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News Archives for October 2009

Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: October 1, 2009 @ time: 04:52AM
Author: Nemo

What an exciting time it is these days in the world of videocards, what with the recent introduction of AMD's ATI Radeon HD 5800 series of cards with support of DirectX 11 and its Eyefinity technology. Then LucidLogix announced its Hydra 200 chip designed to unleash the the true power of multi-GPU processing. Where does this leave Nvidia? For right now it's new generation grpahics cards are a few months out but we have a fews articles on what's in store for us when Nvidia does finally release its 'Fermi' GPUs that are being designed from the ground up as a computational engine to take advantage of CUDA technology. Our roundup today also manged to load up on reviews of input devices with three keyboards and the OCZ Behemoth gaming mouse (also see the OCC review here).

Input Devices
Roccat Valo Keyboard @ RBMods
OCZ Behemoth Gaming Mouse @ Neoseeker
VidaBox Premium Wireless Keyboard with Laser Trackball @ TweakTown
OCZ Sabre OLED Gaming Keyboard @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
CRU DataPort SecureDock @ ThinkComputers

Power Supplies
Seasonic 850WATT S12D PSU @ Bjorn3D

Video
Nvidia GPU Technology Conference The Rise of Fermi @ OCC
NVIDIA Fermi Next Generation GPU Architecture Overview @ PC Perspective
Nvidia's 'Fermi' GPU architecture revealed @ Tech Report
NVIDIA's "Fermi" Architecture White Paper @ [H]ardOCP
NVIDIA Announces CUDA GPU Architecture - Fermi @ Legit Reviews
Lucid HYDRA 200 Details and Interviews with AMD, Lucid & NVIDIA @ Legit Reviews
Gigabyte GV-N285OC-2GI Geforce GTX 285 2GB Videocard @ PCSTATS
MSI Afterburner @ Bjorn3D

Miscellany
AVID6EEK's 4.61GHz Total Loss Watercooling Overclocked PC Experiment @ PCSTATS


Complete Story


Apple to compete with Google by means of a Map Service?

Posted: October 1, 2009 @ time: 08:31AM
Author: kingdingeling

There has been a bit of confusion about why Apple would reject Google Latitude as an App, but rather restrict it to a Web-App. Apple's intentions are becoming clearer though, as news resurfaced that Apple has bought PlaceBase, a map service that is a direct competitor to Google Maps. Apple has not been very open about this, but there are a few clues. In July, Fred Lalonde, owner of Openspaces.org, a company that used PlaceBase's software, tweeted a message reading "Apple bought PlaceBase - all hush hush. Pushpin site taken offline. Hyperlocal iPhone?". The next clue came from Jaron Waldman, the CEO and founder of PlaceBase, when he listed PlaceBase as his "past experience" on his LinkedIn page. As his current occupation, he is a member of Apple's "GEO Team". Apple's move to compete with Google in more areas (Map Services and Operating Systems for example) also gives another reason for the resignation of Google CEO Eric Schmidt from Apple's board of directors in August (OCC News).


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ICANN Begins New Era of Independence

Posted: October 1, 2009 @ time: 09:01AM
Author: Nemo

The governing body that oversses the domain name system (DNS) is embarking on a new chapter in its life as it moves out from under direct controll of the U.S. Department of Commerce for the first time in eleven years.

In an agreement dated yesterday, the DOC gave up some of its control over Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that paves the way for more international participation in the decisions made that affect how the Internet is run. In an agreement dating from 2006 that expireed yesterday, the U.S. becomes a member of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and gives up primary control over ICANN.

That should ease some of the criticism directed toward ICANN and the U.S. claiming the U.S. had a stranghold on the Internet. As a member of the GAC, the U.S. joins over 100 other countries at the table with ICANN no longer reporting to the U.S. government. As the Internet has become more prevalent world wide over the past decade, U.S. control had become a sore point for many, with some countries such as China threatening to build their own version of the Net if some accomodation on the matter could not be reached.

"This reflects the globalization of the Internet," said Rod Beckstrom, chief executive of the body, called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann. "By America relaxing some control and inviting other countries to have an active hand, that increases the possibility that the global Internet will remain unified," Mr. Beckstrom said in an interview.;

 


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British High Court Serves Injunction via Twitter

Posted: October 1, 2009 @ time: 01:19PM
Author: jammin

Twitter already provides support to individuals or organisations experiencing problems with impersonation accounts on the service (they break Twitter's ToS agreement). However if you wish to take out a legal writ over the issue but don't know the true identity of the account holder, what do you do? Right-wing blogger Donal Blaney found himself in this position, and through his solicitors firm Griffin Law sought an injunction against Twitter user @blaneysblarney. The UK High Court then decided that the best course of action was to issue the writ to the anonymous Tweeter via the service itself, with UK law allowing injunctions to be served through electronic means should more traditional methods be unavailable. Andre Walker at Griffin Law said "Whoever they are, they will be told to stop posting, to remove previous posts and to identify themselves to the High Court via a web link form." The decision sets a precedent that could give others pursuing litigation a path of action to follow.


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ASUS Announces First 'Marine Cool' Motherboard

Posted: October 1, 2009 @ time: 04:42PM
Author: jammin

Back in March, ASUS showed a new high-performance motherboard concept it had been working on called 'Marine Cool'. That concept utilised things like a ceramic cooling backplate that covered the rear of the board and opted for SO-DIMM slots rather than the more traditional DIMM slots usually found on desktop boards. With the recently announced Sabertooth 55i, ASUS brings some of the ideas from that concept, but thankfully ditches the SO-DIMM slots for four DDR3 DIMM slots instead. ASUS does use some of the ceramic technology in the Sabertooth 55i's heatsinks, which it claims enables heat to be dissipated faster. It also features a frame that allows a 40mm or 50mm fan to be mounted for memory cooling and "military grade" capacitors and VRM MOFSETs, which it claims should provide more resilience to heat. There are no details on pricing or a release date, but you can check the full specs in the official announcement.


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Transformers 3 Officially Announced

Posted: October 1, 2009 @ time: 04:46PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Transformers 3 was officially announced on the blog of Micheal Bay, director of the first 2 movies. Bay was unsure if he was going to sign on for the third installment in the series as he has other projects he would also like to work on, hopefully Bad Boys 3 is one of them. The movie is scheduled for release on July 1, 2011, meaning moviegoers will need to wait nearly 2 years to get more giant robot action. Bay said that he was meeting with Industrial Light and Magic today, and that he was also meeting with lead writer Ehren Kruger. Bay has also stated that there will be a “great story,” so this movie is definitely something to look forward too.


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Google Wave Invites Show Up On eBay

Posted: October 1, 2009 @ time: 04:47PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The ultra-exclusive Google Wave beta, only 100,000 invites were given out, is now underway. However, if you are an internet user who may have wanted to use it, odds are that you didn't receive an invite. Just as all other new technology releases, Google Wave invites started to appear on eBay. Some eBay users aren't quite as honest as others, as one tried to sell a phantom Wave invite. The highest bid before being taken down was reportedly $27,000. As with other new Google products, I'll be more than happy to wait until it is available for free.


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More Lucid HYDRA Talk, Still no Performance Figures

Posted: October 1, 2009 @ time: 05:48PM
Author: jammin

If you pay attention to our daily hardware roundup (and I'm sure you do), then you have probably already read Legit Reviews look at Lucid's HYDRA 200 chip, as well as the discussions they had with AMD and NVIDIA about the technology. Looking at the demo systems Lucid had on display both at IDF and behind closed doors, it is clear that HYDRA works largely as claimed, at least from a basic functionality stand point. Using MSI Big Bang motherboards, it was shown running NVIDIA and AMD cards together without need for bridge connectors. You will need to run Windows 7 to use cards from the different GPU vendors together though, as it is the only OS that allows the necessary drivers to be installed alongside each other. Being able to select the card which outputs to the display from the desktop is handily straight forward however.

When it comes to performance when compared with SLI or Crossfire, Lucid are still being very cagey, stating that they are unwilling to release numbers at this time. The furthest they were prepared to go was to say they expected "competitive performance". The reaction from AMD and NVIDIA is also somewhat predictable, defending their own technologies and generally towing the company line. They did however both say that if HYDRA delivers a substantial improvement for gamers then the industry as a whole would win (high performance and more straight forward multi-GPU gaming would likely lead to increased GPU sales). Take a look at the full article if you haven't already. Unfortunately, it looks like we will have to wait for motherboards featuring HYRDA to be released before we get some real world performance figures.


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MSI Launches "Afterburner" Graphics Card Tweaking Utility

Posted: October 1, 2009 @ time: 11:32PM
Author: premiumgfx

MSI has announced the launch of its new "Afterburner" graphics card tweaking utility. Afterburner was co-developed by MSI and Rivatuner to provide an interface for overclocking, tweaking and monitoring of graphics cards. Some features of the Afterburner software include up to an 85% overclocking capability (MSI managed an 85% overclock with the MSI N275GTX), advanced fan speed control, over-voltage technology, real-time hardware monitoring and up to 5 overclocking profiles according to MSI. The Afterburner utility is compatible with both ATI and NVIDIA video cards and is available to download for free from the MSI Afterburner website. Our affiliate, Bjorn3D has evaluated the MSI Afterburner software for those who are thinking of trying out MSI's new utility as detailed in yesterday's Hardware Roundup. I think it's good to see a new overclocking utility with open support for both the red and green factions.


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NVIDIA: GT300 Will Launch in 2009; Beats 5870

Posted: October 2, 2009 @ time: 02:46AM
Author: premiumgfx

NVIDIA revealed the specifications of its new Fermi architecture a few days ago leaving some people wanting more information, such as when the first Fermi cards will be available and how they stack up with ATI's latest offerings. Today we get partial answers to both of those questions.

An unnamed senior employee at NVIDIA has confirmed that the long-awaited GT300 will ship by the end of this year, according to Fudzilla. This means we have a definite time-limit on when us, the consumer should be able to get our hands on NVIDIA's next-gen cards although there is no information available on an exact launch date.

It has also been confirmed that Drew Henry, the General Manager of the GeForce and Ion product lines has said that the Fermi range will be faster than any video card available including the ATI Radeon 5870. This is not surprising based on the Fermi's specifiations on paper. Aditionally, NVIDIA has stated that it has a Fermi GX2 variant in the works and that the single and dual card TDP should be similar to that of the single-core GTX285 and dual-core GTX295 respectively.

It seems that NVIDIA has the upper hand over its red competitors in light of these new scraps of information and hopefully the red faction is concocting a counter-attack in terms of performance.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: October 2, 2009 @ time: 04:10AM
Author: Nemo

Today's roundup includes a couple of reviews on Sapphire's HD 5850 and HD 5870 graphic cards along with a look at a look at Gigabyte's GTX 260 Super Overclock Series videocard. For those needing more sophisticated network storage there's the Thecus N5500 five-bay NAS server complete with an AJAX-based front end for easy management. Neoseeker brings us a roundup of five different AMD motherboards based on the 785G chipset. Check out all the reviews today by hitting the links below.

Input Devices
Perixx Periboard-708 Wireless Touchpad Keyboard @ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
AMD 785G Motherboard Roundup @ Neoseeker

Operating Systems
KDE 4 Isn't Too Bad, After All @ Techgage

Speakers/Headphones
Gameskulls GS-1 Tactical Gaming Helmet Headphones @ Legit Reviews

Storage/Hard Drives
Thecus N5500 Five-Bay NAS Server @ TweakTown

Video
Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB Video Card and Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 1GB Overclocking Tests @ TweakTown
Gigabyte GV-N26OC-896I @ Bjorn3D

MIscellany
Case In Point: THX on Wheels @ HotHardware


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Deleting 1984 From Kindle Costs Amazon $150,000

Posted: October 2, 2009 @ time: 02:39PM
Author: CheeseMan42

When Amazon removed the George Orwell books 1984 and Animal Farm from the Kindle on July 16 for Terms of Service violations, it probably didn't foresee such a backlash. Amazon has decided to settle a lawsuit brought against it by a Michigan student for $150,000. The student, Justin Gawronski, will be donating all the proceeds to charity and won't receive any of the settlement himself. The student initially filed the lawsuit when the text of the book went missing, leaving the notes he took useless.


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Oak Ridge National Laboratory to Use Fermi For Supercomputer

Posted: October 2, 2009 @ time: 02:41PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be putting the recently announced Fermi GPU architecture by Nvidia to good use, announcing its intent to build a new supercomputer. The new supercomputer is estimated to be 10 times faster than the current fastest supercomputer. The Fermi based machined will be used for research in energy and climate change. Nvidia has been breaking into the scientific computing market with its Tesla based CUDA GPUs, a market previously dominated by CPUs. The computing power that will be available with GPU supercomputers is impressive already, with performance undoubtedly growing in the future.


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Radeon HD 5750 Pictures, Benchmarks

Posted: October 2, 2009 @ time: 09:01PM
Author: jammin

Apparently, a member of Chinese forum mymypc.com has had the opportunity to take a look at a HD 5750 card, as well as run a few benchmarks. If this all turns out to be correct, the HD 5750 board will be considerably smaller  than the recently released 5800 series cards (possibly even a small as some current lower end models), with 1120 stream processors and 56 texture units (TMU). Core and memory clocks come in at 700MHz and 1150MHz respectively. What is nice to see is the same 4 display ouputs that feature on the 5800 series cards. Performance wise, we only have 3DMark 06 and Vantage scores to go by, which put the 5750 in somewhere slightly above GTS250 and 4770, at 12931 for 3DMark 06 (with an E8400) and Vantage GPU score of 6881. Naturally driver versions are going to be pretty early at this stage.

Pricing is expected to be around the $149 mark for the HD 5750, with the HD 5770 around $199. It is also rumored that release dates for the 5700 series may have been brought forward, which would see them possibly appearing as early as October 12th. You can check out all of the pictures on the mymypc.com forums. Credit goes to VR-Zone for digging this up.


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NVIDIA Confirms Fermi Card was a Mock-up, but Demos were Real

Posted: October 3, 2009 @ time: 03:55PM
Author: jammin

After NVIDIA announced its new "Fermi" architecture this week, with CEO Jen-Hsun Huang holding up an example card during his keynote presentation, some began to wonder about the authenticity of that display model. Charlie Demerjian at SemiAccurate posted an article on Thursday, which used pictures from PC Watch to highlight suspicions that the card show on stage couldn't possibly have been a working Fermi board. A number of things about it just didn't look right, with components that obviously didn't line up with the PCB traces and the PCB itself being apparently cut down. NVIDIA have now confirmed that the card shown on stage was indeed a mock up model, though it also stresses that the demos shown during the conference claimed to be running on Fermi hardware were in fact doing just that. Apparently the real boards weren't in the kind of state that it wanted to be showing off, so we will have to wait for product shots once the designs have been finalised.

The question a number of people have therefore been asking is whether showing a mock up on stage without making it explicitly clear was a deliberately misleading move. We all know that in the GPU market, neither of the big two companies are above taking pots shots at the other to try and gain an advantage (even in purely marketing terms). From one perspective, mock ups of products certainly aren't unusual in presentations and NVIDIA would obviously like to give everyone present something representative of a final product to take a look at. On the other hand, the presentation of the card may have given the impression (intended or not) that development of the product was further along than it actually is. With the latest AMD GPUs already out there in the market, giving consumers a reason to hang on before making a purchase is desirable. I'll let you decide for yourselves on what NIVIDIA's intentions were, but either way, the GPU industry continues to be as exciting (or infuriating, depending on your outlook) as ever.


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A-DATA Unveils the First Waterproof & Shock Resistant SSD

Posted: October 4, 2009 @ time: 04:33AM
Author: premiumgfx

Taiwan based DRAM memory manufacturer, A-DATA has announced the first waterproof and shock resistant portable SSD, the HDD SH93 designed with consumers such as students and travelers in mind. The SH93 includes a rubber and plastic cushioning material to protect it from the elements previously mentioned: water and force. It can survive being under 1m of water for 30 minutes and has passed the military-grade MIL-STD-810F drop test ensuring that data is protected from the elements. The USB cord can also be be clipped onto the hard drive for convenient data accessibility. The HDD SH93 will be available in 250GB, 320GB, 500GB and 640GB variants in a glossy yellow finish. The HDD SH93 includes a three year warranty, the opportunity to download A-DATA's HDDtoGO software (with no registration), and a free 60-day trial of Norton Internet Security 2009 (after registration). There is no word yet on availability or pricing of the HDD SH93.


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Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: October 4, 2009 @ time: 07:53AM
Author: Nemo

The OCC weekend roundup turned up a pair of notebooks from ASUS and Gateway; with prices on the Gateway coming near the $500 mark, this full-size notebook can offer some serious competition to netbooks if you want better performance at the cost of battery life. There's also a review on the NZXT Sentry 2 touch-screen fan controller (reviewed by OCC here) and more , so check out the links below.

Cases
ABS Tigas Super Full Tower Chassis @ Legit Reviews

Cooling
NZXT Sentry 2 Fan Controller @ ThinkComputers

Motherboards
Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AMD 790FX Socket AM3 Motherboard @ PCSTATS

Notebooks
Gateway NV5214u Multimedia Notebook @ TweakTown
ASUS G51Vx 15" Gaming Notebook @ Techgage

Video
GPU Technology: NVIDIA Talks Fermi, Unveils Nexus @ HotHardware


Complete Story


Wall Street Thinks Apple Should Dump Exclusivity

Posted: October 4, 2009 @ time: 08:04AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Analysts from Morgan Stanley and Bernstein Research believe that Apple could more than double its market share in smartphones by moving to other carriers. There must be plenty of people who didn't want to switch to AT&T just to use the iPhone. Citing a 136% increase when Orange lost exclusivity in France, the analysts seem to be right on this one. Not mentioned in the article is the likely price drop that would accompany the increased competition. Not only would consumers be able to get the iPhone on different carriers, but they would also be able to get the iPhone at a lower price.


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XP Mode for Windows 7 Enters RTM

Posted: October 4, 2009 @ time: 07:56PM
Author: gebraset

Though Microsoft has claimed pretty much from the beginning that Windows XP applications and many software titles will work within the Windows 7 environment, the company is releasing a Windows XP mode for the new operating system. The current version is at a RTM release, and will be shipping the same day that Windows 7 will hit stores shelves nationwide. The Release Candidate is available now however for those users that are currently running Windows 7. Users for the most part have not had problems with most software titles, though old drivers and very old applications may need the Windows XP compatibility mode for them to work correctly, once it gets released in its final form.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: October 5, 2009 @ time: 03:41AM
Author: Nemo

Motherboards take center stage as we kick off another week of reviews from around the web. The opening act is a Micro ATX board from Asrock based on the AMD 785G chipset. Following are three socket LGA 1156 boards from Asrock, Intel and ASUS. We also have additional coverage on Nvidia from its recent GPU Technology Conference with more thoughts on the news around its Fermi GPU architecture.

Cooling
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Cooler @ Overclocker Cafe

Internet
Gogo Inflight Internet Speed Tested and Used @ Legit Reviews

Motherboards
Asrock M3A785GMH/128M Motherboard @ RBMods
ASRock P55 Deluxe Motherboard and Intel DP55KG Extreme Motherboard (YouTube link) @ Motherboards.org
Asus Maximus 3 ROG LGA 1156 Motherboard @ Bjorn3D

Storage/Hard Drives
Transcend Ultra Series 120GB 2.5-inch Solid State Drive @ TweakTown

Trade Shows/Conventions
The State of NVIDIA: For better or for worse @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


Modern Warfare 2 Delayed on PC?

Posted: October 5, 2009 @ time: 05:32AM
Author: premiumgfx

Call of Duty fans eager to purchase Modern Warfare 2 on PC may be in for an unexpected surprise. Apparently Electronic Theatre can confirm that the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 has suffered a delay and will launch on November 24, two weeks after its console counterparts. There is no official reason for the delay yet, although it is speculated that it is due to insufficient manufacturing output to have enough PC copies ready by November 10 to meet demand or that Infinity Ward wants to implement more stringent copy-protection to combat piracy. Whatever the reason, if this delay is true I think that it's unfair for all us PC gamers have to wait longer to get what I call "the game everybody's waiting for". Although bear in mind that these reports have not been officially confirmed by Infinity Ward yet, so maybe there's nothing to worry about!


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New Windows Mobile Phone Coming to AT&T

Posted: October 5, 2009 @ time: 07:55AM
Author: CheeseMan42

A new phone from handset maker HTC will soon be available for AT&T customers. The HTC Pure is a version of the HTC Touch Diamond2, and will feature Windows Mobile 6.5. The phone will retail for $149 and will feature a 3.2 inch touch screen. The 3G enabled phone will also feature Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a GPS. Media capabilities include a 5 megapixel camera, an FM radio, but the phone lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Pure will bring another touch screen competitor to the AT&T lineup, but how will it fare against the iPhone?


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Samsung Designs an Android Phone

Posted: October 5, 2009 @ time: 07:56AM
Author: CheeseMan42

T-Mobile has announced the fourth Android phone in its catalog, the Samsung Behold II. The Behold will be the first Android based phone released by Samsung in the United States. The phone will be available later this year, though an official date hasn't been announced. The phone will feature the TouchWiz interface, allowing users to customize the home screen with one of three options. Notable features of the phone include a 3.2 inch touch screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a GPS.


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NVIDIA Releases new GeForce 191.07 WHQL Drivers

Posted: October 5, 2009 @ time: 08:58AM
Author: redtigerdragon

NVIDIA just released new drivers for their cards (here for Windows 7/Vista 32-bit, here for 7/Vista 64-bit, here for 32-bit XP, and here for 64-bit XP), and they come with some improvements listed below. For all of the improvements and bug fixes, see the release notes (here for Windows 7, here for Vista, and here for XP).

  • Adds support for OpenGL 3.2 for GeForce 8, 9, 100, 200-series and ION GPUs.
  • Adds SLI support for Aion, Darkfall, Dawn of Magic 2: Time of Shadows, Dreamkiller, Fuel, Need for Speed: Shift and more.
  • Includes the following key fix: for graphics cards supporting multiple clock states, 3D clocks correctly return to 2D clocks after exiting a 3D application.
  • Accelerates performance in several games, such as (comparison between 191.07 and 190.62 drivers, results may vary):
  • o Up to 50% performance increase in Call of Juarez: Blood in Bound with SLI enabled
    o Up to 34% performance increase in Prototype with antialiasing enabled
    o Up to 14% performance increase in Fallout 3 (indoor scenes) with antialiasing enabled
    o Up to 12% performance increase in ARMA 2
    o Up to 10% performance increase in Far Cry 2 (DX9 version) with antialiasing enabled
    o Up to 8% performance increase in Batman: Arkham Asylum with GPU PhysX enabled

     


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    "Free" Upgrade to Windows 7 May Not Be Free After All

    Posted: October 5, 2009 @ time: 09:57AM
    Author: redtigerdragon

     Remember all of the manufacturers and retailers saying that if you buy a computer with Windows Vista loaded on the machine after June 26th, that you can upgrade to Windows 7 after its release for free? Remember the stir it caused? Well, as it turns out, those upgrades may not be free after all. Some manufacturers and retailers/e-tailers may have you pay the shipping and handling charge for your "free" upgrade. Lenovo, HP, and Dell all have listed in their terms and conditions that they may charge for shipping and handling. MousePrint.org contacted the manufacturers and put together a nice little chart to figure out if you have to pay or not:

    Manufacturer Fees
    Acer/eMachines/Gateway $0
    Compaq $0 for most buyers; others pay $12.99 for first kit
    Dell $0 for US online and retail purchasers
    HP $0 for most buyers; others pay $12.99 for first kit
    Lenovo $17.03 all buyers
    Sony $0 for some buyers; $14.99 for others
    Toshiba $0 for most buyers; $11.25/$12.99 for others

    Other notes of interest are that Vista Home Basic doesn't qualify, and neither does XP (sorry netbook users). Also, if you bought the boxed version of Vista, you have to pay Microsoft $9.99 for shipping and handling.


    Complete Story


    Thousands of Hotmail Passwords Posted Online

    Posted: October 5, 2009 @ time: 01:56PM
    Author: jammin

    Though the information has now been removed, it has been confirmed that thousands of passwords for Hotmail accounts were posted online on October 1st by an anonymous user at pastebin.com. The list contained details for over 10,000 accounts beginning with the letters A and B, with the suggestion that there could be additional lists of comprimised accounts. Neowin were the first to report the leak, and claim that most of the accounts appear to be based in Europe and include those with @hotmail.com, @msn.com and @live.com endings. According to BBC news, Microsoft are aware of the problem and requested that the details be removed as soon as it learned of the leak. It has determined that it was not a breach of internal Microsoft data, with the details likely being acquired through a phishing scheme. If you use a Hotmail account (or anything else that requires your Windows Live details, say Messenger), then it is suggested that you change your password (and security question) as soon as possible.


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    Facebook Introduces 'Gross National Happiness Index' App

    Posted: October 5, 2009 @ time: 06:36PM
    Author: jammin

    Facebook's recently introduced "Gross National Happiness Index" application aims to represent the happiness levels of the user base in graph form. It currently only charts happiness for users based in the United States, but it does so by looking out for keywords in status updates, giving words such as "happy", "awesome" and "yay" a positive score, while those such as "tragic", "doubt" and "sad" earn a negative score. According to a survey carried out on some users, Facebook also found that those using more positive words in their updates tended to report being more satisfied with their lives.

    Now, some of you may be thinking that analysing the status updates of users is going to throw up some privacy issues. According to Facebook the research doesn't even involve staff reading updates, with computers doing the work of counting keywords after any personally identifiable info has been removed. For convenience the app points out important dates when spikes of positivity occur, such as the 4th of July for example. The extremity of the spikes reduces as more users are sampled (which has something of a normalising effect). What should be intriguing to see, is some comparison between geographical regions if Facebook extends the app to cover other countries (I wonder if it would tally with the Happy Planet Index). You can find the United States Gross National Happiness Index application in the prototype app section on Facebook.


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    Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

    Posted: October 6, 2009 @ time: 02:46AM
    Author: Nemo

    With solid state drives prices beginning to approach more affordable levels, enthusiasts are probably eying their rigs and wondering how best to mount these 2.5" form factor drives in their existing cases. Thermaltake has come up with a solution in the form of the Max4 hard drive rack that can fit a pair of 2.5" drives in a 3.5" drive bay. For a bit more storage capacity you can check out the Promise SmartStor DS4600 four-bay storage unit. Today's roundup features lots more reviews so be sure to take a moment read all the latest using the links below.

    Cases
    Lian Li PC-A70F @ XSReviews

    Cooling
    Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 Pro @ RBMods

    CPUs
    AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Socket AM3 Triple Core Processor @ ThinkComputers

    Digital Photography/Video
    Canon EOS Rebel T1i DSLR @ HotHardware

    Gaming
    Interview with Good Old Games' Lukasz Kukawsk @ TechSpot

    Motherboards
    ASRock M3A770DE Motherboard - AMD's Discrete Value Chipset @ TweakTown
    MSI P55-GD65 Motherboard @ Legit Reviews

    Speakers/Headphones
    G-Cube IB-710P Secure Fit Metallic Ear Buds For Women @ Tweaknews

    Storage/Hard Drives
    Thermaltake Max4 2.5" SATA HDD Rack @ Bona Fide Reviews
    Promise SmartStor DS4600 4-Bay Direct Attached Storage @ TweakTown

    Video
    XFX Radeon HD 4890 Extreme @ [H]ardOCP
    PowerColor Radeon HD 5870 @ Neoseeker
    Gigabyte GeForce GTX 260 Super Overclock  @ Techgage


    Complete Story


    Human Immortality By 2040?

    Posted: October 6, 2009 @ time: 07:54AM
    Author: MrAlex

    Possibly in the future, circa 2040 (about 30-40 years time) we could have nanotechnology expand the average life of a human being and lead to immortality. This may all seem far-fetched but the technology seems to be plausible and could in fact become a reality. Microscopic machines could be running around our bodies, repairing damaged cells or organs and possibly even backing-up our memories. Raymond Kurzweil says that nanotechnology and biotechnology could be combined together to get rid of disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes. He also stated that "The full realization of nanobots will basically eliminate biological disease and aging. I think we'll see widespread use in 20 years of [nanotech] devices that perform certain functions for us. In 30 or 40 years, we will overcome disease and aging. The nanobots will scout out organs and cells that need repairs and simply fix them. It will lead to profound extensions of our health and longevity." Nanotechnology has already been used by researchers at MIT to kill ovarian cancer in mice. Kurzweil also stated that by 2024 we could be adding an extra year to our life expectancy by every year that passes by.  So in around 40 years we could more or less become immortal. He also says that this is the point of being human – basically – to evolve. "The definition of human is that we are the species that goes beyond our limitations and changes who we are," he said. "If that wasn't the case, you and I wouldn't be around because at one point life expectancy was 23. We've extended ourselves in many ways. This is an extension of who we are. Ever since we picked up a stick to reach a higher branch, we've extended who we are through tools. It's the nature of human beings to change who we are." But be careful, because just as helpful it can be it, it can also be just as harmful.


    Complete Story


    Verizon to Partner With Google to Bring Android to the Network

    Posted: October 6, 2009 @ time: 10:10AM
    Author: CheeseMan42

    You will soon be able to add Verizon to the list of carriers with Android based phones. Verizon will be partnering directly with Google to bring Android based handsets to the Verizon Wireless network. With more than 87 million customers, the potential for expanding the Android user base is tremendous. The two companies have announced that both Motorola and Samsung are likely to provide the phones for this venture. Verizon plans to release two phones by the end of the year. Verizon has also announced that its Android phones will have full support for Google Voice, the app which Apple and AT&T refused to let on its phones. This is honestly the Android announcement I have been waiting for all along. I can't wait to see what comes out of this.


    Complete Story


    AVG 9.0 Brings Along Speed Improvements

    Posted: October 6, 2009 @ time: 07:43PM
    Author: gebraset

    The AVG security suite, both the free version as well as the paid version, is very popular among most PC users. AVG still today remains in the top downloaded programs list for various websites touting security software downloads and trials. There is a new version that is now released however, known as version 9.0, which with it brings many improvements in speed along with performance. This new edition will bring speeds that are up to fifty percent faster the previous models due to smarter memory usage and caching. Boot times have also seen a reduction in time anywhere from ten to fifteen percent, while the installation process has half as many windows as it did before to simplify the overall process. The paid versions are known as AVG Internet Security 9 and AVG Anti-Virus, though the free version has not yet been debuted. Both paid versions will sell for $49.99 and $34.99 respectively, with the free version not being introduced into the market until the middle of October.


    Complete Story


    Corsair Unveils TX950W Power Supply Unit

    Posted: October 7, 2009 @ time: 02:38AM
    Author: premiumgfx

    Corsair has announced the launch of its latest power supply, the TX950W. The TX950W designed to provide clean and stable power for high-end consumers such as gamers, PC enthusiasts and designers at an affordable price. Features of the TX950W include Active Power Factor Correction (PFC), a single +12V rail which can provide up to 78A, 105°C solid-state capacitors and Over Current/Voltage/Power Protection, Under Voltage Protection and Short Circuit Protection. The TX950W is guaranteed to run at 100% load with an ambient temperature of 50°C and has passed 80 PLUS Bronze certification meaning at least 85% efficiency under real-world load conditions. It has also been tested for use in NVIDIA SLI and ATI Crossfire configurations. The TX950W PSU measures 150mm(W) x 86mm(H) x 160mm(L) and six 6+2-pin PCIe connectors in conjunction with extra-long cables make the TX950W easy to use in even the largest of set-ups. The Corsair TX950W is available immediately from retailers for approximately US$190 and is backed by a 5 year warranty.


    Complete Story


    Amazon Takes Kindle Internation, Drops Price

    Posted: October 7, 2009 @ time: 02:56AM
    Author: d3bruts1d

    Today Amazon dropped the price of the 6-inch Kindle eReader, while announcing a new international version. The Kindle International will allow you to download get books and other content wirelessly in over 100 countries, and cost $279. Unlike the original Kindle and Kindle DX which use Sprint, the Kindle International is tied to AT&T's 3G wireless network. The Kindle U.S. Wireless, as it is now called, dropped from $299 to $259 and aside from the price cut and name change saw no other modifications. The Kindle International is available for pre-ordering and ships in a couple of weeks. The Kindle DX remains unchanged at $489.


    Complete Story


    Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

    Posted: October 7, 2009 @ time: 02:58AM
    Author: Nemo

    A couple of interesting coincidences turned up in today's roundup. First up are are pair of reviews on SilverStone's Raven RV02 full-tower chassis. Next up are a pair of reviews on ATI Radeon HD 4600 series video cards and before you shrug your shoulders and say "So what?", take a minute to notice these are both AGP videocards! For those of you with a little more modern setup there's always Gigabyte's GTX 260 Super Overclock graphics card. You can check out these reviews and more by hitting the links below.

    Cases
    Silverstone Raven RV02 ATX Case @ PC Perspective
    SilverStone Raven RV02 Full-Tower @ Techgage

    Cooling
    ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 PWM CPU Cooler @ TweakTown

    Gaming
    Top PC Games for this Holiday Season and Beyond @ TechSpot

    Notebooks
    Intel's Core i7 comes to notebooks @ Tech Report

    Speakers/Headphones
    Turtle Beach Ear Force P21 Gaming Headset @ Legit Reviews
    Teufel Concept E 300 @ XSReviews

    Storage/Hard Drives
    ioSafe Solo External Hard Drive w/ Disaster Protection @ TweakTown
    OCZ Agility 60GB Solid State Drive @ ThinkComputers

    Video
    HIS HD 4670 IceQ Native HDMI 1GB DDR3 AGP @ Viperlair
    Sapphire HD 4650 AGP @ Bjorn3D
    Gigabyte GTX 260 Super Overclock @ Neoseeker


    Complete Story


    Western Digital Launches New My Book Elite External Hard Drives

    Posted: October 7, 2009 @ time: 03:06AM
    Author: premiumgfx

    California-based company Western Digital has launched its new My Book Elite external hard drive series, featuring an innovative e-label. The e-label is based on the technology used in electronic paper to show information such as remaining hard drive capacity, if the drive is secure and a user-customisable label on the spine of the drive, even when the drive is off! The new My Book Elite also includes WD SmartWare software to help the user back-up data easily, quickly and conveniently. Smaller and sleeker, the new My Book Elite features a USB 2.0 interface, 256-bit hardware encryption and WD GreenPower Technology to reduce power consumption. The new My Book Elite drives come in 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB capacities and all have a 3-year limited warranty. They will be priced between US$169.99 and US$279.99 depending on capacity and are available immediately from select retailers and Western Digital's online store.


    Complete Story


    OCZ Z-Drive Desktop Version Announced

    Posted: October 7, 2009 @ time: 07:05AM
    Author: MrAlex

    A while back, OCZ released their PCI-Express SSDs for enterprise solutions and they showed great performance, along with a massive price tag ranging between $2000 and $15,000 RRP. The new m84 SSDs try to be priced around current released SATA drives but without the limitations of SATA connection. “The OCZ m84 Z-Drive is the newest addition to our line of PCI-E solid state drives and is designed to offer consumers a high performance yet aggressively priced solid state solution.” They will be manufactured using multi-level cell (MLC) NAND memory with speeds up to 750MB/s read and 650MB/s write (based on 256GB model). The m84 comes with OCZ’s new 3-Year warranty guarantee. Pricing or release date has yet to be announced, but expect these sometime soon. You can view the product page here.


    Complete Story


    Core i9 With Four Radeon HD 5870's Break 3DMark Vantage Records

    Posted: October 7, 2009 @ time: 07:35AM
    Author: MrAlex

    The old 3DMark Vantage record set by k|ngp|n of P42968 marks has been blown away by overclocker Shammy. The previous record was held with an Intel Xeon W3540 at 5048 MHz with four GTX 285s in SLI. The new record of P52578 was set by a Core i9 at 6189 MHz (6155 MHz for the other records) with HTT on and four Radeon HD 5870s in CrossFire, with core clocks of 1300 MHz and a shader clocks of 1250 MHz. All of the other vantage records were broken, namely the Entry, Performance, High and Extreme presets. The images are in order of preset from Entry to Extreme.


    Complete Story


    ARM Partners With GlobalFoundries

    Posted: October 7, 2009 @ time: 08:48AM
    Author: CheeseMan42

    GlobalFoundries has announced a partnership with ARM to produce the Cortex A9 processor on its 28nm process. This opens the door for ARM to work with current GlobalFoundries customers. A customer of GlobalFoundries may find it easier to use the ARM chips for system-on-a-chip solutions. Intel has done something similar by outsourcing its Atom production to TSMC. In going to GlobalFoundries, ARM opens up the possibilities of working with AMD, GlobalFoundries biggest customer, in the future.


    Complete Story


    Microsoft to Comply With EU Browser Request

    Posted: October 7, 2009 @ time: 08:49AM
    Author: CheeseMan42

    Microsoft has announced that it intends to fully comply with European Union regulators by giving users the option of picking their web browser. If the initial trial program is successful, Microsoft will need to continue the program for five years. This change comes due to the regulators believing that installing Internet Explorer on all Windows PCs is anti-competitive. This will be done through a ballot screen which will inform users that there are different choices when it comes to web browsers. The user will then be able to choose which browser they wish to install. This functionality will come standard with Windows 7, and will be available for XP and Vista through Windows Update.


    Complete Story


    Webmail Scam Continues to be a Concern

    Posted: October 7, 2009 @ time: 04:13PM
    Author: jammin

    On Monday it became clear that a list of Hotmail account details had been leaked online, with the probability that the number of compromised accounts could be much larger than the 10,000 or so published. Since then a second list of account names and passwords has been posted, which showed that the scam extended to include other webmail services from Google (Gmail) and Yahoo. Security firm Websense has now reported an increase in spam emails being sent from Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail accounts. Compromised accounts have been sending out personalised e-mails to addresses found in user's contacts with links to fake websites.

    That the number of accounts has now been highlighted as being relatively substantial has some suggesting that rather than being exclusively a phishing scam (which have quite a low success rate) it is possible that key-logging malware may have been involved. It is recommended that anyone who believes they may have been affected change their email passwords immediately, though it is probably best to conduct a thorough scan using up to date virus software before hand. The scam has also prompted discussion about how users handle managing multiple complex passwords. Many choose more easily memorised and therefore less robust passwords for this reason, or use the same password in a number of locations. Security Advisor Sean Sullivan of F-Secure has even gone as far as to go against conventional wisdom and suggest writing down web based passwords if it means the difference between picking a weak one or a strong one.


    Complete Story


    Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

    Posted: October 8, 2009 @ time: 03:12AM
    Author: Nemo

    When it comes to platforms, Intel's LGA1156 Core i5/i7 has been getting most of the press recently as reviews on P55 chipset boards, such as the ASUS Maximus III Formula, are hitting the web. However, that doesn't mean the Core i7 X58 chipset platform is dead, not by a long shot, as we see with the Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme reviewed in today's roundup. We also turned up a pair of Thermaltake cases, the Element G (reviewed by OCC here) and the Element T (also reviewed by OCC here), along with the In Win Maelstrom full-tower chassis. You can check out all the reviews in our roundup by using the links below.

    Cases
    IN-WIN Maelstrom Full Tower Case @ Legit Reviews
    Thermaltake Element G VL10001W2Z Case @ Motherboards.org
    Thermaltake Element T VK90001N2Z Mid Tower Chassis @ ThinkComputers

    Cooling
    Laptop Lifts @ DarkVision Hardware
    Evercool HPK-10025EA Intel Heatsink @ FrostyTech

    Motherboards
    Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme LGA 1366 i7 Motherboard @ PC Perspective
    Asus Maximus III Formula @ Neoseeker

    Notebooks
    MSI U210 12.1-inch Netbook @ TweakTown

    Power Supplies
    Thermaltake TR2 1000 Watt Power Supply @ Bjorn3D

    Prebuilts
    CyberPower Gamer Extreme 3000 Core i7 860 System @ HotHardware

    Storage/Hard Drives
    Thecus N5500 NAS @ Bjorn3D

    Video
    ASUS EAH4890 Video Graphics Card @ Motherboards.org (YouTube link)
    NVIDIA DirectX 11 Questionnaire A Response to AMDs Views @ TeakTown


    Complete Story


    Steve Ballmer Denies Microsoft E-Reader Rumor

    Posted: October 8, 2009 @ time: 03:56PM
    Author: CheeseMan42

    Steve Ballmer has announced that Microsoft has no plans to enter the portable e-reader market. Rumors had been swirling around a Microsoft device referred to as “Courier” which would have similar features as that of the Kindle from Amazon. Ballmer stated that Microsoft didn't need to create an e-reader as it already had the most popular e-reader available, the PC. Ballmer did however state the he would like it if Amazon and other companies released their content for the PC. By bringing its service to PCs, Amazon would be able to greatly expand its business, as roughly 90% of all computers run Windows.


    Complete Story


    Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

    Posted: October 9, 2009 @ time: 03:20AM
    Author: Nemo

    Keeping track of all your different mobile devices can be a hassle and that's where the Luxa2 H1-Touch (also reviewed by OCC here) and the Flightstrap Universal Media Player Holder come in to play; one's for your desktop while the other is designed for those long trips by car or plane. We also get a look at the NZXT EVO case (reviewed by OCC here) along with a collection of other products, so follow the links below for all the latest from around the web.

    Cases
    NZXT EVO @ Neoseeker

    Cooling
    Spire TherMax Pro CPU Cooler @ ThinkComputers

    CPUs
    Case in Pont: The Best CPU under $300 @ HotHardware
    AMD Athlon II X4 620 - Quad-Core at $99 @ Techgage

    Input Devices
    I-Rocks Wireless Slim Keyboard and Mouse Combo RF-6572L Nano @ RBMods

    Memory
    GSKILL Rip Jaw 2000MHz Memory @ Bjorn3D

    Mobile
    Flightstrap Universal Media Player Holder @ Legit Reviews
    LUXA2 H1-Touch iPhone Mobile Phone Holder @ TweakTown

    Motherboards
    Gigabyte P55M-UD4 @ Bjorn3D

    Power Supplies
    OCZ Z Series: Z850M 850W Power Supply @ [H]ardOCP

    Video
    MSI GeForce N275GTX Lightning Video Card @ TweakTown


    Complete Story


    AMD Announces Thomas Seifert as New CFO

    Posted: October 9, 2009 @ time: 03:59AM
    Author: premiumgfx

    California based company AMD, today announced its new Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Thomas Seifert. Mr Seifert has replaced his predecessor Robert Rivert, who was previously promoted to Chief Operations and Administrative Officer. Seifert, aged 46 will be in charge of AMD's global finances and will report directly to AMD's president and CEO Dirk Meyer. Mr Meyer said that “Thomas is a talented industry veteran with a wealth of knowledge and experience managing the operations and finances of companies in the most difficult and competitive sectors of the semiconductor industry” and that “This knowledge and experience will enable him to further strengthen AMD’s financial foundation and help accelerate our transformation into a product design and marketing leader.” Thomas Seifert previously worked in various leadership roles at Qimonda, Infineon AG, Siemens AG, White Oak Semiconductor and Altis Semiconductorbefore prior to his appointment at AMD.


    Complete Story


    One Billion Videos Per Day for YouTube

    Posted: October 9, 2009 @ time: 02:43PM
    Author: CheeseMan42

    CEO of YouTube Chad Hurley announced today that the site services more than 1 billion videos per day. The announcement was made on the third anniversary of its acquisition by Google. YouTube has continually upped the ante, by offering longer videos with better quality. However, even the mighty Google has been unable to turn YouTube profitable. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said “YouTube would become profitable at some point.” YouTube is a great way to kill some time, and these numbers provide a concrete measure of just how many are killing time.


    Complete Story


    A Different Sort of Contest

    Posted: October 9, 2009 @ time: 04:03PM
    Author: jammin

    One of the best reasons to visit OCC is the large community of helpful and knowledgeable members that frequent our forums. We realise that the sound advice that is dished out (well, most of the time) means that people are happy to come back time and again, so we like to try and reward those who enjoy sharing all that information from time to time. We believe we have run some great contests in the past, distributing tons of cool hardware in the process, but this time we a trying something a little different. Rather than giving you a formalised entry process, we will be rewarding our active forum members at random. You don't have to do anything special to enter, just being a forum member that likes to make helpful posts is enough (being a good member of the community basically).

    This process kicked off last week, so we already have a nice surprise for one of our members.

    The first prize of an ATI Radeon HD 4870 courtesy of our friends at XFX goes to tkrow21. Congratulations!

    There are no set dates for the giveaways, but we will be looking to do them at least once a month. So good luck to all of our members, and keep up the (helpful) posting!


    Complete Story


    ATI 5700 Series Prices to be Lower than Expected?

    Posted: October 9, 2009 @ time: 05:07PM
    Author: jammin

    If reports by Bright Side of News are correct, ATI's upcoming 5700 series cards could be a little easier on the wallet than has previously been the case for newly released mainstream parts. Rather than going for between $150 and $200 that was previously expected, we may see 5700 series cards starting at just over $100 and topping out at around $160. That should also mean three 5700 series boards, rather than two, with the following models being in the pipeline:

    • HD 5750 512MB GDD5 - $109.99 (possibly as low as $99.99 in some cases?)
    • HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 - $119.99-$129.99
    • HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 - $159.99

    All of these cards will carry the same range of connectors found on the 5800 series, which means the 2x dual-link DVI, single HDMI and single Displayport configuration. Apparently, the HD 5770 will carry a cooler similar to that found on 5800 series cards as well, essentially giving it the appearance of a reduced size HD 5870. We have seen some pictures and performance numbers for the HD 5750 already (which I believe was the 512MB model). At the prices suggested here it would certainly be a reasonably good deal, and if the HD 5770 can improve on those numbers by a good margin, it should be an attractive proposition too.


    Complete Story


    Bill and Melinda Gates Want to Give Everyone Fiber

    Posted: October 10, 2009 @ time: 07:17AM
    Author: CheeseMan42

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently made an interesting proposal to the FCC. The Foundation's plan is to run fiber to what it refers to as “anchor institutions.” Included in this category are 123,000 libraries, hospitals, community colleges, and public schools. In addition, the plan also includes running fiber to every community in order to aid in bringing fiber to the public. The Foundation believes that the entire plan can be completed for $5-$10 billion. The FCC definitely appears to be considering the plan, and has asked the public for its opinion on the matter.


    Complete Story


    Barnes & Noble Rumored to be Developing Android E-Reader

    Posted: October 10, 2009 @ time: 07:18AM
    Author: CheeseMan42

    Barnes & Noble is already involved in the e-reader game, supplying books to various devices following the ePub standard. Rumors are swirling that Barnes will soon begin selling its own e-reader, and it would be powered by the Android Operating System. Barnes hasn't confirmed the rumor, but is fully behind the goals taken on by the e-readers currently available. If the device was real, and was able to be a success, it would bring welcome competition to a market dominated by the Kindle.


    Complete Story


    Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

    Posted: October 11, 2009 @ time: 07:55AM
    Author: Nemo

    Our roundup pulled in a pair of notebook cooler reviews covering the NZXT Cryo S (reviewed by OCC here) and Thermaltake's Massive 23 ST (also reviewed by OCC here). The weekend roundup also features two videocards from the Radeon HD 5800 series with the HIS Radeon HD 5850 and the Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 (see the OCC review here). You can find all of the reviews by using the links posted below.

    Cooling
    NZXT Cryo S Laptop Cooler @ ThinkComputers
    Thermaltake Massive 23 ST Notebook Cooler @ Virtual-Hideout

    Gaming
    FIFA 10 Xbox 360 @ TweakTown

    Media Players
    brite-View CinemaTube 1080p HD Media Player Video @ TweakTown

    Notebooks
    ASUS G51Vx 15.6" Gaming Notebook @ Legit Reviews

    Video
    HIS Radeon HD 5850 @ TechSpot
    Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Tested in 15 Benchmarks @ Madshrimps


    Complete Story


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