued by Record Labels - The labels claim in the lawsuit that Russia-based Mediaservices, parent company of AllofMP3.com, profits off copyrighted music without paying any royalties to the holders.
  • BBC moves to file-sharing sites - Hundreds of episodes of BBC programmes will be made available on a file-sharing network for the first time. The move follows a deal between the commercial arm of the organisation, BBC Worldwide, and technology firm Azureus.
  • Skype founders' TV-killer examined - Only problem with this one will be bandwith/traffic Not many people will be able to use it :-(
  • Sony BMG Music compensates its users - Sony has finally decided to compensate customers in California who were affected by the DRM software found on some Sony BMG music CD's.
  • Samsung SGH-Z560 'super 3G' phone - It's the first HSDPA model launched in Europe. HSDPA is a 3.5G technology that can transmit data at speeds up to six times faster than the 3G network, and its current top download speed of 1.8Mbps promises a meaningful mobile-based multimedia experience
  • Hypersonic Cruise Missile: America's New Global Strike Weapon - The Pentagon is now developing a critical new weapon for hitting elusive targets and the result is the X-51 hypersonic cruise missile which could travel 600 miles in 10 minutes thereby giving strike capability anywhere in the world in less than an hour. The X-51 destroys its targets by simply crashing into them at hypersonic speeds.
  • Microsoft Has Success With Xbox 360 Movie-TV Downloads - This Variety story reports that while exact figures have not been revealed, Hollywood studios are saying that video and TV downloads are doing as well or better on Xbox 360 consoles than similar services like CinemaNow, Movielink and Amazon's Unbox service, which are available on more widely available PC platforms. Analysts suggest that the Xbox 360's ease of use, its connection to TVs, and its support of HD downloads are part of the reason for its success.
  • Nintendo Wii review - EliteBastards has posted an extensive review of the Wii.
  • Xbox 360 Warranties Extended - Microsoft is retroactively extending the warranty period for Xbox 360s purchased in the United States and Canada from 90 days to one year, as it is most everywhere else. This will include refunds for those who have already paid for repairs that would have been covered under this warranty.
  • Seventh Harry Potter Book Named - JK Rowling has today given fans of the Harry Potter books the name of Book 7 of the very popular series via a Christmas present on her site, to get to the name you need to follow a complicated procedure but thankfully the name of the book has been revealed as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • Star Wars done in Black & White Silent Film Format - check it out
  • Stargate SG-1 Films Given Shooting Dates - Before the last episode of the final season of Stargate SG-1 airs on the sci-fi Channel, the famous cast of the history-making television series will have already begun the production shoot for the highly anticipated new films in the franchise. (WARNING: Possible spoilers at the end of the article!)
  • Tarantino & Rodriguez's Grindhouse Teaser! - Yahoo! Movies has posted the new teaser trailer for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse, which Dimensions Films will release on April 6. Grindhouse is one full-length feature comprised of two individual films helmed separately by each director. Tarantino's film, "Death Proof," is a rip-roaring slasher flick where the killer pursues his victims with a car rather than a knife, while Rodriguez's film explores an alien world eerily familiar to ours in "Planet Terror."
  • Miss USA rocked by sexy new scandal - Miss Nevada Katie Rees - NSFW, but damned hot!
 Gameguru Mania News - Dec,19 2006 - tech
TechNews - Core 2 prices to go down in Q2/2007 - tech
(hx) 07:24 AM EST - Dec,19 2006 - Post a comment
  • Core 2 prices to go down in Q2 2007 - The cuts will be quite significant, the site says, reaching around 40% in some cases!
  • AMD's Brisbane: 'Most energy efficient AMD CPU to date' - The reviewed chip is AMD's 65nm Athlon 64 X2 5000+ and from the outside, it looks just like a normal X2. The only way to tell that this is a 65nm chip is by looking at the OPN.
  • 5W Core 2 Solos coming next year - The two chips will be low-voltage models dubbed Core 2 Solo U2100 and U2200. The U2100 model will run at 1.06GHz, while the faster U2200 chip will be clocked at 1.2GHz.
  • Bloomfield To Hit 4GHz & Has 8MB Cache - VR-Zone posted a news story on Intel's upcoming Bloomfield architecture.
  • Passive Radeon X1950 cards are on their way - PowerColor is cooking up versions of both the Radeon X1950 Pro and the faster Radeon X1950 XT with a new, completely passive cooler designed by Arctic Cooling. VR-Zone says the passive Radeon X1950 Pro will hit stores in the first quarter of next year with a $10 price premium over the regular model.
  • Nvidia releases GeForce 8800 demos - All three demos require a GeForce 8800 GTS or GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card with Nvidia's latest ForceWare drivers.
  • Ray tracing in games explored  - PC Perspective has posted an interesting article on the use of ray tracing as a rendering method in games. The article was written by Daniel Pohl, a German programmer who wrote real-time ray tracing 3D engines for both Quake 3 and Quake 4.
  • Opera 9.1 released - If you are looking for an alternative to Mozilla or Microsoft to browse the web, you might want to give Opera a try. This new version adds some form of "phishing" protection - it displays a warning when visitors go to a site that may trick them into revealing passwords and other sensitive information.
  • Two NEC Desktops Reportedly Catch Fire in Japan - According to NEC, it has received two reports of Valuestar power supplies catching fire in Japan. The cause of the fires has been linked to a faulty coil within the power supplies. No injuries were reported in either case. 14,600 of the Valuestar desktop were shipped between November of 2003 and June of 2004.
  • iPhone Officially Announced - The iPhone has arrived, but not from Apple.  Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems, introduced two VOIP handsets adding to five others the company already offers.
  • Skype to launch Web TV service - The founders of Skype are close to launching a global broadband television service promising viewers, content owners and advertisers "the best of the internet with the best of TV".
  • LCD TV Prices To Drop In 2007 - According to DigiTimes, LCD TV makers say prices are expected to plunge by the end of 2007.
  • Sony's PSP to Get Movie Download Service - Sony's movie download service, which is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2007, will allow for movies to be downloaded to a PC and then transferred to a PSP. The movies would on one of Sonys MemorySticks. According to Sony, as many as 10 full-length movies could be squeezed onto a 4GB MemoryStick.
  • Microsoft Updates Zune Firmware to 1.2 - There is no new functionality added with the update, but users do note that performance has been improved across the board with the player. Users note that everything from scrolling through albums to viewing pictures has been sped up.
  • Rotating Solar-Powered Skyscraper - Wired is pointing out a recent Gear Factor blog entry that highlights a new skyscraper in the works which will be solar-powered, and what's more will rotate with the sun
  • F-35 fighter wraps up first test flight - The F-35B is the STOVL variant which will replace the AV-8 Harrier currently in service with the US Marine Corps. The F-35C will be used by the US Navy where it will replace the F-18A/B/C/D.
  • Cartoon creator Joe Barbera dies - Joe Barbera, half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that produced such beloved cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and the Flintstones, died Monday, a Warner Bros. spokesman said. He was 95.
  • Rocky Balboa Reenters the Ring - ComingSoon.net talked to the man who created one of the greatest underdog stories, Sly Stallone. He was applauded by the journalists as he coolly strolled in the room and was all too eager to talk about his last time playing Rocky.
  • Top 10 Worst Movie Trailers of 2006 - IFILM posts their top 10 worst movie trailers of 2006.
  • Shrek The Third Trailer - After seeing some footage a month ago and now this Shrek The Thrid trailer, I can honestly say I'm looking forward to taking this one in some Saturday afternoon
 Gameguru Mania News - Dec,18 2006 - tech
Y.A.S.U (Yet Another SecuROM Utility) v1.05 - tech
(hx) 06:20 PM EST - Dec,18 2006 - Post a comment
CureROM Team has released Y.A.S.U v1.05 (download), a new SecuROM utility. This new version fixes the SecuROM Blacklist(s).Games Tested - SecuROM 7.x: Rainbow Six: Vegas v1.01, Rayman: Raving Rabbids (v1.0), Dark Messiah of Might and Magic v1.01, Splinter Cell Double Agent 1.01, Heroes Of Might And Magic V 1.4, SafeDisc 4.x: NFS:Carbon, Call Of Duty 2, Gun, Sims 2: Pets. Well I don't think that SecuRom loves this sweel tool, but who cares :-)
UE3 Performance With Rainbow Six: Vegas - tech
(hx) 08:29 AM EST - Dec,18 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
The 7600 GS takes the end but the 7950GX2 isn't too far away due to it being crippled by no SLI.
Rainbow Six: Vegas is one of the first PC games to use the brand new Unreal 3 engine. HDR, per-pixel lighting, and a highly improved facial animation system are a few of the changes UE3 has brought with it. Wondering how your PC will handle this game? The chaps over at AMD Zone have posted some benchmarks with video cards ranging from the NVIDIA 7600 to a new 8800 GTX. The test rig was equipped with a AMD Athlon FX 62, DFI LP UT NF590 SLI and Corsair XMS 2GB. Here's an excerpt:
The more one digs into Vegas, the more clear it becomes that the game has not been built to take fully advantage of the PC platform but is more of an Xbox 360 port. There are very few options to choose from overall and while there is a .cfg file in the directory, in fact possibly too many, without the proper commands it was near impossible to enable or disable features. The most glaring of which is the fact that there is no anti-aliasing in the video menu at all. That's right, you can't even tweak that and what you can is very limited. It is quite disappointing so as such we went with high on all settings and disabled hardware mapping because we chose to test a wide variety of cards. Something else we quickly learned is that SLI and Crossfire support are not enabled in the game. Perhaps this and other features will be addressed in a later patch but it is disheartening to see that Ubisoft is paying less attention to the PC platform with both this and the recent Double Agent game and there are also reports of numerous bugs and crashes within the game, conflicts with the 8800 cards, and much more.

Again we ran FRAPS and took an average of three scores. Not only did we do that, but we completely restarted our demo sequence if something wasn't nearly matched up with our benchmark run. As we were soon to learn, even some minor changes influenced the fps greatly. In fact we are going to go the extra mile here and post a FRAPS recorded video of us running through our sequence so you can try and re-create it. Feel free to get the 50MB file over at MegaUpload. Again, all settings are set to maximum of the few that are there except hardware mapping which is turned off for our more powerful CPU.
 Gameguru Mania News - Dec,16 2006 - tech
TechNews - Worm Hits PC via Norton Antivirus - tech
(hx) 12:25 PM EST - Dec,16 2006 - Post a comment
 Gameguru Mania News - Dec,13 2006 - tech
Tech Reading - Acrobat 8.x gets GPU acceleration - tech
(hx) 07:52 PM EST - Dec,13 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
ATi Catalyst 6.12 Drivers - tech
(hx) 05:23 PM EST - Dec,13 2006 - Post a comment / read (2)
AMD.ATI has released a new ATI Catalyst drivers bringing them up to version 6.12. The package contains Radeon display driver 8.321, Multimedia Center 9.16, HydraVision, HydraVision Basic Edition, Remote Wonder 3.04, WDM Driver Install Bundle, Southbridge/IXP Driver and Catalyst Control Center Version 6.12.
Issues Resolved in Catalyst Software Suite 6.12:

- Black&White 2: Slow frame rate is no longer noticed when playing the game under Windows XP when setting the graphics to the lowest possible settings. Further details can be found in topic number 737-23714
- Neverwinter Nights: Enabling super AA and CrossFire within the Catalyst Control Center no longer results in display corruption being noticed within the game's main menu. Further details can be found in topic number 737-23718
- Catalyst Control Center->CrossFire: Attempting to resume from a standby state no longer results in the Windows XP operating system failing to respond when using a Radeon X19x0 CrossFire Edition series of product. Further details can be found in topic number 737-23713
This release of the ATI Catalyst software suite introduces DirectX video acceleration for CrossFire enabled configurations. If you are using the GPU Folding@Home client you should not upgrade to Catalyst 6.12. Apparently there is an issue the new drivers and Stanford's GPU folding client that will be resolved in the next Catalyst release. AMD promises next month's installment will resolve the issue.
MS Security Bulletin Summary for December 2006 - tech
(hx) 04:36 PM EST - Dec,13 2006 - Post a comment
Microsoft has released six security bulletins as part of its monthly patch cycle. Of the seven flaws that were fixed, three of were considered critical:
CRITICAL:
- Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (925454)
- Vulnerability in Visual Studio 2005 Could Allow Remote Code Execution (925674)
- Vulnerability in Windows Media Format Could Allow Remote Code Execution (923689)

IMPORTANT
- Vulnerability in SNMP Could Allow Remote Code Execution (926247)
- Vulnerability in Windows Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (926255)
- Cumulative Security Update for Outlook Express (923694)
- Vulnerability in Remote Installation Service Could Allow Remote Code Execution (926121)
Microsoft has also released the first update for IE7 (not for Windows Vista). This update resolves a performance issue with the Phishing Filter. When visiting certain web pages, the Phishing Filter may increase CPU usage while evaluating the page contents and the system may become slow to respond. This problem occurs on pages that contain multiple frames or when multiple frame navigations occur quickly. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.
 Gameguru Mania News - Dec,12 2006 - tech
TechNews - AMD quietly adds faster Athlons - tech
(hx) 11:20 AM EST - Dec,12 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
  • AMD quietly adds faster Athlons, renames chipsets - The new CPUs come in 5400+ and 5600+ variants, but the clock speed for both is the same: 2.8GHz. The difference is the amount of L2 cache per core.
  • Mid-Range VGA Mayhem - ATI and NVIDIA compared - Go for high performance with HIS or keep it cheap with Sparkle, or choose for both and stay with the PowerColor.
  • Auzentech X-Meridian 7.1 Sound Card - If you are an audiophile yourself or you are looking for that perfect gift for an audiophile then look no further. The Auzentech X-Meridian 7.1 has all of the features you could ever want in a 7.1 card and with a MSRP of $199.99 it won't break the bank either
  • MSI's mPC 51PV small form factor barebones system - The mPC 51PV is compatible with AMD's Socket AM2 processors and features an Nvidia GeForce 6150/nForce 430 core logic combo that's still the best integrated graphics chipset on the market.
  • Mousescore 2007 - Comprehensive 17-way mouse benchmarking - The performance benchmarks show that todays batch of laser mice can't keep up with the finely tuned optical ones. They do have slightly higher resolution, but not enough to make up for their poor performance at speed.
  • New phase-change memory 500x faster than flash - IBM, Matronix, and Qimonda have developed a material that made phase-change memory 500 to 1,000 times faster that traditional flash memory and requires half the power to record data.
  • Sun puts 16 cores on its 'Rock' chip - Rock-based servers, due to arrive in servers in 2008, will likely come as competitors' chips have at most eight cores, analysts say.
  • Vista volume license activation cracked already  - The hack might be a little too complex to let just anyone pirate Vista, but it could allow businesses and power users to get around paying for the software.
  • Microsoft Starts New VoIP Server Test - Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, due for release in the April-June quarter of 2007, will push the software giant into the business telephone market at a time when many large companies shift to cheaper telecommunications powered by Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.
  • Mozilla ships developer release of Firefox 3.0 - Gran Paradiso features better support for a number of graphics standards, such as the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) language and the Canvas specification.
  • LCD price-fixing investigation grows - Japan, the United States and South Korea are probing price-fixing claims against LG.Philips LCD, Samsung Electronics and Sharp.
  • V-Moda Vibe Modaphones - Noise Cancelling earbuds - Naturally, they're feather-light (12 grams), so you'll barely notice that they are there.
  • Nintendo Sued for Wiimote Trigger - Interlink Electronics is suing Nintendo over the Wii Remote's trigger button, which Interlink claims to be its own original patented design (patent no. 6,850,221). Interlink states in its filing. Nintendo has made, used, offered for sale and sold in the United States, and continues to make, use, offer for sale and sell in the United States one or more controllers which activities infringe, induce others to infringe, and/or contributorily infringe the '221 patent.
  • A cell phone with dual displays, and not the way you think - Korean individual inventor revealed a prototype cell phone that places twin color screens beside one another.
  • Netherlands pulls plug on analog TV - Dutch government will save around $14 million annually from the switch, the cost it used to pay to broadcast the free antenna service that was used by only 74,000 households. In US, whose digital target is 2009, about 21 million people use antenna service, & another 20 million would need digital converters.
  • SAX-40 radically shaped plane is completely silent - The SAX-40, which has been developed by the Cambridge-MIT Institute, is a radically different shape of aircraft. The design is the result of three years' work and includes both new and existing technologies.
  • USB Airsoft Turrent - The gun shoots plastic BB with a velocity of 250 feet per second which is powerful enough to leave healthy welts on unsuspecting targets
  • Third Simpsons Movie Teaser Trailer  - The beginning of the third teaser is identical to the second teaser, with new footage following after.
  • Skydiver Nearly Gets Hit By A Plane - Guy jumps out, opens his parachute and almost gets hit by a passing plane.
  • Henry Rollins - America Is Under Attack -  He's slightly crazy most of time, but he knows what he's talking about! :-) Check it out!
 Gameguru Mania News - Dec,09 2006 - tech
Y.A.S.U (Yet Another SecuROM Utility) v1.04 - tech
(hx) 05:26 PM EST - Dec,09 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
CureROM Team has released Y.A.S.U v1.04 (download), a new SecuROM utility. This new version fixes the SecuROM Blacklist(s).Games Tested: Rayman Raving Rabbids, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic v1.01, GTR 2 v1.0, F.E.A.R v1.07 (Single Player), Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter v1.30, Prey v1.1, Titan Quest v1.15 (1.20 update removes SecuROM), SpellForce 2, FIFA 07. Well I don't think that SecuRom loves this sweel tool, but who cares :-)
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 ForceWare Drivers 97.44 - tech
(hx) 04:14 AM EST - Dec,09 2006 - Post a comment / read (1)
NVIDIA has released the first public ForceWare drivers for their GeForce 8800 GTS and GTX series of graphics chips. The 39.1MB drivers (which apparently are separate from the normal ForceWare drivers) can be downloaded at the NVIDIA web site. The 97.44 version also has some fixes (PDF) for various games:
Issues Resolved in Version 97.44:
- Changing the default NVIDIA Control Panel Antialiasing mode to Override mode will result in corruption in some applications.
- Battlefield 2: Intermittent random z fighting problems on the terrain.
- Adjusting the Noise Reduction causes corruption flashes when launching a DVD.
- Rapidly switching HDTV Component format between modes may cause the display to go blank.
- Driver stops responding in SLI mode if the system boots up with no displays attached.
- Civilization 4: White blocks of corruption appear in the clouds when zooming out.
- Everquest 2, SLI: Flickering water textures/reflections occur when SLI is enabled.
- Pacific Fighters, SLI: With SLI mode enabled, there is a large performance dropfrom 100-200+ fpsin DirectX mode when accessing the game control panel with enhanced antialiasing enabled.
- NVIDIA SLI does not activate for any application if Steam.exe is running and the applications resolution does not match the desktop resolution.
- Battlefield: Objects and terrain are very dark. As you move closer, a block of area brightens in steps as you move around the map.
- Tomb Raider: Legend, SLI: No shadows appear when Next Generation Content is enabled.
- Splinter Cell: Double Agent Single Player has geometry corruption.
- Company of Heroes: There are flickering ground textures.
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