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News Archives for August 2008

Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: August 1, 2008 @ time: 03:25AM
Author: Nemo

Sometimes smaller isn't always better. In the world of computer cases the need for room to work, mount a E-ATX motherboard or a water cooling setup dictates a cases with more capacity. Today we have two cases, the mid-tower NZXT Temptest (also reviewed by OCC here) and the Tagan Monolith that offer options for better airflow through the use of lots of fans. Our roundup also includes one of the latest Nvidia GTX 280 cards with a twist - a factory overclock and a full face water block. Make sure you check out the latest in gaming comfort in the Renegade gaming chair before you leave.

Cases
NZXT Tempest E-ATX Computer Case @ Tech ARP
Tagan Monolith @ Bjorn3D

Cooling
Xigmatek HDT-S1283 CPU Cooler @ Legit Reviews

Power Supplies
Rosewill Xtreme 630W Power Supply @ ThinkComputers

Video
BFG GTX 280 H²OC @ Bjorn3D

Miscellany
Renegade Gaming Chair @ XSReviews
Making A Sound Decision On The Source @ TweakTown


Complete Story


NYPD Could Soon Be Using Citizens Images To Fight Crime

Posted: August 1, 2008 @ time: 04:49AM
Author: jammin

You'd be hard pushed to find anyone who doesn't own a cell phone, with most of these also being able to take pictures and short video clips. NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said that any images taken of a crime scene as an event takes place could be potentially useful to police investigations. To that end the NYPD will be setting up a service, which should be availabe soon, allowing citizens to upload video or images to the department's computers. Those concerned with civil rights hope that this will also help to highlight instances where police conduct has been less than ideal.


Complete Story


ZOTAC Announces 9800 GTX+ ZONE Edition

Posted: August 1, 2008 @ time: 11:32AM
Author: jammin

ZOTAC already announced a couple of new cards earlier this week, and now it adds the 9800GTX+ ZONE edition to its line up. So what makes this card different to a bog standard 9800GTX+? Well the first thing you'll probably notice is that the card employs its own self contained water cooling system. This is comprised of a a 120mm fan and radiator module, which ZOTAC say doesn't require any user maintenence and keeps the card cool as well as keeping the noise levels down. Apart from that it seems to be a reasonably standard 9800GTX+, with stock 738MHz core and 2200MHz memory clocks. Hopefully that water cooling will perform well enough to allow a bit of overclocking on top of that. No MSRP or availability date, but I expect you'll see it at reatilers soon, if not already.


Complete Story


Corsair Sets DDR3 World Record (Again)

Posted: August 1, 2008 @ time: 11:45AM
Author: jammin

Corsair likes to let people know when it breaks a world record (well, wouldn't you?), having previously set the DDR3 record of 2462MHz back in May. Once again, it is the company's Dominator modules pushing the speed limits further, adding 118MHz to the record by running at 2580MHz on the Intel X48 chipset (the ASUS ROG Rampage Extreme) with an E8400 processor. Timings at the new record figure were 9-9-9-24, which you can see a CPU-Z validation for here. Don't expect to achieve these kind of results without some considerable effort though, as Corsair cooled the whole system (Motherboard, CPU, Chipset and Memory) down to -20C for the testing.


Complete Story


FCC Declares We Have the Right to Open Access to the Internet

Posted: August 1, 2008 @ time: 12:16PM
Author: ClayMeow

The policies adopted by Comcast to deter large network usage is not foreign to most of us here at OCC, and many people fear the future of how ISP's operate. Consumers got a little relief today, however, when the FCC voted 3-2 that Comcast violated federal policy by blocking internet traffic for certain subscribers. The FCC did not assess a fine, but instead opted to simply order the company to stop interfering with large data transfers of customers using file-sharing software. Although file-sharing is often associated with piracy, many companies use file-sharing to distribute legitimate files, including such big names like Blizzard. This is a welcome decision by many of us, but there could be a potential downside; if ISP's can't regulate traffic, this may provide them even greater reason to start charging customers based on bandwidth usage, which none of us want.


Complete Story


The Ugly Side of Spore's Creature Creator Revisited

Posted: August 1, 2008 @ time: 06:22PM
Author: KKX

With the advent of Spore, one of this years most anticipated games, gamers rejoiced as Will Wright, the creator of the Sims series, strikes gold in video game territory. However, a mere day after the release of Creature Creator, which allowed players to mold and shape the creatures they may one day play as in Spore, things went awry. The dark and perverted army of the underbelly of the internet rose up and it too contributed to the growing army of creatures. There is one person who rises above the masses and distinguishes himself by the "Spornmaster". This 37-year old web developer claims to have spent hours on Creature Creator, slowly converting innocent creatures into masters of Kama Sutra. He states that what he does is "just something silly and juvenile". However, EA (Electronic Arts) and Youtube didn’t share his optimistic outlook and had began efforts pulling down this inappropriate content. This was met with harsh response by the few, but proud Sporn creators, and a website has been erected to preserve this dying breed of naughty creations. Micheal James of Calgary, Alberta commented to CNN that he notes the seriousness of "Sporn" to rival that of Child Pornography.


Complete Story


Drama at Yahoo's Shareholder Meeting

Posted: August 1, 2008 @ time: 07:15PM
Author: KKX

"There was never a deal put on the table that was compelling enough that we, as the board, could look the shareholders in the eyes and say this is a good deal for you," –Bostock, board chairman of Yahoo.


Some may remember Microsoft’s failed attempt to acquire Yahoo earlier this year, in part because the corporate juggernaut had not offered a price acceptable to Yahoo’s executives. Despite Bostock’s insistence that the deal would not have been beneficial in the long run to the company and its stockholders, many Yahoo shareholders are disappointed at what they see as a missed opportunity. This disappointment culminated today at a shareholder’s meeting where Yahoo was harshly criticized by shareholders angry over what they saw as Yahoo’s mishandling of the entire affair. One even went so far as to demand that Bostock “do the honorable thing” and step down. Another dramatic tirade came during the Q&A at the end of the meeting, when one person exclaimed “I think you’ve overpaid your executive compensation, overplayed your hand with Microsoft and overstayed your welcome."
Sentiments were not entirely against Yahoo today, however, as some praised Yahoo’s actions as doing what’s right for the company, preserving Yahoo’s autonomy in the face of Microsoft’s conglomerate expansion in the technology market. At the end of the day, Yahoo’s board members were all re-elected, including CEO Jeff Yang, who voiced optimism for the coming months after outlining Yahoo’s overall growth strategy.


Complete Story


Nvidia Says It's Not Abandoning Chipset Business

Posted: August 1, 2008 @ time: 08:34PM
Author: Nemo

Today Nvidia issued an official statement denying reports out of Taiwan saying the company is getting out of the chipset business. The report was original published by Digitimes based on information regarding meetings Nvidia with its motherboard partners in an effort to gauge support for Nvidia's next generation chipsets. Apparently the silence was deafening. Nvidia labeled the report as groundless as their chipset business remains quite strong for both Intel and AMD platforms and will continue to bring out new products.


Complete Story


Toyota Enters Brave New World of Personal Transportation

Posted: August 1, 2008 @ time: 08:35PM
Author: KKX

At first glance, the Winglet seems like an appetizer at Buffalo Wild Wings. However, it is actually the name of Toyota’s new venture into the market of personal transportation. The true name of the Winglet is "personal transport assistance robot" and in appearance and function, it is similar to the revolutionary Segway. This “Winglet” comes in three sizes, much like the refreshing drinks at McDonalds, small, medium and large. Also similar to the drinks at McDonalds, the Winglet comes in several distinct flavors. From what is described as "hands-free sporty" (the small) to a practical method of transportation for those who can’t live without the sweet caress of the autumn wind in their faces (medium and large), the Winglet caters to wide niche of consumer. Toyota states that the Winglet will have a range of five to ten miles depending on model and will be released in 2010.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: August 2, 2008 @ time: 05:19AM
Author: jammin

Time for some more affiliate reviews to give you some weekend reading. Legit Reviews are the latest to pit the Intel Atom against VIA's Nano, with the VIA part coming out on top in the benchmarks, but you can't buy it yet. Other reviews including cooling hardware from Thermaltake, with both air and water represented. The links are self explanatory really, simply click through to read the details.

CPUs
Intel Atom vs VIA Nano L2100
@ Legit Reviews
AMD Phenom X4 9350e
@ TweakTown

Cooling
Thermaltake V1 Heatsink
@ FrostyTech
Thermaltake TMG2 Radiator and W2 Waterblock @ Virtual-Hideout
Thermaltake DuOrb Heatsink @ FrostyTech

Video
ASUS EAH 4870 TOP
@ RBMods

Displays
Samsung SyncMaster 2493HM
@ Hot Hardware

Misc.
Gamshare.co.uk Interview
@ XSReviews
x264 HD Benchmark v2.0 @ TechARP


Complete Story


Crysis Crunching Computers to Come

Posted: August 2, 2008 @ time: 08:55AM
Author: KKX

Everyone’s heard of Crysis, a massively successful yet hardware-intensive game that was catered to the mid to high end market of video game consumers. However, as its successor, Crysis Warhead, soon to be released in autumn, EA has rethought its market for players to game comfortably and is planning to come out with rigs that designed specifically to play Crysis at varying qualities. These $600 to $800 machines will be able to run Crysis Warhead comfortably from mid to high qualities.


Complete Story


DHS: All Your Laptops are Belong to Us

Posted: August 2, 2008 @ time: 10:12AM
Author: Nemo

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents can seize travelers' laptops and other electronic devices for an unspecified period of time with no suspicion of wrongdoing according to a DHS policy distributed to its agencies on July 16. Agents may take these devices offsite and share copies of their contents with other agencies and private entities for the purpose of translation or decryption. The recently disclosed policies apply to travelers entering the U.S. including American citizens. This includes not only laptops but hard drives, cell phones, flash drives, music players or “any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form”. And DHS says it can retain any seized  devices for “a reasonable period of time”, whatever that means. Allegedly, this is to protect us all from terrorists, but don't forget about all those illegal music and video files they'll be protecting us from as well. You can read the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Policy Regarding Border Search of Information for yourself.


Complete Story


iPhone 3G Attacks Owner

Posted: August 2, 2008 @ time: 01:12PM
Author: razor

Apple's new iPhone has certainly had its share of growing pains, but this story certainly takes the "pain" aspect to an entirely new level. An unsuspecting iPhone user fell asleep with his new tech toy in his pocket, and awoke to a burning sensation a short time later. When he removed the phone from his pocket, he found that the docking end of the device had actually started to melt - causing damage to both iPhone and owner! Even more alarming, the man said that before he fell asleep, he'd essentially turned the device off. Seems like the kind of thing that Apple would've caught during the Research and Development phase of the 3G's conception.


Complete Story


China Reverses Stance On Olympic Net Censorship

Posted: August 2, 2008 @ time: 01:44PM
Author: razor

In one of the more surprising policy reversals in recent memory, China's President, Hu Jintao, has officially lifted the Internet restrictions that have until now cast a shadow over the 2008 Olympics being held in Beijing. The move comes after weeks of intense, worldwide media pressure aimed at the Chinese government and the International Olympic Committee following China's failure to uphold its pre-Olympic promise of a free, uncensored Internet during the 2008 Games. China has long been criticized for its government-backed stifling of basic human rights, and has historically blocked access to websites associated with human rights promotion and freedom, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Radio Free Asia.


Complete Story


Weekend Gaming Binge

Posted: August 2, 2008 @ time: 02:23PM
Author: razor

The Binge is back! While there aren't any PC games of note being released in the coming week, there've been plenty of interesting developments in the gaming world. In addition to additional price cuts on an ultra-popular console, there's also a rumor Electronic Arts will be bringing a number of their EA Sports titles back to the PC next year. Plus, we've got the official recommended specs for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, and a whole lot more!

PC
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky Recommended Specs @ Voodoo Extreme
Crysis: Warhead Hands-On Preview @ Bit-Tech
"All New" Call of Duty From Infinity Ward In 2009 @ GameSpot
EA Bringing Back EA Sports, Madden, Others @ IGN

Console
More XBOX 360 Price Cuts Coming @ IGN
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Sells Better Than Band's Last CD @ Kombo

Misc.
Former NFL Great Jim Brown Suing EA, Sony
@ Shacknews
Logitech Making Guitar Hero: World Tour Premium Controllers @ Voodoo Extreme
Game Releases 8/3-8/9
@ Shacknews


Complete Story


Mars Lander Discovers Ice, Liquid Discovered On Saturn's Moon

Posted: August 2, 2008 @ time: 03:16PM
Author: razor

It's been quite a week for space exploration, to say the least! In the Phoenix Mars Lander's life, short of discovering little green men, nothing could be more important that its discovery of actual water ice on the surface of the red planet. This incredible finding was confirmed when the Lander heated up some of the ice and examined the elemental composition of the vapor produced - definitely water! Part of the Lander's mission is to determine whether the Martian surface could have ever supported life, and water is one of the essential factors of supporting life.

A little further out in our solar system, the Cassini Spacecraft made another incredible discovery - there are lakes of liquid ethane on Saturn's Titan moon! This development is especially exciting, considering that Earth was previously the only known celestial body to have liquid on its surface. Cassini also discovered that like Earth, Titan experiences rain, evaporation, and land that appears to channel rain towards larger bodies of liquid, like the newly-discovered 150 ft. long lake! It was previously believed that Titan had oceans of methane, ethane, and other light hydrocarbons, but that theory proved to have no truth in reality.


Complete Story


Relations Worsen between North and South Korea

Posted: August 3, 2008 @ time: 12:12AM
Author: KKX

After the death of a South Korean Tourist in a North Korean tourist zone, North Korea plans to expel South Korean workers from Mount Kumgang, a mountain resort on the eastern coast. Interestingly enough, this location is regarded as a middle ground or neutrality zone between the two in hopes of peace in the future. South Korea currently has suspended tourism, and North Korea is on edge with its resort and has military reinforcement for "even the slightest hostile actions”. Kumgang was, and hopefully will be in the future, a hot spot for travelers – especially South Koreans.


Complete Story


Facebook Haters In Egypt On The Rise

Posted: August 3, 2008 @ time: 09:35AM
Author: KKX

Egyptian authorities exercised their military might against unarmed young Egyptians who apparently used Facebook as a vehicle for meeting and collaboration in support for a textile plant strike. They called themselves the “6 April Youth Movement” and spoke to the press about their goals and beliefs during their first meeting in Cairo. Apparently, authoritarian governments such as Egypt are against these types of egalitarian meetings and reacted with "A truck packed with Central Security personnel…” Gamal Eid, executive directed of the Arab Network for Human Rights information stated, "They were beaten by plain clothes security personnel and taken to Al-Raml Police Station where they were referred to the prosecution which accused them of assembling, hampering traffic, and attempting to topple the regime."


Complete Story


12-Year-Old Evades Darwin Awards

Posted: August 3, 2008 @ time: 12:45PM
Author: KKX

In a feeble attempt to show her cousin the Hudson River, Grace Bergere and her cousin climbed a 25-foot ladder up a brick chimney. This was the highest point of her apartment complex and when she reached the top, she fell down the chimney. This was perhaps because she thought that people could actually fly out of chimneys and land safely as seen in Mary Poppins, Regardless, she survived the 14 storey fall with only an injured hip. A pile of soot at the bottom saved her from serious injury and when fire-fighters found her, she was described as “...black all over" with soot.


Complete Story


EVGA Interested In Partnering With ATI

Posted: August 3, 2008 @ time: 01:23PM
Author: razor

Maybe it doesn't always pay to be at the top. Rumor has it that Nvidia board partner EVGA contacted the guys at ATI to see if a deal could be worked out that would allow EVGA to manufacture and sell Radeon video cards. ATI allegedly declined, stating that it doesn't need anywhere near the amount of board partners that Nvidia employs, and that it doesn't want to endanger the business relationships it has with other Radeon makers like Sapphire and HIS. Interestingly, ATI did say that it might be interested in partnering with BFG in the US, although the possibility of that happening is extremely remote. Given recent speculation that Nvidia might exit the chipset market entirely, the news that one of its top partners considered divorce - or at least an affair - has to make investors at least a little uneasy.


Complete Story


Nintendo Investigating Holographic Storage

Posted: August 3, 2008 @ time: 02:02PM
Author: razor

If a recent patent filing is indicative of Nintendo's near-future plans, a truly remarkable solution to the Wii's storage problem could be on the way. The patent, filed in conjunction with Inphase Technologies, is for a holographic storage system that could revolutionize console data storage. Holographic storage works by splitting a laser into two beams - the signal beam, and the reference beam. The signal beam has data encoded onto it by a light modulator, and is then reunited with the reference beam; the combined beams then write the data to a photosensitive material - and the data is stored! The beams read and write at specific light angles, wavelengths, and positions, which essentially make up the data's physical address on the storage medium. Interesting stuff, for sure.


Complete Story


Six Degrees Theory May Hold Some Water

Posted: August 3, 2008 @ time: 03:07PM
Author: jammin

The theory of six degrees of separation, which says that it only takes six steps to link one person in the world to anyone else may actually be reasonably accurate if a US study of instant messaging is any indication. The theory itself has proved a somewhat popular social phenomenon since it was first published, spawning a movie of the same name, as well as the now famous Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon trivia game. The study, carried out by researchers on the Microsoft Messaging project, used a database that covered all of the Microsoft Instant messaging network (a good chunk of global messaging traffic). Using the assumption that those who had sent each other a message were aquaintances, it was found that the average number of steps to link all the users was around 6.6. Whether you believe the study rings true for the global population as a whole is up to you.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 03:33AM
Author: Nemo

Today's roundup includes a lot reviews to kick of the week so let's dive right in. In what looks to be a motherboard bonanza, we get several of looks at P45 motherboards from Gigabyte and Asrock. There's been quite a bit of speculation about Intel's forthcoming Larabee architecture and what it will include. While we're still short on detailed specifics, Intel is opening up a bit and today we get a high-level look at what's under the hood of the Larabee architecture. Along with Larabee, there's also the recently announced Nvidia 9500 GT cards which is targeted at the lower end of the graphics market and we have a pair of preliminary reviews of this card.

Cases
Antec Twelve Hundred Gaming Case @ Virtual-Hideout

Motherboards
GigaByte GA-EP45-DS3R Motherboard @ ThinkComputers
ASRock P45R2000-WiFi P45 DDR2/DDR3 Motherboard @ ThinkComputers
Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 Motherboard @ Bjorn3D
ASRock P43 and P45 Motherboards @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Eagle Technology INEO 2.5'' External Hard Drive Enclosure @ OCModShop

Video
Asus EAH 4870 TOP Videocard @ RBMods
NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT Video Card Preview @ Legit Reviews
Galaxy and Leadtek 9500 GT Tested and Compared @ Madshrimps
Intel's Larrabee Architecture @ PC Perspective
Intel Opens Up About Larrabee @ Techgage


Complete Story


Users Coming Round To The Idea Of 64-bit Windows

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 08:40AM
Author: jammin

We've had processors that will support 64-bit operating systems for years now, but it seems that they are only just now catching on, or more specifically the 64-bit versions of Vista. According to a recent MS blog, twenty percent of Windows computers connecting to Windows Update were 64-bit, compared with just three percent back in March. Part of the reason for this is likely the fact that the mainstream retailers are now offering machines equipped with a 64-bit OS in larger numbers. If you factor in the reason that many performance users will go for a 64-bit operating system, that it supports more RAM (which is ever important), then it is logical that support is growing. With driver issues largely a thing of the past, there really isn't a good reason why you shouldn't go 64-bit for a new PC.


Complete Story


Teenager Finds Practical Use of GTA IV, Murders Cab Driver

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 09:29AM
Author: KKX

An 18-year-old high school student in Thailand stabbed and killed a cab driver while attempting to rob the taxi. Police stated his motives were "he wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game", and the fact that his parents didn’t have the broccoli to spend three months salary on a simple "game". Contrary to popular belief, robbing taxis with your moms butter knife "while trying to steer a cab backwards out of a Bangkok street with the driver still in the back seat," isn’t as easy as the voices in head tell you it is. Now he is facing the death penalty if found guilty and Thailand plans to ban Grand Theft Auto IV, which has also caused problems in in other places.


Complete Story


Intel Talks Larabee

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 12:32PM
Author: razor

CPU giant Intel has been teasing its upcoming foray into the discrete graphics market, Larabee, for quite some time. Finally, we've got some concrete details on the GPU tech, and they're pretty interesting. First-gen Larabee products will feature multiple x86 Pentium-based cores padded with 256kb L2 cache per core, which will allow programmers to use languages they're familiar with - like C and C++ - instead of new languages like Nvidia's CUDA. This architecture has the potential to combine the throughput of a CPU and the parallel processing power of a GPU. These x86 GPU cores will also feature multi-threading and 64-bit instruction support, plus a bi-directional data path between each core that's 1024 bits wide, which helps reduce inter-core communications latency.


Complete Story


Sapphire Upgrades Cooling On HD4850

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 02:54PM
Author: razor

It's pretty common knowledge that the Radeon HD4850 is an excellent video card at its price point, but man, do they run HOT! Well, Sapphire - a world-renowned ATI partner - has taken the lead and redesigned the card to incorporate a new, more powerful cooling solution! At the root of the upgraded cooler is a pure copper core that significantly increases cooling efficiency and decreases noise at the same time. Best of all, Sapphire ensured that their HD4850 will deliver all of the performance of the first generation HD4850s, but at an even lower price! The redesigned Sapphire HD4850 will start shipping this week, and like all HD4800 video cards, gives users the power they need to game using Microsoft's DirectX 10.1 API, run multi-GPU setups with CrossFireX technology, and enjoy a smooth HD viewing experience using ATI's AVIVO technology. Check out Sapphire's HD4850 product page for more info!


Complete Story


New Software for Internet Throttle Detection

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 03:06PM
Author: KKX

A new tool from EFF Switzerland is being designed to employ multiple ways of detecting whether or not Comcast and/or other high-speed ISP’s are preventing you downloading at the highest possible speeds. It is said that this “Switzerland” program looks for throttling programs such as Sandvine and Audible Magic as well as censorship and advertisement systems. Switzerland does this by comparing packet sizes from various times during a connection. Beta versions are not too user-friendly but its developers are working hard so that no person in the near future will have to wait ridiculous times for his/her torrents to be finished.


Complete Story


Nvidia GPU Failure Not Limited To Mobile Chips

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 03:17PM
Author: razor

We've previously reported that certain Nvidia mobile GPUs are prone to failure due to heat issues, but it seems that the problems may not be limited solely to mobile products. There are reports that every single GPU Nvidia has made recently is at risk of failure because of a problem with the solder that holds the chip to the PCB. Apparently, excessive hot/cold cycles cause the solder to become brittle and weak, and eventually the solder cracks, essentially severing the connection between the chip and PCB. It's worth noting that desktop GPUs are far less prone to this type of failure, because they are equipped with far superior cooling solutions, and the desktop environment is far more stable and experiences fewer temperature fluctuations than the laptop environment. The message here - take the steps necessary to make sure all of your components are properly cooled.


Complete Story


Foxconn Dreadnought 790i Mobo Shelved

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 03:39PM
Author: razor

Recent speculation has Nvidia considering an exit from the chipset business entirely, and stories like this one won't do anything to put out those flames. It seems that Foxconn - maker of OEM parts, and the smash-hit MARS P35 mobo - has decided to halt development on the Nvidia 790i-based Quantum Force Dreadnought enthusiast motherboard. A Foxconn representative has publicly stated that the 790i chipset is not up to the company's quality standard, and will never see the light of day. Nevertheless, Foxconn will continue to push out Quantum Force products, with the AMD-based 780a Destroyer and the P45 Avenger expected soon - although both boards have been delayed due to problems with buggy BIOS. But, if the MARS and equally impressive Black Ops motherboards are any indication, the delays will only mean good things for the consumer in the end.


Complete Story


Remote DVR System Approved

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 03:50PM
Author: ClayMeow

In 2006, Cablevision Systems announced plans for a DVR system with remote storage, thus eliminating the need for customers to physically have a DVR box in their home. A lower court ruled in favor of a group of Hollywood studios that Cablevision would be making copies of programs instead of customers, thus violating copyright laws. Cablevision appealed the decision and today the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan overturned the decision. Craig Moffett, a senior cable analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, says that he expects the Hollywood studios to appeal the decision and for the case to make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Nevertheless, he stated that the ruling is a huge victory for consumers and cable service companies alike, effectively making DVR functionality available to almost half of U.S. households, compared to 25% currently. I've only had my DVR for about six months now, but I'm already addicted. I'm really curious to see if this materializes, and if so, what kind of restrictions will be in place, if any. I can only record two shows at once...with cablevision doing the recording, that may mean customers can record an unlimited amount of shows at one time, which may not sound necessary, but is still nonetheless cool.


Complete Story


Firefox 3.1 Alpha Launched

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 03:54PM
Author: razor

Code named "Shiretoko", Firefox 3.1 has been launched in an Alpha state following a short delay due to a bug in the OSX-compatible version. Among the features we can expect to see in 3.1 are improved address bar functionality and changes to the tab switching interface, including adding thumbnails of currently open tabs. Also, Firefox 3.1 will be the first Mozilla browser to feature Netscape's Gecko 1.9.1 engine, which reads and renders Internet content to the browser, and also renders the browser's UI. The Firefox 3.1 Alpha is available for download here, and has a projected final release date sometime in late 2008 or early 2009.


Complete Story


Is Apple Hiding Security Flaws?

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 04:09PM
Author: ClayMeow

As previously mentioned, Black Hat is holding its security conference this week, but it appears that some things that probably should be said, won't. Apple pulled the plug on two sessions, one discussing the company's security practices and the other discussing vulnerabilities in Apple FileVault. Though Black Hat founder and director Jeff Moss said that the first session would have cast Apple "in a positive light", one can't but wonder if Apple is simply hiding flaws in their software.


Complete Story


Xbox 360 Arcade Will Drop To $199.99 On September 7th?

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 04:12PM
Author: jammin

The battle for market share amongst the current generation of consoles is heating up, with the PS3 selling considerably better than it did at launch and the Wii and Xbox 360 still selling strongly. One of the biggest reasons Nintendo's console has gained such a big chunk of the market is that low price point. MS has been closing the gap in this regard and looks to go one step further with a possible price drop for the Arcade model (without a HDD) in early September. That would make the sub $200 Arcade the cheapest available console, with MS stating in the past that $199.99 is the sweet spot for console sales. Whether Microsoft will be making a profit at that price is hard to say (revisions to the console have brought production costs down, but maybe not that considerably), as is whether that price would last if introduced. Expect solid conformation closer to the date.


Complete Story


Leaked Details On AMD's Fusion Chip

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 04:19PM
Author: razor

Coming on the heels of news about Intel's Larabee graphics solution, we've come across some early info on AMD's CPU/GPU combo chip, Fusion. Expected to debut in H2 2009, Fusion is shaping up to contain a dual-core Phenom CPU and a next-gen RV800 graphics chip. This complete solution is expected to debut as a 40nm chip, but will shrink to 32nm in the early part of 2010 - not too long after Intel goes 32nm. On the graphics front, Fusion's RV800 GPU will be a lower-end part, but will be DX 10.1 compliant, and we can assume that it will feature UVD technology, which will enable hardware decoding of MPEG-2, VC-1, and H.264 content when paired with supported software. More details as they emerge...


Complete Story


EVGA Claims Total Nvidia Loyalty

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 04:43PM
Author: razor

Updating a previous item, Nvidia board partner EVGA has gone public with a declaration affirming its complete loyalty to Team Green. An EVGA co-founder released a statement today that in no uncertain terms was it considering partnering with ATI to produce and sell Radeon cards, and that he felt that ATI was essentially trying to rattle Nvidia's cage by announcing that it had turned down an offer from Nvidia's most successful partner, given ATI's current competitive edge in the retail market. In the event that ATI and EVGA did come to a partnership agreement, it would certainly bother its current partners, as EVGA's lifetime warranty and excellent support out-class anything offered by Team Red. EVGA claims to currently enjoy a 60% market share in the US market, and could presumably enjoy similar success if it ever started selling ATI products.


Complete Story


Patriot Vortex Kills Excess RAM Heat

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 04:59PM
Author: razor

Performance DRAM and flash memory maker Patriot knows that overclocked parts generate tons of heat, and they've come up with a great way to combat performance killing temperatures. Named Vortex, Patriot's active memory cooler helps keep your clocked-up RAM chill out by taking advantage of dual 40mm fans spinning at 5000 heat destroying RPMs. And, you won't suffer from vibration-induced noise, because each Vortex unit actually sits in an unused RAM slot, and you can count on extreme stability, too, due to a dedicated 12v power connection - eliminating annoying voltage fluctuations. Vortex coolers can lower RAM temps up to 30%, enabling the higher clocks and performance that today's enthusiast demands!


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PS2 still going strong

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 05:18PM
Author: Andrewr05

The Sony PlayStation 2 launched in 2000 and hasn't slowed its pace or faltered since. Backing up Sony's statement that their consoles have 10 year life cycles is the fact that the PS2 has sold 188,000+ units 8 years after its launch in just the month of June. In comparison to Microsoft's brand new console the Xbox 360, which sold only 219,800 in the month of June, Sony's 8 year old system sold only 31,800 less units. Only time will tell whether or not the PlayStation will still be popular in the year 2010.


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Dell Trying to Claim 'Cloud Computing'

Posted: August 4, 2008 @ time: 07:39PM
Author: Nemo

Cloud computing is a hot, but not so new, buzzword describing computing services available over the Internet while the data and software reside in large data centers. The term 'cloud computing' has been in use for more than a couple of years but now Dell wants to claim the term for its own and has applied to the U.S. Patent and Trade Office for a trademark on the term. Dell's application has proceeded along and has reached what is called the Notice of Allowance phase. Once this stage is reached the aplicant is free to file an intent to use. Something tells me Dell's lawyers are going to have their hands full trying to protect this term.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: August 5, 2008 @ time: 03:49AM
Author: Nemo

You're going to be busy if you intend to make it through everything in today's roundup, so let's get started by looking at a pair of full tower cases. First in line is the NZXT Khaos followed by Tagan's CS Monolize (also reviewed by OCC here). In the motherboard arena we have a trio of reviews covering Intel and Nvidia chipsets for both AMD and Intel platforms. For power supplies there is a roundup of seven different  units in the 600-800W range along with a 900W Tagan unit. And that's just the beginning so dive in and enjoy.

Cases
NZXT Khaos Full ATX case @ TechSpot
Tagan CS Monolize Full Tower Case @ Legit Reviews

Motherboards
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DQ6 Motherboard @ PC Perspective
XFX GeForce 8200 Motherboard @ motherboards.org
eVGA nForce 750i SLI FTW @ Techgage

Optical Drives
Pioneer BDC-S02 Blu-ray & 12x6 DVD±RW DL SATA Drive @ RBMods

Power Supplies
The Beast chews through seven new PSUs @ Tech Report
Tagan BZ Series 900W Modular Power Supply @ ThinkComputers

Prebuilts
Asus Eee Box B202 Desktop System Evaluation @ HotHardware

Storage/Hard Drives
VOX V1 500GB USB and eSATA External HDD @ TweakTown
Sans Digital MobileSTOR MS2UTN+B @ Bjorn3D

Trade Shows/Conventions
QuakeCon 2008 – Visiting the Vendors and QuakeCon 2008 - Paint, Glue & Sponge Bob @ TweakTown

Miscellany
The Intel Larrabee Processor Tech Report @ Tech ARP


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Weplay Receives Not-so-wee Backing

Posted: August 5, 2008 @ time: 08:48AM
Author: ClayMeow

There are a lot of social networking sites on the net these days, and odds are you, or someone you know, is a member of at least one. Celebrity involvement in social networking sites is nothing new (musicians have set up shop on MySpace in droves), but a newer site promises even bigger names; multi-million dollar names in the form of star athletes. Weplay.com is a social networking site geared towards youth athletes, parents, coaches and other sports enthusiasts. It's designed as a place where people can share their sports experiences with others, while also allowing users to track their favorite teams. Now, with the recent flux of funding, users could be networking alongside their favorite athletes. New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (all all-stars and considered some of the best players in their respective sports, mind you) have joined to help fund the Weplay site, which has acquired $8.6 million in its second round of funding.


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Vista & PS3 Don't Mix Well

Posted: August 5, 2008 @ time: 10:24AM
Author: ClayMeow

Ever want to run Windows Vista on your PS3? Well now you can, thanks to one very patient and persistent PS3 enthusiast. But the question remains...why? With a 25 minute boot time and insane load times for even the most mundane of applications (Notepad took around twelve minutes to load), it's definitely not for everybody...in fact, it's probably not for anybody. Part of the problem may have to do with the fact that you can't actually install Vista directly to the PS3 (or at least nobody has found a way yet). Instead, you have to install Linux and then use emulation to load Vista. With a miniscule amount of RAM compared to modern-day PCs and emulation, the modder couldn't really be suprised at this poor performance though.


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Solar Powered Headset for Herding Cows

Posted: August 5, 2008 @ time: 10:27AM
Author: Nemo

If you want to witness your tax dollars at work bringing technology to previously untapped markets, you need look no further than the "Ear-A-Round" being developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The headset is worn by cows (I'm not making this up) and contains stereo earphones to help guide cattle through sounds. Each headset contains a solar cell for powering a GPS tracking device. The goal is to be able to monitor and control cattle movement to better improve land usage and reduce overgrazing. This technology would theoretically allow ranchers to monitor cattle movement remotely and issue audible cues to get the herd moving to new locations. The first field tests will begin later this month on the Jornada Test Range in southern New Mexico.


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Play Video Games With Your Mind

Posted: August 5, 2008 @ time: 10:37AM
Author: ClayMeow

First we had headsets worn by cows, now we have headsets granting mind control. Okay, I fib a little...you won't be able to control other people's minds or actions, but you will be able to control the actions of characters in video games. Thanks to a Emotiv's EPOC headset (due out by the end of the year), user will be able to perform actions in video games with a simple thought. Its initial setup has you imagine eleven cognitive actions (such as lift, push and pull) for a few seconds each so that the device can learn how your brain operates. The device is also able to track emotions and expressions, so if it detects "boredom", it can send a message back to the game to crank of the difficulty level (assuming the developers take advantage of that). Tests have shown that it could be rather difficult to learn, but once you do, the results are astonishing. With an asking price of $299 (bundled with an adventure game that takes advantage of the device), it's also certainly more reasonable than one would have guessed. Its necessity is questionable, but you've got to admit it would be really cool to watch your MMO character perform emotes based on your emotions and thoughts.


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Delta to Offer Wi-Fi Access on Its Entire Fleet

Posted: August 5, 2008 @ time: 09:51PM
Author: Nemo

Delta Airlines announced today it begin a phased roll out of Wi-Fi access across its entire fleet beginning this fall. If all goes according to plan, all 330 aircraft will be outfitted by next summer. Delta claims it will be the first U.S. airline to equip its entire domestic fleet with Wi-Fi. Five other domestic carriers also have Wi-Fi projects underway. Delta said it will charge $9.95 for access on flights of three hours or less and $12.95 for longer flights. In keeping with federal rules prohibiting in-flight calls, voice services will not be supported.


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PowerColor Plan HD4850 Multimedia Cards

Posted: August 5, 2008 @ time: 11:30PM
Author: Nemo

PowerColor plans to launch a new series of multimedia videocards called PLAY! New to this series will be support the latest DisplayPort technology along with standard HDMI, DVI and TV-out. DisplayPort is the newest connection type offering a number of advantages over previous technologies. In addition to greater bandwidth, DisplayPort offers greater resolution, increased color depth and higher refresh rates. Until more components support DisplayPort, users can still utilize either HDMI/DVI. PowerColor also plans to utilize an after-market cooling fan from ZEROtherm with automatic fan control allowing the fan speed to adjust in response to temperature variations. PowerColor was not able to give additional information regarding core/memory speeds at press time.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: August 6, 2008 @ time: 03:50AM
Author: Nemo

Today marks the launch of a new chipset from AMD - the 790GX. Coupled with the SB750 Southbridge, the 790GX supports socket AM2+ and offers integrated graphics, 2 x8 PCI-E 2.0 slots along with 6 SATA ports and 12 USB 2.0 ports. For you digital photography buffs we have the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III digital SLR camera and the Samsung SC-MX10 camcorder. From QuakeCon 2008 comes not booth babes, but a look at some of the girl gamers out there.

Cases
Thermaltake Armor VH6001 Case @ motherboards.org

Cooling
Thermaltake MaxOrb Heatsink @ FrostyTech
Top 5 Low Profile Heatsinks on Frostytech @ FrostyTech

Digital Photography/Video
On The Road With The Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III @ Tech ARP
Samsung SC-MX10 Solid State Memory Camcorder @ Tweaknews

Memory
Kingston HyperX 3GB Notebook Memory @ Virtual-Hideout

Motherboards
AMD's 790GX chipset @ Tech Report
AMD 790GX Chipset Platform Launch @ HotHardware
Asus M3A78-T Motherboard @ Legit Reviews

Trade Shows/Conventions
QuakeCon 2008 - A Quad Damage of Babes @ TweakTown

Video
ASUS GeForce 9800 GTX+ TOP Graphics Card @ TweakTown


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Google takes Chinese Market of Music Downloads

Posted: August 6, 2008 @ time: 10:43AM
Author: KKX

Since Apple has yet to step into the Chinese Market of over-the-net music downloads, Google is busy filling its place in the infant industry of legal music downloads. Apparently, over 99% of all music file transactions over the net are illegal so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Motomusic.com.cn already has a franchise in the Chinese market and has claimed to have “sold over 2.5 million songs and ringtones”. 2.5 million doesn’t seem like a lot considering that a 12-year-old with Comcast could best that in a matter of weeks but it is a large step into the legal music industry in China. Google’s system allows users to preview music or download sample parts much like Itunes.


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Botnet Worm Spreading Through Social Networks

Posted: August 6, 2008 @ time: 12:57PM
Author: jammin

Adobe, the makers of Flash and security firm Kaspersky have warned of worms, named Koobface.a and Koobface.b that are spreading using social network sites Myspace and Facebook. The worms spread by sending messages to friends of an already infected user, encouraging them to click links. If the links are followed they direct a user to a site that includes a video clip, which cannot be viewed until a supposed 'update' is applied. While suspicious sites have commonly been used to spread viruses, the problem with links from social networks is that users tend to trust links that their friends (or in this case the worm) sends to them. That means the likelyhood of the worms spreading is higher. As always, it pays to be wary of anything that looks untrustworthy, even if a link comes from a suposedly trusted source.


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Gigabyte Launch AMD 790GX Motherboard

Posted: August 6, 2008 @ time: 01:12PM
Author: jammin

As you may have noticed in the hardware roundup posted earlier today, AMD officially launched its new 790GX chipset today. Among the first offerings based on the chipset is Gigabyte's GA-MA790GP-DS4H motherboard, which along with the usual features you would expect from the company features support for Hybrid CrossfireX and advanced power saving options. The onboard HD 3300 graphics processor also gets 128MB of dedicated DDR3 sideport memory, which Gigabyte are claiming helps it to achieve (with overclocking) 3DMark06 scores north of 2800. If you drop in a couple of discrete graphics cards, you can also connect up to six monitors in total (providing you can find the space on your desk for that). Expect to see the board at retailers very soon.


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