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News Archives for April 2010

Danger Den Prepares GTX 480 Water Blocks

Posted: April 1, 2010 @ time: 03:10AM
Author: premiumgfx

Danger Den is busy preparing its upcoming range of water blocks for the GTX 480. The new water blocks will cover all the vital cooling areas, such as the GPU, memory chips and the VRMs for maximum overclocking potential. The GTX 480 water block will be available in three variants: all-copper, a nickel top and copper base and all-nickel. All models will include a mirror-finish, and are expected to retail between $140 and $150. The all-copper version will be available by the end of this week, which means that it will be available well ahead of the GTX 480 release. The remaining models will be available at a later date.


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: April 1, 2010 @ time: 03:52AM
Author: Nemo

Danger Den is a name you'd automatically associate with water cooling but as we found out when we reviewed the Water Box Plus Case, the company also makes some interesting acrylic cases as well and today's roundup has a review on the Danger Den Black-Series Tower 21 Bruiser Chassis. If you're looking for a more traditional case you can check out the NZXT Tempest EVO mid-tower chassis (also reviewed by OCC here). We also have the opportunity to look at a couple of Radeon HD 5000-series cards including ATI's latest HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition card.

Cases
Danger Den Black-Series Tower 21 Bruiser Chassis @ TweakTown
NZXT Tempest EVO Mid Tower Chassis @ ThinkComputers

Cooling
Thermaltake Contac 29 CPU Cooler @ OverclockersHQ
Thermaltake PWB 100 @ Bjorn3D

Digital Photography/Video
Kodak Zx1 HD Digital Camcorder @ ThinkComputers

Mobile
Tunewear Tunewallet For iPod Touch @ OverclockersHQ

Motherboards
MSI 890GXM-G65 Motherboard @ Motherboards.org

Networking
TRENDnet TEW-653AP 802.11n PoE Wireless Access Point @ Tweaktown

Power Supplies
OCZ Z Series 850W Power Supply @ HardwareHeaven

Storage/Hard Drives
Synology VS60 Surveillance Station @ XSReviews

Video
PowerColor HD 5750 Green @ Neoseeker
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition Preview @ Techgage

Miscellany
Win an Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition Gaming PC! @ Techgage


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Happy April Fool's Day from OCC

Posted: April 1, 2010 @ time: 04:07AM
Author: Nemo

Today is April 1st, also known as April Fool's Day, a day celebrated around the world by preying on the more gullible amongst us with jokes and tricks designed sucker us into to believing something that just isn't true. The tradition dates back as far as 1392 where you can find references to it in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. While the Internet has not been around quite that long, there is a rich tradition of pranks and stories being foisted off as true and many an unwary reader has been taken in. So today, while perusing the interwebz, be sure to judge what you read with a wary eye and take a moment to post your best April Fool's stories in the OCC forums.


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NVIDIA Goes Green

Posted: April 1, 2010 @ time: 06:16AM
Author: ClayMeow

The green camp is about to get even greener. Sure to please practically everyone, NVIDIA has announced a new line of energy efficient cards, dubbed GreenForce. NVIDIA says that GreenForce cards will utilize 25-50% less power than its GeForce counterparts. NVIDIA plans on starting with the 400 series and higher-end 200 series cards, but will introduce more GreenForce cards if demand warrants it. One can also speculate that there will be GreenForce versions of the 500 series as well, when those are released later this year.

Unlike in the past when NVIDIA has tried to confuse everyone with its naming scheme, the company is taking a user-friendly approach to GreenForce. The GreenForce version of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 will be the NVIDIA GreenForce GTX 480.

Imagine a GTX 480 that uses 25-50% less power! I, for one, cannot wait to see these new cards!


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Google Acquires Facebook

Posted: April 1, 2010 @ time: 09:22PM
Author: ClayMeow

What happens when you take two companies poised to take over the world and make them one? Looks like we may find out soon enough. In a surprise announcement, Google has purchased Facebook for an undisclosed amount. Apparently the two sides have been in talks for the past month and finally reached an agreement, signing last night.

"Facebook is a leader in social networking," said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. "Our companies share similar values; we both always put our users first and are committed to innovating to improve their experience. Together, we are natural partners to offer a compelling social networking service to users, content owners and advertisers."

Details of the deal are still unknown, but Schmidt did say that Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, will still remain in charge of Facebook's overall direction and development. How this is going to affect Facebook users will remain to be seen.


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: April 2, 2010 @ time: 04:04AM
Author: Nemo

The promise of USB3.0 hasn't always been fully realized with a lot of devices only showing 3-4 performance increases over USB2.0. Enter the ASMedia ASM1051 USB 3.0 controller that manages to achieve 10x performance increase using a Crucial RealSSD C300 SATA 6Gbps SSD connected via USB 3.0. Our roundup also features reviews on two different products from ICY DOCK used for the internal mounting of 2.5" drives along with a hot swap 3.5" drive bay. From notebook coolers to cases to videocards, there's plenty more in today's roundup which you can check out using the links below.

Cases
Antec P193 Mid Tower ATX Case @ Legit Reviews

Cooling
Notebook Coolers Roundup @ HardwareHeaven

Memory
6GB Kingston HyperX 2000MHz DDR3 Memory Kit @ Benchmark Reviews

Mobile
Callpod Fueltank Uno @ OverclockersHQ

Motherboards
GIGABYTE X58A-UD7 Motherboard @ Motherboards.org

Notebooks
Lenovo ThinkPad T510 Notebook @ TechSpot

Storage/Hard Drives
ASMedia ASM1051 USB 3.0 controller shows actual 10x increase over USB 2.0 @ TweakTown
ICY DOCK MB990SP-B Dual 2.5" to 3.5" SATA/IDE Adapter @ TweakTown
ICY DOCK MB672 Internal 3.5-inch SAS / SATA HDD Enclosure @ ThinkComputers

Video
HIS Radeon HD 5850 Turbo 1GB Video Card @ TweakTown
Overclocking GTX-480 / EVGA Precision 1.9.2 @ Bjorn3D

Miscellany
Folding@Home for Stephanie Contest, Win an EVGA GTX480 Signed by Jensen Huang!! @ Bjorn3D
PCPer Podcast #99 @ PC Perspective


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Altair 8800 Inventor Ed Roberts Passed Away

Posted: April 2, 2010 @ time: 08:20AM
Author: Nemo

Ed Roberts passed away yesterday at the age of 68. Mr. Roberts designed the Altair 8800, a machine many credit as being the first personal computer. Roberts established Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) which introduced the Altair in 1975. The Altair was featured on the cover of Popular Electronics magazine in January 1975 where it came to the attention of a young man named Paul Allen who then showed it to his friend Bill Gates. The duo contacted Roberts at MITS in Albuquerque, NM and offered to create a version of the BASIC programming language for the machine. Gates and Allen set up a company then called Micro-Soft with its first office in Albuquerque to work on the programming language.

"Ed was willing to take a chance on us -- two young guys interested in computers long before they were commonplace -- and we have always been grateful to him."

"The day our first untested software worked on his Altair was the start of a lot of great things. We will always have many fond memories of working with Ed in Albuquerque, in the MITS office right on Route 66."

"He was an intense man with a great sense of humor, and he always cared deeply about the people who worked for him, including us," Gates and Allen said.

Dr. Roberts left the computer business in the 1970s, selling MITS and moving to Georgia where he studied medicine and eventually became a country doctor.

The Altair 8800 was sold in kit form for $395 and could also be purchased assembled for $495. Based on an Intel 8080 2 MHz processor, the computer came with 256 bytes RAM standard and lacked any form of input or output other than the eight toggle switches whose setting were indicated by a set of flashing lights on the front panel. On a personal note, I have fond memories of sitting in front of one these machines, setting the toggle switches individually to program each line of code as an engineer read them off. We were using the machine in the late 70s to program EPROMS used to control PDP11 mini-computers prior to the advent of user-friendly UIs.


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The Dog Ate My... CPU!?

Posted: April 2, 2010 @ time: 08:31AM
Author: jammin

We all know that dogs love the taste of homework (or so we would be led to believe), but you would have thought an Intel Core i5 750 CPU would be less appetizing. We now know of at least one dog out there who seems to enjoy the taste of silicon, as tacohunter52, one of our review staff, recently found out. After leaving said CPU in a dog friendly location (at ground level), it proceeded to find its way into his dog's mouth, where she gave it a good chewing before it was eventually recovered.

"My dog found it and decided to start eating it. She managed to get the heat spreader off, as well as to bend the poor CPU in the process."

You can see the results in the included pictures. Fortunately the reason the CPU was left laying around for the dog to get hold of was a recent unfortunate demise. I imagine he will be making a note to keep any live CPUs well out of the way in future, should his four legged friend have acquired something of a taste for hardware. You can share your thoughts on this story in our forums, and if you have had any pet related hardware incidents yourself, I'm sure we would love to hear about those as well.

Edit: This just in, the dog now has demands.


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Corsair sets new PC Mark Vantage Record

Posted: April 2, 2010 @ time: 08:09PM
Author: sdy284

Many people know Corsair as a passionate manufacturer of great flash drives and power supplies, but apparently they're passionate about their benchmarks as well. Using Intel i7 980x cooled via liquid Nitrogen, and overclocked to over 5.7Ghz, they were able to achieve a Vantage score of 32,947. However, their extreme CPU overclock isn't the highlight of their bench rig, that honor would go to the eleven 200GB Force Series F200 SSDs in a RAID0 configuration (and as we all know, anything that goes to 11 is better). Other Corsair components included a 1000HX power supply and 6GB of their Dominator GTX2 memory. All of those components combined enabled them to smash through the previous record by over 1,600 points. Discuss this article in our forums.


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Hardware Roundup: Weekend Edition

Posted: April 3, 2010 @ time: 08:44AM
Author: Nemo

Another weekend has rolled around and we have some reviews for your reading pleasure. First off let's check out the NZXT Tempest EVO mid-tower case (also reviewed by OCC here). The Tempest EVO has been upgraded over the original Tempest case to include improved airflow due to a fan blade redesign, better cable management, a black painted interior and more. Your gaming and movie viewing experience is about to take a turn for the better - if your budget allows for it. A lot has been written about ATI's Eyefinity technology with its 5000-series boards all supporting up to three displays. Now that the HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 version cards are out, the immersion experience has been bumped up to a new level. That also carries over to the home theater experience with the release of the latest 3D sets and the requisite pairs of 3D glasses.

Cases
NZXT Tempest EVO Mid Tower Case @ Legit Reviews

Motherboards
P55 Motherboard Round-up: Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, Intel, MSI @ HotHardware

Notebooks
Gateway NV7901u 17.3-inch Multimedia Notebook @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W Power Supply @ HardwareHeaven

Storage/Hard Drives
A-DATA show us 200MB/s USB 3.0 SSD and other goodies in Taipei @ TweakTown
Vantec SuperSpeed USB 3.0 2-Port PCI-E Card @ Tweaknews

Trade Shows/Conventions
PAX East - Gamers and Geeks Gather 'Round The Tech @ HotHardware

Video
Video Perspective: Unique Eyefinity Demonstrations using Curved Displays @ PC Perspective
3D: The Home Theater Revolution @ TweakTown


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Pre-Order Your Phenom II X6 (US Only)

Posted: April 3, 2010 @ time: 11:38AM
Author: MrAlex

The folks over at Legit Reviews have gotten a tip from one of their readers that the AMD Phenom II X6 is available for pre-order from Fry's. It's not available to pre-order online, if you want to though you have to give them a call at (877)-688-7678. For the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition, ask for product #6219140 for $299.99, plus shipping or the cheaper AMD Phenom II X6 1055T for $204, plus shipping, although whether this is the 95W or 125W hasn't been established yet. The launch of AMD's next series of flagship processors is arriving and they'll be here by the end of the month.


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iPad Launches; Sells an Estimated 700,000 on First Day

Posted: April 4, 2010 @ time: 06:12PM
Author: jammin

As we have seen time and again, the hype surrounding Apple product launches starts months before any hardware hits stores. In the case of the iPad, we had been hearing rumors and supposed specifications long before the device even had a name (and before it was confirmed as even existing). Launch day finally hit over the weekend, with many people queueing at Apple stores to get their hands on an iPad, while many others pre-ordered online to have them shipped out on April 3rd. Certain analysts are now predicting that as many as 700,000 iPads could have been sold during the launch on Saturday, while iSuppli reckons Apple could shift upwards of 7 million devices this year alone.

There has been a case of iPad fever in the tech media (as well as plenty more from mainstream sources) and now that the dust is beginning to settle, it seems like a good time to pick out some of the more interesting articles from the sea that have been written. Check out the links below, or if you have been finding the whole furore rather tiresome, then ignore them and be thankful our newsfeed hasn't been chock full of this stuff.

iPad Reviews:


Update: Looks like that 700,000 estimate was a little (or a lot) overboard, with Apple itself saying that it moved "over 300,000" iPads up to midnight on Saturday.


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Prefab Gives the Sourceless Source Codes, Kind Of

Posted: April 4, 2010 @ time: 06:17PM
Author: allix24

If you've ever modified the source code of an open source program, you know that it is possible to make the program work better for you, or perform better with certain systems. Unfortunately this is not possible with most programs as the designers do not want their competitors to plagiarize their hard work. Programmers at the University of Washington have announced that they have found away around this problem, and have given details about what it can and will do.

Prefab, as this program is called, does not actually give you full access to the source code itself, but rather hijacks the pixels displayed on the screen for your use. When a user is typing a document on Microsoft Word, they may want to listen to a couple of songs from their iTunes library. Without Prefab, the user would have to click back and forth between the two windows and generally slow down the work being done. If the user is using Prefab, they could simply add a couple of iTunes control buttons to the Word toolbar and continue on with their work. While Prefab can be used without breaking copyright laws on ones computer, the user would be unable to lawfully share the edited version with friends or other people online, or in disk format.

The creators of Prefab have not announced when or even if the program will be released to the public, and it does not yet have a set price.


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Updated WD VelociRaptor Coming Later this Quarter

Posted: April 4, 2010 @ time: 06:41PM
Author: jammin

Western Digital's VelociRaptor replaced its Raptor series of HDDs in 2008. It cut the form factor down to 2.5" and pushed the capacity up to 300GB and still gives you about the closest thing you can get to SSD performance from a traditional hard drive today (at least in terms of access times).

The updated VelociRaptor will be launching later this quarter and keeps the 10,00RPM motor and 2.5" form factor. You will also still have the option of the "IcePack" 3.5" mounting frame (which may again prove redundant unless you haven't got somewhere to mount 2.5" drives) and have capacity options of 150, 300, 450 and 600GB. The interface gets bumped to SATA 6.0Gbps, along with a claimed latency of 3ms and sustained transfer speeds of 145MB/s. There is currently no word on what you can expect to pay for the drives once they hit retail (VR-Zone is claiming that will be by June).


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ASUS Xonar Xense Gaming Soundcard Looks Promising

Posted: April 4, 2010 @ time: 07:21PM
Author: jammin

The guys over at VR-Zone have had the opportunity to take a closer look at the Xonar Xense soundcard from ASUS, a joint venture between the company and Sennheiser that will come as part of a soundcard/headset (PC350) kit. The fact that Sennheiser have been involved with the project means will be the expectation of a certain quality of sound. If the hardware is anything to go by it could deliver something special for gamers.

The card takes a different approach from some previous ASUS cards (such as the Essence STX that impressed us so much when reviewed last year). Rather than RCA connectors, there is a DVI port that will drive multi-channel audio (7.1) via a dongle, though you still get 6.3mm audio jacks for headphones and microphones. The board boasts separate power for its analog circuitry and low ESR capacitors. Also present are Texas Instruments and Cirrus Logic DACs and a Texas Instruments headphone driver. There are two socketed DIP OPAMPs (JRC 24110s), which allows them to be easily swapped out for upgrades / user preference. As with the STX, relays are also employed and the whole thing is based on a C-Media Chipset (model not specified).

This is one card I am looking forward to hitting review benches. Pricing and release date are currently unknown.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: April 5, 2010 @ time: 04:21AM
Author: Nemo

With the Apple iPad officially launched, we get an opportunity to check out the device and I'm sure they're be plenty more chances over the next few weeks to see what the hype is all about. Apple has a way of defining new hardware categories, and things will be no different with the iPad with several companies having tablet plans of their own and many others waiting on the sidelines to see how the public responds to the iPad. TechSpot offers a brief look at what's on the horizon from other manufacturers and some estimates are predicting over 50 iPad-like devices could be released this year.

Cases
XClio A380COLOR Plus Case @ Rbmods

Cooling
CoolIT ECO A.L.C. Liquid CPU Cooler @ Techgage

Mobile
Apple iPad 16GB Wi-Fi Edition Tablet PC First Impressions @ Legit Reviews
Tablets of 2010: Apple's iPad and Other Alternatives @ TechSpot

Motherboards
Midget H55 motherboard showdown @ Tech Report
ASRock A330ION nVidia MCP7A-ION Mini-ITX Motherboard @ ThinkComputers
GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD7 (X58 Express) Motherboard @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
SandForce SF-1200 SSD Processor @ Benchmark Reviews
Seagate Savvio 10K.4 HDs & LSI 3Ware 9750-8i RAID Card @ Bjorn3D

Video
GeForce GTX 480 Real World Temperatures & Sound @ [H]ardOCP


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Comic Books Coming to the iPad

Posted: April 5, 2010 @ time: 05:58AM
Author: CheeseMan42

With the successful launch of the iPad in the books, news will now be centered around the apps that will find themselves on the iPad. One such app will allow users to read comic books from 50 publishers, including Marvel. That app is being developed by Panelfly. Publishers will receive a large portion of the money obtained through this app, which will sell comics from $1-$10. However, Marvel Comics has already released its own app on April 3, which is free to download. There are currently 500 comics available to be purchased through the app, at the price of $1.99 each. DC Comics currently has no plans for the iPad, but is said to be looking into it. The comic book industry hopes that the iPad will help revive a once strong selling product that has seen sales decline in recent history. Marvel is also looking into developing an app for upcoming tablets based on Android.


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Blu-ray Enhancements Announced

Posted: April 5, 2010 @ time: 10:20AM
Author: gebraset

Despite the fact that Blu-ray has been around for some time, and has given multimedia enthusiasts an even more in-depth high definition experience, the Blu-ray Disc Association has announced format enhancements. The main improvements include two new formats being introduced, known as BDXL as well as IH-BD. For commercial users, the BDXL format will be highly sought after, as it will support new 100GB and 128GB discs, along with rewritable 100GB discs. Concerning the other format that will be introduced, named IH-BD, or Intra-Hybrid Blu-ray Disc, it will be focused mainly towards everyday consumers. The IH-BD format will feature a BD-ROM layer that can only be read and not written upon, but it will hold a BD-R layer as well, that users can put their own data onto. These enhancements are said to be brought into the market within the next few months, though a more exact date and time is not currently known, nor is price of either of the new formats.


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Want USB Ports, an SD Slot, and a Camera on your iPad? Buy an HP Slate

Posted: April 5, 2010 @ time: 03:10PM
Author: sdy284

HP has posted a rather tasty video of their upcoming Slate tablet. While they're not exactly for sale yet, they're coming soon and they're going to be right around iPad price at $500. I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend my hard earned greenbacks on something like the Slate. What about you? Discuss it in our forums


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Toshiba Aiming For Sub-25nm Flash Memory Production

Posted: April 5, 2010 @ time: 04:23PM
Author: jammin

Toshiba currently produces NAND flash memory chips using 32nm and 43nm processes, but it recently announced plans to invest $160 million this year building a test production line, part of preparation to produce chips with circuitry less than 25nm in width. Toshiba says it should be able to start producing parts with circuit widths less than 30nm soon and that it plans to get down into the sub-25nm range potentially as soon as 2012.

With a joint venture between Intel and Micron announcing the sampling of 25nm parts earlier in the year, this announcement by Toshiba should mean that there is a greater supply of higher density chips and should also provide some competition to drive down prices. Cheaper high density chips will ultimately mean increased capacities and/or lower prices on flash memory products such as memory cards and SSDs.


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Android Powered TV to Hit the Market

Posted: April 5, 2010 @ time: 04:37PM
Author: bp9801

Sure, 3DTVs are suddenly becoming all the rage these days and some of them even include various apps built in.  But what about a television that has the Android OS built right in?  This is exactly what the company called People of Lava want to bring to the market later this year, with an Android-powered TV dubbed the Scandinavia.  People of Lava is a Swedish company that is claiming its Android-powered TV is the world's first of its kind.  The initial TV will be a 42 inch, 1080p model that also boasts internet connectivity with plans for 47 inch and 52 inch models to follow.  The Android capabilities will include applications for YouTube, Google Maps, the weather, an internet browser, Facebook, Twitter and more apps that you can download from the marketplace.  The TV will also have a USB port to presumably connect your camera or even a portable hard drive to display pictures and videos directly on the screen.

The Scandinavia TV will be launching this September for a price between €2,000 and €2,500.  That roughly will be between $2,695 and $3,370.


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APC Launches Two New UPS Units

Posted: April 5, 2010 @ time: 07:34PM
Author: bp9801

The launch of new uninteruptible power supplies is not something that usually garners attention, but two new models from APC should.  APC is getting set to launch two new UPS models, the BR1300G and BR1500G, which add some new features that will come in handy.  Both models come with an LCD screen that will display estimated runtime and a slew of other critical information along with having some new power-saving outlets added.  The power-saving outlets will cut off power to any unused device, so if your printer is plugged in but not powered on then the UPS will not supply any power to it which will potentially increase the runtime.  The new models will have a runtime between 92 and 164 minutes, with the BR1300G having six outlets and the BR1500G having ten.  Both models will also come with APC's PowerChute software to allow for more advanced power management.

No word on a launch date other then sometime in the second quarter, but the two models will have a price point between $129.99 and $249.99.


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: April 6, 2010 @ time: 03:47AM
Author: Nemo

There are a myriad of USB flash drives on the market to choose from these days, but if you're the type that wants to protect your data from prying eyes, the Corsair Flash Padlock 2 8GB drive (check out the OCC review here) offers 256-bit hardware encryption along with 8GB of storage. Also in today's roundup are two mid-tower chassis from Fractal Design and Enermax. In videocards we have the Sapphire Radeon HD5830 HD 5830 Game Edition (also reviewed by OCC here) that comes with an enhanced five heatpipe cooling solution and a copy of Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as part of the bundle.

Cases
Fractal Design R2 @ XSReviews
Enermax Staray ECA3171-BR-AP Mid Tower Chassis @ TweakTown

Gaming
Metro 2033 DirectX 11 Gameplay Performance and IQ @ [H]ardOCP

Motherboards
ASUS Maximus III Extreme LGA 1156 Motherboard @ Legit Reviews
ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO mATX AM3 Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews

Notebooks
Asus 13.3" U30Jc Notebook @ HotHardware

Speakers/Headphones
Technocel Vibes Earbuds @ OverclockersHQ

Storage/Hard Drives
Thecus N4200 Zero-Crash with Dual Power NAS @ Motherboards.org
Corsair Flash Padlock 2 8GB 256-bit Encrypted Pen Drive @ TweakTown

Video
Sapphire Radeon HD5830 HD 5830 Game Edition Videocard @ Tweaknews

Miscellany
NZXT April Contest @ Bjorn3D


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Apple to Unveil iPhone OS 4 on April 8th

Posted: April 6, 2010 @ time: 07:22AM
Author: ClayMeow

In what seems to be becoming a trend in recent years, Apple has announced a future announcement. On April 8th at 10AM PT, Apple will be holding an event for a "sneak peek of the next generation of iPhone OS software." Yes, Apple simply annonced a sneak peak and not the release of said OS. Hot on the heels of the iPad release, it's not all that surprising that a new iPhone OS would quickly follow. Of course, I use the word "quickly" loosely, as we have no idea how long until iPhone OS 4 actually goes live. Still, it's welcome news for many iPhone users that are still holding out hope for new features like multi-tasking and stylus-based text input. At least, it's welcome news until Thursday, when those hopes may be dashed. We'll know more in two days.


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Espionage Ring Tracked Back to China

Posted: April 6, 2010 @ time: 07:23AM
Author: Nemo

Researchers in the U.S. and Canada have managed to track a cyber-espionage ring based in China. The group, known as Shadow, apparently targeted computers in several countries including systems belonging to other governments including those of India and Pakistan. The ring was traced back to Chengdu, in China's Sichuan province. The individuals or groups behind the ring used social media and blogs to control the computers which have previously been compromised with malware. While other countries were affected, the primary target seemed to be the Indian government and military.


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iPad Autopsy Video

Posted: April 6, 2010 @ time: 08:09AM
Author: ClayMeow

Tech enthusiasts are a curious bunch. We want to know how things work, and in order to do so, sometimes that means taking devices apart. With the recent release of Apple's new iPad comes a new device to take apart. Thankfully, Will Smith from Tested.com has done just that, so you don't have to destroy your $500+ investment. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it also kills an iPad. Will completely disassembles every little thing inside the iPad and attempts to point out what each component is and/or does. At over twenty minutes in length, it's certainly a rather lengthy video, but if you really wanted to see what makes the iPad tick, there's no better way to learn.

Of course, if you'd just like to see the iPad obliterated into dust, you can visit our forum and watch the "Will It Blend?" video.


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Web Site Allows Lonely Gamers to Find Someone to Play With

Posted: April 6, 2010 @ time: 08:32AM
Author: Nemo

A new web site allows gamers to pay women to play video games while conversing through a chat window. The site, Gamecrush.com, charges a not insignificant $6.60 for ten minutes. The site went into beta mode on March 30 and was so overwhelmed by the initial response that service crashed and hasn't come back on line.

The service works by allowing people to sign up either as a PlayDate where you are paid for your service or as a player where you must pay. PlayDates receive payment in the form of 400 credits($4.00) per game. PlayDates can also receive tips from players – I guess you can see where this is going. Players send a request to PlayDates who must accept the invitation. At that point:

"GameCrush does not monitor, moderate or otherwise control the interaction between its users."

Apparently this concept has proven wildly popular to the point that the site received 10,000 hits in just five minutes. At almost $40/hour, you can do the math and see that that's a pretty good business model.


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Apple Store Racism? You Decide

Posted: April 6, 2010 @ time: 10:16AM
Author: sdy284

Just came across this blog by "Oh Doctah" about his recent experience when trying to purchase a new Macbook. You'll have to watch the video on his blog to get the full story, but I would love to hear a response from Apple on why what happened, happened. Now I can't stand it when someone of any race tries to unjustifiably pull the race card, but I really think that the Doctah might have something here. What do you guys think? Discuss it in our forums.


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iPad Experiencing Wi-Fi Problems

Posted: April 6, 2010 @ time: 11:23AM
Author: CheeseMan42

The iPad was just released this past weekend, and several users are reporting difficulties with the Wi-Fi. Users are reporting fluctuating or poor service when standing very near their routers, in areas where several other devices work just fine. Several users have reported that the signal works when connecting to Apple based networking products, after trying them with non-Apple products. However, some users report issues there as well. Many are speculating that the issue stems from either the antenna placement or a software issue. Apple has posted a support article detailing the process it believes will fix the issue.


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FCC Loses First Net Neutrality Battle

Posted: April 6, 2010 @ time: 11:51AM
Author: bp9801

In what is sure to appease some people, it seems that the FCC has just lost the first net neutrality battle with Comcast. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has sided with Comcast by saying that the FCC does not have the authority to impose regulations on internet services providers under the current law. In 2008, the FCC ordered Comcast to stop filtering BitTorrent which Comcast replied with a suit saying the FCC did not have the authority. The FCC said it was using its "ancillary powers" which allow the agency to take the proper actions to do its job. There is no law giving the FCC this authority so it acted in the best way it saw fit. The FCC was interpreting its job as promoting net neutrality based on policy statements set up by Congress. To that end, the court said it was not good enough and ruled in favor of Comcast. The FCC is expected to appeal the court's decision while Congress will presumably set up a law allowing the FCC to actually do what it tried.


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Custom PCB GTX 480 Pictures Appear

Posted: April 6, 2010 @ time: 04:30PM
Author: jammin

NVIDIA made what may turn out to be a wise decision by allowing its board partners to work on custom PCB designs for its new cards from the get go. What that means is that we are likely to see cards that vary from the NVIDIA reference part soon after it first hits retail next week. Pictures have surfaced of one custom PCB design that reduces the length of the standard GTX 480 and opts for two 6-pin PCIe power connectors rather than the original 6-pin + 8-pin configuration.

The intention of this design from Taiyanfa (a Chinese manufacturer) appears to be taming the power draw of the GTX 480 somewhat (those two 6-pin connectors will mean a maximum board power of 225W), which could indicate lowered clock speeds or at least reduced overclocking capabilities. This is good for those who may want to adopt a GTX 480 into their setups but have less chassis space or lack an 8-pin power connector. Of course, what would be interesting to see as enthusiasts are more custom board designs that have the oposite aim. That being to wring the most performance out of that GTX 480 die as possible. The variation should be good for consumers, as it will give them more options when it comes to buying a card. However, if there are a large number of custom designs, things could get a little confusing.


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PS3 Firmware 3.21 Causing Problems?

Posted: April 6, 2010 @ time: 06:24PM
Author: bp9801

With the launch of Playstation 3 firmware 3.21, every PS3 lost the ability to install another OS. But now, it seems that some users are experiencing more problems then just that. After the update has been installed, some users are having trouble accessing the Playstation Network, loading a disc-based game, and some cannot even turn their console on. A few users had freezing issues while updating their console, so some people could not even get to experience the loss of the install other OS ability. There are plenty of people who have not experienced any issues with the new firmware, but for those that have, Sony has yet to release an official statement on the matter.

Has anyone here experienced any issues with their PS3 after getting the new firmware?


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Corsair Intros High Density 16GB and 24GB Memory Kits

Posted: April 6, 2010 @ time: 09:20PM
Author: Nemo

Corsair today announced additions to its Dominator family of memory products in the form of new 16GB and 24GB Dominator DDR3 memory kits. The new workstation-level DRAM kits feature a clock speed of 1600 MHz and a CAS latency of nine cycles (9-9-9-24) and are rated at 1.65V. The 24GB kit is designed for use with triple-channel CPUs such as the Core i7 980X processor. The 16GB Dominator DDR3 memory kit is designed for use on dual channel platforms based on the P55 chip set. Like all members of the Dominator family, both kits include Corsair’s patented DHX+ technology with racing-blue highlights and fins. The modules feature high-quality heatsinks and a custom-designed PCB that allows both the front and rear of the memory ICs, and the printed circuit board itself, to be cooled. The cooling fins are removable to allow you to use range of modular cooling accessories including extended heatsink fins, the Hydro Series H30 water cooling block as well as the Ice Series T30 sub-ambient cooling subsystem.

The modules are available immediately through Corsair's online store where the 24GB kits are priced at USD $1449.99 and the 16GB kits are available for USD $999.99.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: April 7, 2010 @ time: 04:25AM
Author: Nemo

We've seen quite a bit of interest on the review front in some of NZXT's products and today's roundup includes reviews on the Tempest EVO and Hades cases. Solid state drives have garnered large amounts of attention and press coverage over the past several months, and while they are undeniably going to play a large role in the future of storage, they just aren't there in terms of price/GB when compared to traditional spinning hard drives. In the past, the performance crown went to Western Digital's VelociRaptor drives and now the company has returned with the VelociRaptor VR200M, which keeps the same 2.5" form factor as its predecessor but doubles the capacity to 600GB. For portable, but secure, storage we also have another look at the Corsair Padlock 2 8GB USB flash drive. Be sure to check out all the reviews by using the links below.

Cases
NZXT Tempest Evo Case @ HardwareHeaven
Thermaltake Element Q Mini-ITX Case @ ThinkComputers
NZXT Hades @ Bjorn3D

Cooling
Zalman ZM-MFC1 Five Channel Fan Controller @ Tweaknews

Gaming
Metro 2033 Image Quality Followup @ [H]ardOCP

Input Devices
Thrustmaster F1 Limited Edition Wireless Gamepad Review For PC and PS3 @ OverclockersHQ

Memory
6GB Corsair Dominator-GT 2000MHz DDR3 Memory @ Benchmark Reviews

Motherboards
ASRock H55M-LE Motherboard @ Motherboards.org

Notebooks
AVADirect Clevo X8100 18.4-inch Core i7 Gaming Notebook @ TweakTown

Storage/Hard Drives
Corsair's Flash Padlock 2 USB thumb drive @ Tech Report
WD VelociRaptor 600GB: Fastest HD Ever @ HotHardware
Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB Review - Can the king return? @ PC Perspective
WD VelociRaptor 600GB SATA 6Gbps Hard Drive @ Legit Reviews
Western Digital's VelociRaptor VR200M hard drive @ Tech Report
VIZO SPEED-UP USB 3.0 PCI-E Host Card @ TweakTown

Video
AMD FirePro V8800 Review - Evergreen and Cypress Go Pro @ PC Perspective
AMD ATI FirePro V8800 Workstation Graphics Card @ HotHardware


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Intel to Discontinue Core i7 920 CPU

Posted: April 7, 2010 @ time: 05:36AM
Author: premiumgfx

The last of the "original" Intel Socket 1366 processors, the quad-core Core i7 920 is to be EOL (End Of Life) in Q2 this year. This follows the release of the Product Discontinuance Notice (PDN) by Intel. This marks the end of the initial Core i7 offerings, with the announced phasing-out of the Core i7 940 and 965 late last year. The Core i7 920 will be succeeded by the 930 which boasts a 220MHz (0.22GHz) increase in stock speed at 2.88GHz and a 3.06GHz Turbo Boost. Otherwise the 930 is exactly the same as it's predecessor, and will maintain the same price range too. Be on the lookout, there's bound to be some good deals on the 920 closer to it's demise!


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AMD Preparing Two New Athlon II X3 Processors

Posted: April 7, 2010 @ time: 05:50AM
Author: premiumgfx

AMD is busy preparing two new Athlon II X3 processors, the 445 and 450. The 445 will feature a 3.1GHz clock speed, with its higher-end counterpart the 450 clocked at 3.2GHz. The Athlon II X3 450 will be based on the 45nm "Rana" core along with 1.5MB of L2 cache, no L3 cache and a TDP of 95W; according to Fudzilla. The two new models are similar to the current 3GHz X3 440, although competition from new models is always helpful in bringing prices down. The new Phenom II X3 CPUs should debut later this year, helping cement AMD's position in the value-orientated market.


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GPU-Z 0.4.2 Available

Posted: April 7, 2010 @ time: 06:06AM
Author: premiumgfx

The lastest version of the popular graphics utility, GPU-Z is now available for download. This new version fixes a conflict between GPU-Z and fan-speed control on some NVIDIA cards, a rare crash on the MSI HD 5830 TwinFrozr II and the calculation of memory bandwith, among others. GPU-Z users still have the opportunity to win some ASUS Republic of Gamers series graphics cards and motherboards by clicking on the "Hardware Giveaway" tab. GPU-Z version 0.4.2 is available for download over at TechPowerUp, here.


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Rumor Circulates With Intel Atom D525

Posted: April 7, 2010 @ time: 11:13AM
Author: gebraset

Intel has recently offered a new Atom processor, known as the Intel Atom D510 that features a clock speed of 1.66GHz. Sadly, consumers have been complaining left and right that the speed from its predecessor was about the same as the D510. Even though it has not been out for a while, a new rumor is being circulated on the new Atom offering, which will be known as the Atom D525. Supposedly, the new processor clock speed will be increased to 1.8GHz, though the Intel progress chart is showing the same 1.66GHz speed, so it is not sure yet nor confirmed what the actual number will be upon release. No matter what the speed however, the 13W TDP is planned to stay the same, which will provide consumers with the same battery life they already have with increased performance. No matter if the rumor about the Intel Atom D525 is true or not, DDR3 will be supported, which will also increase performance in machines that actually feature the newest memory specification. The ship date for the new processor should be sometime within the second quarter of this year.


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iPad Costs $259.60 to Make

Posted: April 7, 2010 @ time: 02:52PM
Author: CheeseMan42

iSuppli has released the results of its investigation into the components that make up the iPad. After the physical tear down, it was determined that the $499 model costs Apple $259.60 in parts. This doesn't include costs such as software or labor. The cost is higher than the initial estimate made in February of $229.35. The highest single cost item in the iPad is the touchscreen, coming in at $65. Also noted was the $107 battery replacement fee that would be charged by Apple should the user need it.


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OCZ Z-Drive R2 Delivers Speeds up to 1.4GB/s

Posted: April 7, 2010 @ time: 06:13PM
Author: jammin

OCZ's original Z-Drive was one of the first PCIe connected SSDs to appear and came in versions aimed at enterprise and desktop users, with some versions (based on more expensive SLC NAND flash memory) claiming maximum read and write speeds of 800MB/s and 750MB/s respectively.

This week OCZ announced the follow up to the Z-Drive; the Z-Drive R2. The main change over the original is the move to a setup that uses NAND modules that can easily be added or removed from the main board (they look much like notebook RAM slots). That means the R2 can be upgraded or serviced in the field, an advantage for the enterprise users it is aimed at. It also boasts an eight way RAID 0 configuration (on the p88 model, four way on the p84) and capacities ranging from 256GB to 2TB. Oh, and transfer rates up to 1.4GB/s (950MB/s sustained write), not too shabby at all. No official pricing is currently available, but expect it to be firmly in the enterprise only bracket, especially with those impressive performance figures being restricted to the 1TB and 2TB p88 models.


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Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Leaks Out

Posted: April 7, 2010 @ time: 06:14PM
Author: bp9801

Microsoft has announced it is working on Windows 7 Service Pack 1, but now it seems that the update has leaked out early. The leaked version does not appear to be the final version of the update, though it seems like it is a recent build. However, Microsoft has not announced when the Service Pack will actually roll out, so there is no telling if this recent build is going to be the final one or if there are more revisions coming. The main feature of the Service Pack is the ability to use RemoteFX, which is an improved version of Remote Desktop. It does seem that the install process for the Service Pack is a lot quicker compared to anything with Vista, so at least you will not have to wait for long to get the update working.


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Remember Jarvis from Iron Man? This Guy Built One

Posted: April 7, 2010 @ time: 09:31PM
Author: sdy284

If you've seen the Iron Man movie, then you no doubt remember Tony Stark's computer assistant Jarvis. He could seemingly ask Jarvis anything, and Jarvis would spit out an answer instantly. While this seemed like science fiction in the movie, it turns out it's pretty attainable. Chad Barraford set out to create his own Jarvis, and I'd say he succeeded. Jarvis can do a wide variety of things, from turning on lights, tracking his Netflix, or even reports on his current grocery stock. The most incredible fact? It's only cost him ~$700 to do. Check out the first link and Chad's personal website for more info. What would you do with something like this? Discuss it in our forums.


Complete Story


556,382 Estimated iPads Sold In Just Over 5 Days

Posted: April 8, 2010 @ time: 03:09AM
Author: d3bruts1d

In just over five days since the release of the Apple iPad, it is estimated to have sold 556,382 iPads. This estimate comes from ad network Chitika, who is said to have come up with the estimate by counting how many unique iPad Safari browsers appear on its ad network and multiplying that by the percentage of the Internet that Chitika services. I'm not sure about the math, but considering Apple sold more than 300,000 units the first day the estimate by Chitika sounds pretty reasonable.

Additionally, Chitika provides a breakdown of iPads sold by state. California leads the rest of the US with 19.40% of the iPad sales, Texas and New York are a distant second and third with 8.14% and 8.12% respectively. Again, the numbers are just estimates.

Not bad for a device that fits some place between the iPod Touch and a MacBook. Though I'd love to see how well this would have sold had it been running OS X instead of the iPhone OS.


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B&N Nook Headed to Best Buy; Kindle Headed to Target

Posted: April 8, 2010 @ time: 03:35AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Bookstores Amazon and Barnes & Noble are both set to bring their eBook readers to major retail stores later this month, a sign that the companies may be a little worried about Apple's supersized iPod Touch and eBook reader. The iPad, which has been called a "Kindle Killer" by some is rumored to have sold more than 556,000 units in less than a week. Expect the number to skyrocket later this month when Apple releases the 3G version of the iPad and also begins selling the device outside of the US.

The Nook from Barnes & Noble, which looks like a cross between an iPod Touch and a Kindle will be on sale at Best Buy stores starting April 18. Previously the Nook was only available through the B&N website or select B&N stores. Best Buy is also caries the iPad and Sony's eReader.

Amazon's Kindle, which is currently only available through Amazon.com, will appear on shelves at Target beginning April 25. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw the Kindle hardware die out, and Amazon switch focus to offering the Kindle software and service through its desktop and mobile applications.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: April 8, 2010 @ time: 03:59AM
Author: Nemo

Storage has never been considered as 'sexy', that is until solid state drives appeared and began causing a bit of excitement due to their potential for increased I/O when compared to standard mechanical drives. Solid states drives are also expensive, and while prices are dropping, the cost per GB remains way above that of standard drives. Still, SSDs have spiced up the storage segment and we have a review on the Corsair Nova V128 solid state drive. Western Digital has upped the capacity of its 10K RPM VelociRaptor drive to 600GB and priced it at $329 which is about what some 128GB SSDs cost these days, so which one would you choose?

Cases
Thermaltake Wing RS 301 Case @ Motherboards.org

Gaming
Metro 2033 (PC) @ GamingHeaven

Mobile
Booq Mamba Sling Laptop bag and Python Skin M Sleeve @ OverclockersHQ

Motherboards
GIGABYTE 890GPA-UD3H Motherboard @ [H]ardOCP

Notebooks
ViewSonic VNB108 Pinetrail Atom N450 10.1-inch LED-backlit Netbook @ TweakTown

Power Supplies
Cougar S550W PSU @ Rbmods

Storage/Hard Drives
Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB SATA 6G Hard Drive @ TweakTown
Corsair Nova V128 Solid State Drive Test @ Benchmark Reviews
Corsair Flash Voyager GTR 32GB USB Flash Drive @ ThinkComputers

Video
NVIDIA Solves Multi-Monitor Temp Issue on GeForce GTX 480 GPUs @ Legit Reviews
Watching The 2010 Masters Tournament in 3D with NVIDIA 3D Vision @ Legit Reviews


Complete Story


iPhone 4.0 OS "Sneak Peek"

Posted: April 8, 2010 @ time: 04:29AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Today (10:00am PT, 1:00pm ET) Apple will offer a "sneak peek" into the iPhone OS 4.0. Of course, if it is anything like last year's iPhone 3.0 "sneak peek" it'll be more of a full OS feature keynote than just a peek. Some of the rumored features to be included in the iPhone OS 4.0 are:

  • Multitasking - The iPhone OS already supports it, but it is limited to a few of Apple's own apps.
  • Exposé - If it includes multitasking, it'll need a way to easily switch between apps.
  • Universal Inbox - The mail.app already supports multiple mail accounts, but it doesn't offer an easy way to see all your inbox items across all accounts.
  • Improved UI - Compared to Andriod, Windows 7, Palm, and even jailbroken iPhones the iPhone's UI is a bit basic. And this comment is coming from someone who loves simplicity.
  • Printing Support - This rumor comes from a message in the iPad's iWork apps that printing is not currently available. Will the iPhone actually connect to printers or print through your PC/Mac?
  • Enhanced Syncing of Contacts & Calendars - This is needed. Ever tried syncing your contacts with Google Contacts? It's a mess.
  • iAd - Just when it looked like Apple and Google's relationship couldn't get any worse, Apple is set to enter the advertisement realm. Not sure who this would actually tie into the iPhone OS though, unless they build an API into the developer tools.

I know there are a several people here at OCC that have an iPhone, iPod Touch, and maybe even an iPad. What do you want to see in the next iPhone OS?

If you are interested in live-as-it-happens-in-Cupertino, you may want to tune into one of the several sites providing a live coverage / blog of the event. Here are a few that are providing coverage:


Complete Story


9,000+ New Android Apps Added In March

Posted: April 8, 2010 @ time: 04:45AM
Author: d3bruts1d

Google still has a long way to go if it hopes to overtake Apple's App Store, however the trend of new apps is looking favorable for Google. In March there were 9,331 new apps added to the Android Market, that is up from the 5,532 new apps in February and 4,458 new apps in January. Currently the Android Marketplace only has 27,243 apps, whereas the App Store has more than 160,000.


Complete Story


GTX 460 Coming in June

Posted: April 8, 2010 @ time: 05:06AM
Author: premiumgfx

Following the release of the GeForce GTX 480 and 470 it looks likely that NVIDIA will add a new lower-end card to the series, the GTX 460. The GTX 460 will boast 1GB of GDDR5 memory and run on a 256-bit memory interface. This new model will be targeted at the ATI Radeon HD 5850, in terms of price and hopefully performance. The exact details of the card such as clock speeds and stream processors is not yet known, but I'd expect to see a "watered-down" GTX 470. Interestingly, NVIDIA's AIBs will have free reign in designing the GTX 460 as there will be no standard design. The GTX 460 should be available in early June.


Complete Story


Case Against Alleged Palin E-mail Hacker Going Forward

Posted: April 8, 2010 @ time: 08:48AM
Author: Nemo

The case of alleged hacker David Kernell is proceeding toward a scheduled April 20 trial date in spite of several legal challenges raised by the defense team. While a student at the University of Tennessee, Kernell is alleged to have broken into Sarah Palin's personal Yahoo e-mail account and then posted images of the hack online. Investigators quickly focused on the student after the September 2008 attack and Kernell was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2008. Kernell was subsequently charged with three additional counts in March of last year.

A bit of legal wrangling has been going on since then with Kernell's trial date having been moved from May 15, 2009 to October 27, 2009 and finally to April of this year. Kernell's defense got a further setback yesterday when Federal Judge Clifford Shirley ruled that FBI agents did not violate Kernell's Fourth Amendment rights when they searched the entire contents of the defendant's hard drive. Kernell was seeking to quash the information gained through this search, claiming agents exceeded the scope of the warrant and should have performed a "particularized search" instead of the broad search that was carried out. In a 41-page ruling, Judge Shirley stated:

"Contrary to Defendant's argument, [the executing officer] seized all of the computer equipment, not each individual file. This was proper because all of the computer equipment and storage devices were within the scope of the search warrant."

Kernell remains out on bond until his trail begins later this month.


Complete Story


Developers Go Bug Hunting With iPad

Posted: April 8, 2010 @ time: 11:38AM
Author: allix24

A major complaint of many of the 500,000 people who bought the Apple iPad over the past week, was the buggy software and add-ons that were produced for it. Normally we would blame the developers for not testing their product thoroughly enough before releasing it, but today that is not the case. App developers such as Jens Egebland of Vivid Apps have stated that because the iPad is so hard to code for, it feels like they are producing the app while blindfolded. Vivid, along with many other app designers, found that they were unable to actually test their app until they had received their iPad from Apple. This is a major problem because in order to see the app on the iPad, Apple has made it impossible to do without first publishing the app therefore making it available to the public before it has been tested. This is equivalent to a video game developer releasing the game to the public before even seeing the game played on a screen. Some developers in a sense, feel as though they are going bug hunting with the iPad being the net and the jar.


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