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News Archives for November 2012

Hardware Roundup: Thursday Edition

Posted: November 1, 2012 @ time: 05:23AM
Author: Nemo

As we approach another weekend, and recover from the Halloween festivities here in the U.S., we have another look at the Silverstone Heligon HE01 CPU cooler. The cooler sports an asymmetrical twin-tower design with a single 140mm fan, but also come with two sets of fan clips to mount additional fans if desired. We also get to check out two video cards with reviews on the ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II and the GALAXY GeForce GTX 660 Ti GC 3GB, with this card in an SLI configuration. Other reviews include the Mionix Ensis 320 gaming surface and the ADATA SX900 128GB solid state drive.

Cooling
Silverstone Heligon HE01 Asymmetric Dual Tower Heatsink @ Frostytech

Mousepads
Mionix Ensis 320 @ XSReviews

Storage/Hard Drives
ADATA SX900 128GB @ Bjorn3D

Video
ASUS HD 7970 DirectCU II Video Card @ ThinkComputers
GALAXY GeForce GTX 660 Ti GC 3GB SLI @ [H]ardOCP


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VIA's Artigo A1250 Touted as World's Smallest Quad-Core x86 System

Posted: November 1, 2012 @ time: 06:04AM
Author: edwardquilo

VIA's diminutive Artigo A1250 holds the distinction as a frontrunner for being the world's smallest x68 quad core rig, and looking at its 17.7cm x 12.5cm x 3.0cm dimensions, that statement does hold some merit. The Artigo A1250 is based on a miniscule EPIA-P910 pico-ITX board, and is armed with a VIA QuadCore E-Series processor clocked at 1.0GHz, can handle up to 8GB of DDR3 1333 RAM, has room for one 2.5″ SATA HDD or Flash SSD for storage, along with VIA's own VX11H media system processor with DirectX11 support. With input/output options of HDMI, VGA, 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, GigaLAN, Audio-in/out/mic-in, the device is capable enough to take on a myriad of computing operations - be it for watching movies at home (thanks to its native 3D and HD video support of up to 1080p), performing tasks in an office setup, surveillance, medical and healthcare applications, and many others. At an average rating of 32W TDP, it's also an energy-efficient device. The Artigo A1250's pricing has not yet been announced, although it's possible it could be a bit more expensive than its predecessor, given its more powerful CPU. 

 


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HIS to Debut Massive Dual-GPU Powered Radeon HD 7970 X2

Posted: November 1, 2012 @ time: 07:53AM
Author: edwardquilo

AMD's mildly elusive dual-GPU Tahiti XT boards will be making its way to HIS, in the form of the Radeon HD 7970 X2. Taking care not to follow the 7990 moniker, HIS has made an enormous three slot card to rival the size of PowerColor's Devil 13 HD7990. The HIS Radeon HD 7970 X2's 1050 MHz GPUs are individually cooled by separate heatsinks on top of its two fans, with the 6GB GDDR5 memory clocked at 6000 MHz. The meaty card is powered by three 8-pin PCIe power connectors, with a Lucidlogix PCIe switch bridging the two GPUs together. You'll also find two DVI and four mini DisplayPort outputs on the HD 7970 X2. Regarding availability, HIS has yet to announce a release date nor pricing. With such impressive specs, can a brawny Radeon HD 7970 X2 match the might of NVIDIA's powerful GTX 690?


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Adding Touch to Phone Calls

Posted: November 1, 2012 @ time: 09:29AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

At this point, there is a pretty good chance that if you live in the US, you either have a smartphone or know someone who does, so you are familiar with touchscreens on mobile devices. This now ubiquitous interface system has changed the way many people interact with technology today, but there are still some areas it has not affected. For example, despite touch technology being common for smartphones, when actually making a phone call, it is not used, but researchers at University of Helsinki are changing that.

The researchers have created prototype phones called ForcePhones that allow 'pressages' to be sent. These are non-verbal messages that convey the pressure of one person touching their phone to the other person. The researchers gave the ForcePhones to people, to learn how they use them and found that with an average phone call lasting 4 minutes and 43 seconds, there was an average 15.56 pressages sent, and all calls involved pressages. The subjects admitted to using the pressages to emphasis a point, express emotion, or to simply surprise whoever they were talking to.

The ForcePhones are not especially unique phones as they actually are standard mobile phones that have been augmented with pressure sensors for input and vibrotactile devices for output. However, I wouldn't be surprised if it still takes a while before we see this in the next line of smartphones.


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Danger Den Going Out of Business

Posted: November 1, 2012 @ time: 10:19AM
Author: bp9801

Sad news in the world of computing today, as Danger Den announced it is going out of business and closing its doors. Danger Den is famous for catering to the computer modders with pretty much any water cooling component, case, and more designed to make your system run or look better. Now, however, that all comes to an end after twelve long years. Not much is known about why the company is closing shop after all this time, however the official statement from Danger Den reads:

After 12 years our hobby has come to an end. It’s time to pursue other interests and Danger Den will be closing its doors. Thank you for all your support over the years, we’ve enjoyed being part of your modding community. ~ Dan, Jeremy, Dennis, and Rokk

A 75% off fire sale is currently going on for all in stock inventory at Danger Den's website until November 5. Unfortunately, the server has been hit hard with traffic and is down for the time being, but should be up before long. It's a minor consolation for one of the most well-known water cooling companies around, especially when you consider BFG Tech use to used DD products for its water cooled cards.


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Finding Why Insulators Fail

Posted: November 1, 2012 @ time: 12:21PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

When most people envision an electrical wire, they likely picture a piece of copper jacketed by some plastic insulator. That insulator is extremely important as it protects the inner wire from being damaged by the environment or shorting out. Over time though, the polymer insulator will fail, and now researchers at Duke University are on their way to finding out why.

Within polymers there are tiny bubbles of liquid or air that are present as defects from the manufacturing process. It has been known for some time that these bubbles, when exposed to an electric field, will deform, and in a strong enough field, they cause the insulator itself to fail. The mechanism behind this deformation is not well understood, in large part to the bubbles being in a solid which also fails at the almost the exact moment that needs to be studied. The researchers found a way to make their observations quickly enough and have found something new. It has previously been shown that the bubbles end up with a cylindrical shape when the polymer fails, but before they take on that shape, they first form a sharp tip. This suggests a new mechanism is at work than what was previously believed to be the case.

This discovery has numerous impacts including in the energy industry, where polymers would like to be used for improved capacitors, but the lack of understanding concerning how they fail has been hindering their adoption. However, as this research also shows how the polymer itself is deformed due to strong electric fields, the researchers are going to see about making a lens that can have its shape changed by an electric field for use in ophthalmology.


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OCZ Announces Reorganization Plan

Posted: November 1, 2012 @ time: 08:08PM
Author: bp9801

OCZ has some tough times ahead, even more so after the CEO stepped down in September and the third quarter fiscal results were projected to be less than stellar. Now, OCZ has announced a reorganization plan that will see a reduction in its workforce and product lines. The smaller product line should be a good thing, as it means fewer similarly performing products within different price frames. Around 150 products are set to be discontinued, with "value category" cut down nearly 80%. More of a focus will be placed on mainstream and high-end parts, along with enterprise and OEM products. The workforce reduction, on the other hand, is not that good of a thing, as 28% of OCZ's workers worldwide will be let go. That percentage won't include production workers, but the Taiwan facility has seen a 32% reduction in total personnel.

What this means is a more focused OCZ with fewer low-end products, but one that is still "significantly" invested in research and development. New CEO Ralph Schmitt says the reorganization is to the benefit of OCZ and its shareholders as it will "help ensure that OCZ will be in the best position moving forward to address the fast growing consumer and enterprise SSD markets."


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Hardware Roundup: Friday Edition

Posted: November 2, 2012 @ time: 06:34AM
Author: Nemo

Our roundup features quite a few articles to get your weekend started off right. Continuing the trend from yesterday's roundup, we have another Mionix gaming surface for you to read about. The Corsair Vengeance C70 mid-tower gaming case is reviewed and we also have a look at the NZXT Aperture M internal card reader if you need to add additional card slots and USB 3.0 ports to the front of your case. There are reviews covering an external hard drive enclosure from Icy Dock, a Sandisk solid state drive and more, so be sure to read all of the reviews and articles using the links below.

Cases
Corsair Vengeance C70 Mid-Tower Gaming Case @ PC Perspective

Gadgets
NZXT Aperture M @ ThinkComputers

Manufacturers
Touring Microsoft, Sony and Apple Stores on Windows 8’s Launch Day @ TechSpot
Rapture Game Studios @ LanOC Reviews

Mousepads
Mionix Sargas 900 Deskpad @ XSReviews

Storage/Hard Drives
ICY DOCK MB662USEB-2S-1 Dual Bay Hard Drive Enclosure @ ThinkComputers
SanDisk Extreme SSD Storage @ [H]ardOCP

Miscellany
Podcast #225 @ PC Perspective
3D Printing vs Patents and Gun Controls @ Benchmark Reviews
Bjorn3D / Kingston – Get Ready For The Holidays Giveaway! @ Bjorn3D


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Slimmer Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 Dual-X Edition Makes its Appearance

Posted: November 2, 2012 @ time: 07:19AM
Author: edwardquilo

Sapphire's next entry to the 7870 series is a fairly straightforward version with no flashy exterior but is hopefully all about function. Casual observers might mistake the leaner Radeon HD 7870 Dual-X Edition Graphics Card for its slightly bigger sibling, the HD 7870 FleX with Dual-X, but closer inspection on the former board reveals a much smaller PCB that maintains a hushed dual-fan solution similar to Sapphire's heftier offerings. The plain layout of its two DVIs, single HDMI and DisplayPort are nothing to write home about, but this unassuming board is stocked with a 256-bit memory interface utilized on 2GB of GDDR5 RAM. Sapphire has also chosen to keep the Radeon HD 7870 Dual-X Edition running on a default core and memory speed of 1000 MHz and 4.80 GHz respectively. The Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 Dual-X Edition is estimated to cost around $230, and its relatively smaller footprint could be an ideal home for a modest-sized rig with cramped spaces. 


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ARM Shows Off 64-bit Cortex-A50 for Use by AMD and Others

Posted: November 2, 2012 @ time: 02:49PM
Author: bp9801

It was just the other day when AMD announced it'll be building licensed 64-bit ARM processors, and now we have a pretty good idea at just what these chips will be. ARM has introduced a new series it's calling the Cortex-A50, which is based on the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture. The first chips will arrive in 2014 and one of the licenses is AMD, which lines up perfectly with its 64-bit SoC Opteron chips. ARM's Cortex-A50 has two products, the A57 and A53, with the former being the company's "most advanced high-performance applications processor," and the latter the "most power-efficient." The A53 is also the world's smallest 64-bit processor, while the A57 has the "highest single-thread performance" and compares to a "legacy PC" in terms of overall performance.

Both processors can run independently or in an ARM big.LITTLE configuration for high power and efficiency, and "target multi-GHz performance on advanced CMOS and FinFET processes technologies." FinFET refers to three-dimensional transistors, and GlobalFoundries, which produces AMD's processors, and GloFo are both capable of producing FinFET devices. It's not known if the first Cortex-A50 series processors will use that process, but it's a possibility.


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ECS Announces A970M-A Deluxe Motherboard

Posted: November 2, 2012 @ time: 03:30PM
Author: CheeseMan42

ECS has announced the addition of the A970M-A Deluxe to its lineup of motherboards in the Black Series. The board is compatible with AMD AM3 and AM3+ APUs. It is based on the 970 chipset from AMD and has two PCIe x16 slots for CrossFireX support, support for 32GB of dual channel DDR3, and five SATA 6Gb/s connectors. The board has been ECS Nonstop Technology certified, ensuring its reliability, and it also features Anti-Dust Shield Technology to help prevent dust buildup on the board. EZ Charger technology provides a USB port that can handle three times the current of standard USB ports to help charge your devices faster.


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Bethesda Teases a New Image on Twitter, Full Trailer on Monday

Posted: November 2, 2012 @ time: 06:26PM
Author: bp9801

Bethesda certainly has something cooking, as a fairly cryptic message has appeared on the Bethesda Game Studios' Twitter. The tweet says a full trailer will be unveiled on Monday, and released a teaser image that is rather interesting. A character is wearing something similar to a Dragon Priest Mask and Robe, although it has a fairly heavy Falmer influence going on, especially in the Mask's design.

Last month some hints at a new The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim DLC appeared in the 1.8 patch, which referred to a DLC known as Dragonborn. This DLC, if accurate, takes us back to the island of Solstheim, off the coast of Vvardenfell, and was last featured in the Bloodmoon expansion for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Several of the lines for the DLC talked about new items, armors, locations, and the very interesting ability to ride a dragon. Perhaps this Dragon Priest/Falmer armor blend is a part of that dragon riding ability, like a boss to defeat or even the instructor, but whatever the case is, color me intrigued. I guess we just have to wait until Monday to see just what Bethesda is working on.


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ARM and Microsoft Working Together on 64-bit Windows for ARM Processors

Posted: November 3, 2012 @ time: 12:41AM
Author: bp9801

No sooner than ARM showed off its 64-bit Cortex-A50 series of processors came the news it is working with Microsoft to develop a 64-bit Windows for ARM processors. Microsoft Surface tablets running Windows RT are all 32-bit, unlike Windows 8, which also has a 64-bit version. The 32-bit limitation of Windows RT means memory capabilities pale in comparison to Windows 8, but a 64-bit Windows RT would level the playing field. ARM didn't reveal any specific release date for the 64-bit Windows RT, but the Cortex-A50 series is expected to arrive in servers and mobile devices in 2014. It's possible we'll see a 64-bit Windows RT around that time, and it'd be a good thing, too, considering 64-bit apps would need to be developed. There are other challenges as well, but at least there should be plenty of time to iron everything out.


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Microsoft Reportedly Working on Its Own Smartphone

Posted: November 3, 2012 @ time: 05:01AM
Author: edwardquilo

An article from Wall Street Journal purports that Microsoft is developing an in-house smartphone with the help of Asian suppliers. When asked to comment about the rumor, Microsoft officials offered no answer other than that of its current partnerships with Nokia, HTC and Samsung, of which Redmond states that they're quite happy with. Whether that declaration holds ground is still up in the air though, as IDC smartphone statistics show that Windows Phones only take up about 2% of the market at 3.6 million phones shipped, a stark contrast to Android's dominance with 136 million phones. With such a weak position compared to its rivals, a Microsoft-built phone does make sense - considering that the software giant has had success with hardware in the Xbox 360 and a promising future for Surface. If the Microsoft-made smartphone does indeed materialize, it will perhaps inch the company closer to taking the reins of elusive success in the mobile phone race. 


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No Steam Greenlight Spotlight This Week

Posted: November 3, 2012 @ time: 04:08PM
Author: ClayMeow

Sadly, Hurricane Sandy has claimed another victim – this week's Steam Greenlight Spotlight. It's been five days and counting with no power, with no signs that I'll be getting my power back anytime soon. Although I'm currently enjoying some temporary Internet access, since I have had no time to browse Steam Greenlight this past week, I unfortunately will not be choosing a spotlight. I don't want to do some half-assed spotlight – you deserve better than that. Hopefully the spotlight returns next weekend, if for no other reason than I may kill someone if I have to go another week without power. In the meantime, you can revisit the previous spotlights or post in the forum thread.


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Hardware Roundup: Monday Edition

Posted: November 5, 2012 @ time: 06:11AM
Author: Nemo

Welcome to a new week of reviews and articles from around the web. Our roundup today has a review on the Corsair AF and SP Air Series cooling fans with units designed for either high air flow or high static pressure. InWin's GRone full-tower chassis is also covered today that supports both 120mm and 140mm fans. This looks a perfect application for the Corsair AF120 and AF140 fans. We get another chance to check out the ASUS P8Z77 WS motherboard as well.

Cases
InWin GRone Full-Tower Chassis @ Bjorn3D

Cooling
Corsair Air Series Fans @ Madshrimps

Motherboards
ASUS P8Z77 WS Workstation Z77 Motherboard @ PC Perspective

Miscellany
HAWKEN BETA Code Giveaway! @ ThinkComputers
Bjorn3D / Kingston – Get Ready For The Holidays Giveaway! @ Bjorn3D


Complete Story


New Record for Most Entangled Photons

Posted: November 5, 2012 @ time: 06:11AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The name quantum mechanics refers to the fact that the physics involved deals with specific units of existence, or quanta, and typically these units are incredibly small. Electrons, as an example of an elementary quantum, can only exist as a single point in space, because if they were any larger their angular velocity would exceed the speed of light. Despite this preference for working on small scales though, researchers want to grow quantum mechanics to the macroscale we live at for multiple reasons. Now researchers at the University of Vienna have achieved a new record towards macroscale quantum mechanics by entangling the most photons ever.

Entanglement is a quantum mechanical phenomenon where multiple particles exist with a shared state, so the state of one when measured influences the states of the others. For photons one of the entangled properties could be its angular momentum, which has no upper limit in theory, though modern technology does have a limit. The researchers pushed this limit and entangled hundreds of photons through their angular momentum, with half spinning clockwise and half spinning counter-clockwise.

This development could have great impacts on the future as entanglement may be one of the primary phenomena used to create quantum technologies, such as quantum computers. Quantum communication could also benefit from this research as entangled particles remain entangled no matter the distance between them.


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HTC's Opera UL Rumored to be the First Facebook Smartphone

Posted: November 5, 2012 @ time: 10:07AM
Author: edwardquilo

A source has informed Pocket-lint of the very first smartphone built specifically for Facebook, the HTC Opera UL. The unconfirmed handset is speculated to be in the works and ongoing testing has uncovered the device's possible specifications - that it's going to be powered by a 1.4GHz processor sporting a HD display of 720x1280, and running on Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. It appears though, that the Facebook phone may not be released anytime soon, as the HTC Opera UL has been subjected to a few delays that kept pushing its release further back to an unspecified future date. If Facebook does confirm the existence of its device, it stands to benefit from an immense mobile user base who are already heavily invested in to the ubiquitous social networking app. 


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Rotating Detonation Engines for the Future's Navy

Posted: November 5, 2012 @ time: 10:08AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

There is a great deal of focus to make technologies more efficient, or to simple develop new, technologies that start off as more efficient. While that focus is often targeting consumer products, military hardware could else be improved, and researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory are working on that. On 129 US Navy ships there are 430 gas turbine engines that use the Brayton cycle to generate power for the vessel, but in the future these engines could be replaced with Rotating Detonation Engines (RDEs) that instead rely on the detonation cycle to produce more power with less fuel.

The Brayton cycle at the heart of turbine engines deals with creating and compressing fuel-air mixtures that are then ignited. The detonation cycle however does not require any compression to operate, as explosions create high pressure, though adding a compression step can improve the cycle's efficiency. The idea is to harness the pressure waves of explosions to generate electricity much more efficiently than a gas turbine can. Potentially this could increase power output by 10% while decreasing fuel requirements by 25%, which could amount to a savings of $300-$400 million dollars a year.

There is a great deal of work to still be done before RDEs and Pulse Detonation Engines (PDEs) can be deployed though. The researchers know enough to be interested in the technology but still require a better understanding of how it works and the performance it will be capable of.


Complete Story


Corsair Launches New Hydro H100i and H80i Liquid CPU Coolers

Posted: November 5, 2012 @ time: 10:18AM
Author: bp9801

Corsair is not a company to let a good design sit idle, and to showcase that is renovating its flagship Hydro liquid CPU coolers. The Corsair Hydro H100i and H80i are a "ground-up re-design" of the original models "to deliver improved cooling, quieter operation, simpler installation, and Corsair Link digital control." Each cooler uses new, more efficient copper cold plates, improved manifolds, optimized fan designs, and bigger tubing for better cooling over past versions. The H100i features a 240mm radiator while the H80i has a double-thick 120mm radiator and two fans in a push-pull setup. Both Hydro coolers use new SP120L High Performance fans based on Corsair's SP120 fans optimized for static pressure. The SP120L fans have wide body, low-pitch blades for better static pressure at lower noise levels, and a motor specially tuned for higher torque.

If you want more precise control of your new Hydro cooler, Corsair has built in compatibility with its Corsair Link system (no extra gear needed). Fan speeds, noise levels, pump head LED lighting, and custom fan profiles are all able to be controlled from Corsair Link Dashboard's software, so you can have the system running just how you desire. An extra connector on the pump heads allow for even more monitoring and control of other Corsair Link-compatible devices, if you wish.

The Corsair Hydro H100i and H80i will work on all modern Intel (115x/1366/2011) and AMD (AM2/AM3/FM1/FM2) sockets, and the composite rubber tubing ensures more flexibility compared to older versions. The H100i will fit on cases with 240mm mounts designed for radiators, while the H80i works with any 120mm mount. Corsair has priced the H100i at an affordable $119.99, with the H80i at $99.99. Both models come with a five-year warranty and are set to arrive later this month.


Complete Story


Using Graphene to Model Relativistic Phenomena

Posted: November 5, 2012 @ time: 10:56AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Researchers have found another use for the wonder material, graphene. This atom-thick sheet of carbon has a curious interplay between its conduction electrons and atoms which results in allowing the electrons to travel as though they were massless. This means the electrons can reach speeds so fast that relativity dominates them and, as reported by Springer, researchers are now using this to study still faster cosmic rays.

Cosmic rays are these essentially omnipresent particles that stream in from outer space and strike our atmosphere with energy exceeding that achievable at the Large Hadron Collider. These particles come from a variety of sources including the Sun and the remnants of novas and supernovas from throughout the Universe. While the particles travel at nearly the speed of light, they can still display random or Brownian motion, which is what the researchers were curious about. By careful manipulation of a graphene chip, the researchers were able to model the motion of the cosmic rays with electrons on the graphene, even though they travel much slower than the cosmic rays.

Next the researchers want to further examine how temperature affects electron transport over graphene. If they can find ways to exercise even greater control over the electrons, they could make graphene into a mini-lab for studying cosmic rays.


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Solstheim and the First Dragonborn Await in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Dragonborn

Posted: November 5, 2012 @ time: 10:57AM
Author: bp9801

After a little bit of teasing, we finally know what Bethesda has in store for us. We get to journey back to the island of Solstheim in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Dragonborn, the newest DLC for the massive RPG (and confirming the rumored name). The official trailer is provided below, and in it we get to see some of the unique Morrowind landscapes intertwined with the snowy aspects of Skyrim that makes Solstheim like no other place in Tamriel.

In Dragonborn, players are tasked to stopping a Dragon Priest that devoured dragons instead of worshipping them. He is the first Dragonborn, and we get to see a look at him near the end of the trailer. He should be a most formidable adversary, as will some of the new creatures we'll be facing. Some of the new weapons and armor should come in handy, like spears and what appears to be Chitin or Bonemold armor. There also looks to be a good deal of mystery and puzzles in the Dragonborn DLC, but I'm just excited to return to Solstheim after such a long time. Oh, and ride a dragon around.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Dragonborn arrives on December 4 for the Xbox 360. It'll cost 1600 Microsoft Points ($20 in actual money) and hopefully appears on the PC soon after.


Complete Story


ECS Announces Trinity Challenge Overclocking Competition

Posted: November 5, 2012 @ time: 05:32PM
Author: CheeseMan42

ECS is holding an overclocking competition on HWBOT, the Trinity Challenge. This competition is targeted at users of the AMD FM1 and FM2 platforms. The online competition runs until November 30 and is split into two stages. The first stage will be open to users of ECS motherboards with the FM1 platform and is looking for the highest 3DMark06 score. The second stage is for users with any brand of FM2 motherboard and uses the 3DMark Vantage benchmark. Prizes for the competition include an ECS A85F2-A Golden motherboard, AMD A10 APU 5800K, and a Cooler Master Storm QuickFire Pro keyboard.


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New Intel Cooler Available Soon from Arctic

Posted: November 5, 2012 @ time: 05:49PM
Author: CheeseMan42

The newest CPU cooler from Arctic, the Freezer i30 CO, targets Intel processors with sockets 2011, 1155, and 1156. "CO stands for Continuous Operation and makes the cooler suitable for PCs with non-stop operation like servers." The cooler features four direct touch heatpipes that feed heat into a 48-fin heatsink. The included 120mm PWM fan helps to dissipate the heat while keeping noise low. Testing done by Tom's Hardware recorded a noise level of just 37.8 dBA on an AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition at 3800MHz. The Freezer i30 CO will be available on November 8 at an MSRP of $59.90.


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Super-Small Lasers Developed

Posted: November 5, 2012 @ time: 07:16PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Many researchers are working towards the goal of advanced optoelectronics with capabilities similar to modern electronics, but with less energy consumption and greater speed. One of the obstacles to them though is the diffraction limit of light, which prevents light from being confined to an arbitrarily small size. Plasmonics allow a way around this limit and now researchers at Northwestern University have created a laser that uses plasmons to emit light while being the size of a virus.

Plasmons are an interesting quasiparticle formed by the coupling of an electron and a photon. This coupling allows the information of the photon to be confined to a size much smaller than the diffraction limit of the light. In fact, in theory plasmons can allow light to be confined to any small size, and this is what the researchers have taken advantage of for their laser. By precisely designing the lasing cavity within nanoparticles shaped like a bowtie, the researchers have reached the scale of a virus particle, which should be very useful for creating optoelectronics that push the boundaries of information processing and storage

While the scale of the lasers is very important for eventually integrating it into silicon-based devices, another key property is that the lasers operate at room temperature. Something else that may also prove useful is that when arranged in an array, the laser light could be emitted at specific angles, depending on the arrangement.


Complete Story


AMD Puts Piledriver in Servers with Opteron 6300 Series

Posted: November 5, 2012 @ time: 07:38PM
Author: bp9801

The server world will soon be getting a dose of Piledriver, as AMD has announced the Opteron 6300 series. The 6300 series uses the same 32nm chips as the FX-8350, just modified for servers. AMD has designed these as drop-in replacements for the Bulldozer-based 6200 series, just with higher performance and better efficiency. Base and Turbo clocks have increased across the entire line from last year, with parts ranging from four to 16 cores for any requirement. Wattage has remained about the same between the 6200 and 6300 chips, but AMD promises 40% higher performance per watt with the Piledriver ones. Each processor supports 1866MHz memory speeds and even 1.25v modules, and as much as 384GB of RAM and 12 DIMM slots are supported, too. AMD Opteron 6300 chips are available now from SGI, Cray, ASUS, Appro, Colfax, Microway, and more, with Dell and HP expected before the end of the year.


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Japan Display Creates an LCD Display Without the Backlight

Posted: November 6, 2012 @ time: 01:34AM
Author: bp9801

LCD technology hasn't changed much at all over the years in terms of how we see the image. A backlight is still used no matter how thin the screen is, but now that is no longer the case for one company. Japan Display has created an LCD display that doesn't use a backlight, but rather reflected light, like a mirror, to show an image. The reflected light renders a monochromatic image while the screen uses color filters to display the final picture. It's a rather fascinating technology, and one that eliminates a wealth of power consumption by dropping the backlight. The screen apparently only uses three milliwatts of power when displaying a still image, since each pixel can retain a signal and remember the color without using power. That alone could prove very useful as an alternative to E-Ink displays for e-readers, but everything is not all roses.

The display features some muted colors and a rather poor 30:1 contrast ratio. However, Japan Display, despite acknowledging those issues, says the technology is ready for mass production. It'll certainly be interesting to see how well it catches on, and if the colors and contrast ratio can be improved over time.


Complete Story


Hardware Roundup: Tuesday Edition

Posted: November 6, 2012 @ time: 03:44AM
Author: Nemo

Installing a custom water cooling setup in your computer can be an expensive and daunting task to some builders. Another way to get the benefits of water cooling is to install a self-contained liquid cooling system. The Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro is just one of three units in Thermaltake's Water 2.0 product lineup and it offers the benefit of dual fans mounted on a 120mm radiator. We have had several Intel Z77 motherboard reviews in the roundup recently and today we get an opportunity to look at the Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 board. Neoseeker has just published a new review on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti based on the GK106 GPU with a mainstream market in mind with its $150 price tag.

Cooling
Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro Liquid Cooling Heatsink @ Frostytech

Input Devices
SteelSeries Kana Counterstrike Global Offensive Edition @ Madshrimps

Motherboards
Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 LGA 1155 Motherboard @ [H]ardOCP

Prebuilts
ORIGIN Gensis Overclocked Quad SLI Gaming PC Review - Dual GTX 690s @ PC Perspective

Storage
PNY XLR8 PRO Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews

Video
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti @ Neoseeker


Complete Story


Mushkin Adds New USB 3.0 Flash Drives

Posted: November 6, 2012 @ time: 05:14AM
Author: CheeseMan42

Mushkin has announced the addition of the Ventura Plus line of USB 3.0 flash drives to its product lineup. The drives will be available in capacities of 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB and are backwards compatible with USB 2.0. Providing read and write speeds of 200MB/s and 40MB/s, respectively, the Ventura Plus drives are capable of transferring a 4GB file in 15 seconds. The aluminum exterior of the Ventura Plus allows it to absorb shocks up to 10G.


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Thermalright Now Boasts Smallest 120mm Cooler

Posted: November 6, 2012 @ time: 05:23AM
Author: CheeseMan42

The True Spirit 120M is the newest CPU cooler from Thermalright and it is the world's smallest 120mm fan based cooler. This smaller take on the True Spirit 120 is targeted towards Micro ATX users who typically have smaller cases and can't fit larger heatsinks. Thermalright was able to achieve the smaller heatsink without sacrificing performance by changing the placement of the four heatpipes found on the cooler, which has the added benefit of preventing interference with RAM. The True Spirit 120M is compatible with all of the latest Intel and AMD sockets all the way back to socket 775. The cooler is available now and has an MSRP of $29.95.


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Making Silicon Anodes Viable

Posted: November 6, 2012 @ time: 08:00AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Lithium-ion batteries are among the most common, if not the most common variety of rechargeable batteries used for electronics. From cellphones to electric cars these batteries power technology, but have several limits on their capabilities. Researchers at Rice University though have found a way to push back those limits with crushed porous silicon anodes.

For some time researchers have known that silicon could replace graphite at the anodes of lithium batteries to increase their power, but at a dangerous cost. When silicon absorbs the lithium ions, it expands and can expand so much that a solid anode could break apart and damage the battery. Some have tried putting pours into the silicon to accommodate the expansion, but the Rice researchers have changed that approach slightly by crushing up the porous silicon, instead of leaving it as a film or sponge. The result is a powder with 50 times more surface area for absorbing silicon, but enough void space to not break apart. When tested in half-batteries, the researchers have achieved 1,000 milliamp hours per gram, which is some three times greater than the previous record, with 600 charge/discharge cycles.

As impressive as that 1000 mAh/g figure is, it could be just a third of what crushed porous silicon is capable of. Once it is further improved though, it may be able to reach consumer products relatively quickly, thanks to it being easy and cheap to produce.


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Paypal, Symantec, and ImageShack Targeted by Hackers

Posted: November 6, 2012 @ time: 05:17PM
Author: bp9801

Just when you thought hacking attacks were over comes a new batch carried out by different groups. Paypal, Symantec, and ImageShack all fell victim to hacking attacks recently, as did a few other websites. The group known as HTP claimed responsibility for compromising MySQL databases, Web servers, routers, and management servers used by ImageShack and yfrog. ImageShack was tested to apparently see if the website had beefed up security since a 2009 attack, but according to HTP the site was "completely owned." HTP also takes responsibility for hacking into Symantec and taking names, email addresses, and hashed passwords of hundreds of users. The email addresses are believed to be @symantec.com domains.

Hackers associated with Anonymous claim to have broken into several NBC websites, some Australian ones, and a Lady Gaga fansite called Gaga Daily. That group also claims to have hacked and taken user information from Paypal, but the website it was posted on has since had it removed. However, a Paypal representative says the company is investigating but cannot find any validation for these claims. Likewise, a Symantec rep said that company is also investigating but has no information at this time. More attacks were promised to occur yesterday to coincide with Guy Fawkes Day. We'll keep you updated with any new information.


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Cooling with Crystals

Posted: November 6, 2012 @ time: 05:53PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

High temperatures are a large problem for microelectronics as heat can cause errors within the devices and potentially failure. That is why there are so many options for cooling our electronics, including air and liquid cooling systems. Thanks to some new research from the Carnegie Institution, we may see a new cooling contender soon, or at least a new technology to augment what we already have.

The electrocaloric effect, which connects electric fields and temperature, has been known about since the 1930s but has not been utilized. This is because the materials researchers have been using do not demonstrate the effect that well, but the Carnegie researchers have figured out why. They discovered that the best materials to use are those with a low transition temperature between a ferroelectric and paraelectric state. When the material, in this case lithium niobate, is exposed to an electric field, it pumps heat by changing temperature, but when the ambient temperature is above the transition temperature, the effect is stronger.

Lithium niobate has not been studied like this before, but the results of the models the researchers developed may change that. It represents a new way to cool computer chips, and as it should be able to operate at the nanoscale, its impact could be very interesting.


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Cooler Master Unveils the CM Storm QuickFire TK Keyboard

Posted: November 6, 2012 @ time: 06:10PM
Author: bp9801

Cooler Master is welcoming a new keyboard to its growing family as it announced the CM Storm QuickFire TK. The QuickFire TK is a mechanical keyboard with your choice of Cherry MX Red, Blue, or Brown switches with laser-marked, grip-coated keycaps and a matte finish. Cooler Master has dropped the arrow and home key clusters in favor of a number pad; you get the small look of the QuickFire Rapid with the functionality of a full keyboard. N-Key Roll Over (NKRO) is implemented on the QuickFire TK, so any combination of keys you press will register. Multimedia shortcuts are available up top by way of the Function (FN) key. The Windows key can be disabled in GAME mode to prevent any accidental presses to get you killed.

The best part of the CM Storm QuickFire TK is the full backlighting, with the color dependent on the switch type. The Red switches have red lighting and a red steelplate, the Blues have blue lighting and steelplate, and the Browns have white lighting and a brown steelplate. There are three different lighting modes and five intensity levels to customize it however you want. A braided and detachable USB cable comes with the QuickFire TK and can be routed underneath the keyboard for minimal clutter.

Cooler Master's CM Storm QuickFire TK should be available now at your favorite (r)etailers for $99.99.


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First All-Carbon Solar Cell Created

Posted: November 6, 2012 @ time: 07:38PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Carbon, and its many forms, has been waging a war, of sorts, on silicon, that ubiquitous semiconductor, as it challenges silicon's dominance by bringing its own properties to the table. Carbon can be a considerably stronger and more flexibly material than silicon, while also being cheaper to work with, but there is still a great deal of work to do before it can compete for the throne. Researchers at Stanford University have done some of that work by creating the first all-carbon solar cell.

Carbon has been used in cells before, but what makes this cell special is every component is made of carbon, instead of just the active layer that converts the light to electricity. This is very important because typically those other components, including the electrodes, are made of expensive materials like indium tin oxide (ITO). Indium is a rare element and ITO has so many uses that it is quite expensive. In this new solar cell, the electrodes are made of a combination of graphene and carbon nanotubes, which are transparent, like ITO, but are also flexible and relatively cheap to make.

One issue with this design, that the researchers hope to remedy soon, is a rather low efficiency of 1%. This is partly because carbon primarily reacts to near-infrared light, instead of more abundant visible light. However, as this solar cell is a thin film design, it does have the advantage of being paintable, so instead of having rigid, flat, silicon solar cells, a surface could be painted on, to create a solar cell of any shape.


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Corsair Adds More Models to AX PSU Line

Posted: November 6, 2012 @ time: 08:15PM
Author: bp9801

Corsair is a name many look to when needing nearly any computer part, and especially when that part is a power supply. Today Corsair has added four new models in the 760W to 860W range to its AX line of 80 PLUS Platinum power supplies: AX860i and AX760i digital PSUs, and AX860 and AX760 analog PSUs. The AX860i and AX760i feature the DSP-based innovations of the AX1200i, just in a smaller wattage for those who don't need 1200 watts. The digitally-controlled power circuitry ensures stable voltages and low ripple and noise, which grants an efficiency of 92%. Plus the Corsair Link connector allows for precise monitoring of power draw, efficiency, temperature, and fan speed. Both models have a 140mm fan that operates in a "zero-RPM" mode until a 30% load of the maximum power is reached.

The analog AX860 and AX760 don't have the digital features of the other models, but are still 80 PLUS Platinum certified. The efficiency comes in at 90% instead of 92% on the digital models, but that is still mighty impressive. The AX860's fan won't spin until a 60% load is reached, while the AX760's fan won't kick on until a 70% load. You can't get much more quiet than that for simple tasks at the PC.

All four models come with a seven-year warranty and are set to arrive later this month. The AX860i is priced at $249.99, the AX760i at $229.99, the AX860 at $219.99, and the AX760 at $199.99. Individually sleeved cable kits in red, white, blue, and black can be purchased at the Corsair website.


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New Method to Create Transition Metal Oxide Nanostructures

Posted: November 6, 2012 @ time: 08:17PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Most people would say that rust is a bad thing for numerous reasons, but in some cases oxidation can actually unlock new abilities for a material. Several kinds of oxides are already being used in electronics while still more are being developed. Now researchers at the University of Oklahoma and North Carolina State University have discovered a new way to create transition metal oxide nanostructures that could really help them permeate the market.

The researchers placed bulk transition metals at the hottest part of an oxygen-enriched flame which drove the reactions to create different kinds of 1D and 3D nanostructures. These structures include hollow channels that could be used for medical applications and nanorods that could be used with solar panels. In fact, when the researchers coated a solar panel with tungsten oxide nanorods they were able to increase its efficiency by an impressive 5%.

Importantly, this method of producing transition metal oxide nanostructures is both quick and cheap, so what interest there is in them now may soon grow. With more access to these flame-formed materials, other researchers may start devising new experiments to see what they can do with them.


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Xbox Surface with 7 Inch Screen Reportedly in Development

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 02:13AM
Author: bp9801

Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface have arrived, and many more tablets, laptops, and desktops running the new OS are available or soon will be. A Windows 8 Pro version of Surface is on the horizon as well, as the current one runs on Windows RT. However, those Surface tablets are designed for office work and the like, with gaming a possibility but not tailor-made. That may soon change, as a new report states Microsoft is at work on a 7" Xbox Surface designed for gaming. The report says the Xbox Surface would likely run an ARM chip with high speed RAM or (after some modification) an Intel SoC, but it's developed independently from a set hardware specification. It also would not run a full Windows version, but rather a custom one focused on gaming (and maybe some light messaging). Interestingly, this is not the first time ARM has been mentioned with an Xbox device and it could shed some light on those Xbox FL domains.

All of this is unconfirmed rumor for now, although it apparently comes from people within Microsoft. It's interesting to note that Microsoft's Silicon Valley location recently limited access to some of the Xbox buildings, possibly due to testing of the Xbox Surface. So long as this tablet continues development and sees the light of day, it should arrive before the Next Xbox and coexist along side it. We'll just have to wait and see if Microsoft officially confirms it.


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday Edition

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 05:13AM
Author: Nemo

With the U.S. presidential election over, perhaps you have a bit more time to look at what we have lined up in the hardware roundup today. If you are a gamer, then you know the Master Chief is back in Halo 4 and we have a review of that game title along with a look at the gaming performance of Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Next up are a pair of case reviews covering the Thermaltake Overseer RX-I full-tower chassis and the mid-tower Corsair Obsidian Series 550D case. Thermalright is a venerable name in the air cooling market and we have a review on the True Spirit 120M cooler. We also picked up another review on the SilverStone Heligon HE01 twin-tower CPU cooler. You can check out ComputerEd's thoughts on the latest version of Windows if you've been undecided on whther to upgrade or not.

Cases
Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Chassis @ Bjorn3D
Corsair Obsidian Series 550D Case @ ThinkComputers

Cooling
Thermalright True Spirit 120M CPU Air Cooler @ [H]ardOCP
Silverstone Heligon HE01 Twin Tower Heatsink @ Frostytech

Gaming
Halo 4 Review: Master Chief is Back @ TechSpot
Medal of Honor: Warfighter Gameplay Performance @ [H]ardOCP

Operating Systems
Real Time Thoughts On Windows 8 @ ComputerEd
How Has Windows Search Improved Since Win2k? Hint: It Hasn’t! @ TechSpot

Power Supplies
SilverStone ST45SF-G 450W SFX Form Factor PSU @ PC Perspective


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Improving Oxidation Catalysts

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 07:15AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Catalysts are very useful tools in chemistry as they enable reactions to happen more quickly and more efficiently. This is why we see them in a myriad of products, including the catalytic converter of automobiles. Now researchers at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory have found a way to make catalysts even more efficient by adding a sieving layer.

While different catalysts affect different reactions, they are not choosy about which reactions they do catalyze, if able to. That means that if you want reaction A to happen, but the catalyst can enhance reactions A and B, then it will catalyze both A and B. This has the potential to impair the catalyst's performance, which is why researchers are trying to make them more selective, which these researchers have achieved by adding a film that blocks certain reactions. By putting nanoscale holes into the film, only certain chemical can get through to react with the catalyst, which improved its efficiency.

This improvement of selectivity does more than just improve efficiency as it can allow the reaction to occur without precious metals or hazardous oxidants. In fact the tests the researchers did were completed at room temperature and with only a low-power light source to stimulate the reaction.


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Sony PlayStation 4 Rumors Suggests Christmas 2013 Release Date

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 10:26AM
Author: edwardquilo

Sony's next PlayStation console codenamed "Orbis" is slated for a holiday 2013 release, according to sources cited by VG247. The Japanese conglomerate has not yet confirmed even the existence of its supposed successor, but rumors have it that Sony could be prepared to launch the PS4 earlier than its closest competition, Microsoft's next Xbox. However, Microsoft also released the Xbox 360 12 months earlier than Sony, so its possible Redmond could replicate that feat. It has recently surfaced that an AMD A10 APU-powered PS4 dev kit were handed out to devs, which were reportedly outfitted with 256 hard disk storage, a Blu-ray drive along with 8GB/16GB RAM. The PS4 is in for some tough times when it does get released, as the gaming landscape has changed considerably since the PS3's launch with the advent of more people embracing mobile gaming. 


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Avatars for Affecting Physical Reality and More

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 10:35AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Just about any gamer is familiar with avatars in virtual realities, as these entities stand in for us in those unreal worlds. In some cases these avatars are static, for the purposes of the environment, but in some realities our avatars can be made to look however we want. Now researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have found this ability could be used to improve one's physical health, and perhaps reduce prejudice.

Some 279 users of the Second Life community were surveyed as part of this study, and that survey included questions concerning their online engagement and offline health. They found that for those who considered their avatars an extension of themselves, a strong sense of self-presence, the researchers could predict how the avatar would impact their physical reality. These impacts could just be improving how one feels about themself, but could potentially be harnessed to lead to changing one's behavior. For example, an avatar in better physical condition than the user could encourage them to achieve that physical condition in the real world, provided they have a strong sense of self-presence online.

Potentially the researchers could see this being used to counter prejudices in society by enabling people to identify with something different from themselves through their avatar. The researchers have already expressed an interest in doing such a study.


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Intel's Core i7-3970X Extreme Edition Makes its Debut

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 10:42AM
Author: edwardquilo

Intel's latest flagship has arrived with the Core i7-3970X Extreme Edition, with a retail price estimated at $1,167. The powerful new Sandy Bridge-E chip utilizes LGA 2011, and is designed with a 150W TDP, a considerable increase from the 3960X's 130W. While potential buyers will have to manage without an integrated GPU, the powerful CPU is 200MHz speedier than its predecessor at 3.5GHz at stock which comes with a 4GHz maximum turbo boost. Keeping in line with its high-end features, the CPU also uses 15MB of L3 cache, six cores and 12 threads, a quad-channel DDR3 integrated memory controller and the capability to harness up to 128GB of memory. The Core i7-3970X Extreme has made its presence in boxed form in Singapore, with a launching rumored to be scheduled November 16, 2012.


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Windows Live Messenger will be Made Obsolete in 2013

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 11:04AM
Author: EuroFight

Today, Microsoft announced on the Skype blog that Windows Live Messenger will be retired during 2013. This is announced two weeks after Windows Live and Facebook messaging were integrated into Skype 6, which was released two weeks ago. The update will be rolled out for all users, except those in mainland China early in 2013. All you need to do to complete the upgrade is to sign in with you Microsoft ID once in the Skype client and you will find your messenger contacts there automatically.

Microsoft acquired Skype in mid-2011 for $8.5 billion, and has since continued development of the platform. Microsoft claims it isn’t making users use the platform to reduce the costs in development, but claims Skype provides much more functionality than the old platform including: greater cross-platform support, more functions (such as landline and mobile calling), screen sharing, and Facebook and group video calling.

Recently, Windows Live messenger users have declined, while the much more versatile Skype’s userbase has increased. Skype is also much more efficient with system resources than Windows Live, particularly during start-up, and unifies both messenger and Skype accounts. Skype 6 also features the modern UI to feel more at-home with Microsoft’s new OS, Windows 8.


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Device with Zero Index of Refraction Created

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 11:20AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

The repercussions of the Theories of Relativity can be very interesting, when examined carefully, because while information cannot be conveyed faster than the speed of light, not everything carries information. The phase of light, for example, does not carry any information and now researchers have gotten it to reach an infinite speed within a special device, as reported by Science.

The key to this achievement was making a device with an index of refraction of 0. The index of refraction of a material is a ratio between the phase speed of light within a material and in a vacuum. That means a material with an index of refraction greater than 1 slows light but those with an index less than one actually speeds light up. Such materials are not possible in Nature but with the careful construction of nanostructures, it is possible to create such 'impossible' materials. In this case it was accomplished by create a cavity the light reflects back and forth in, but at a specific wavelength, instead of have the usual alternation between light and dark areas, becomes all lit up. This is only possible if the peaks of the light wave, the phase of the wave, are moving infinitely fast.

Now, this still obeys relativity, so superluminal communication is not going to be possible with these devices. However, its affects on the phase front of the light could be utilized for optical circuitry including antennas.


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Apple Sued for $365 Million, Loses Lawsuit

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 01:46PM
Author: EuroFight

Apple has lost a lawsuit filed against it by Connecticut-based internet security company VirnetX. This follows Apple’s recent lawsuit filed against Samsung, with the judge ruling in Apple’s favor losing Samsung $1.05 billion in damages in the US. VirnetX originally filed the patent request in 2010 for almost double the sum eventually paid. The patent concerns the process of using a domain name to set up a virtual private network, or VPN, that Apple uses in many of its products, including FaceTime. VirnetX itself however, is no stranger to the courtroom, having previously been involved in lawsuits concerning other major companies like Cisco, Avaya, and even Microsoft.

Many people will be happy with the ruling, which may be signalling a change in fortune for Apple, a company that, despite being highly controversial recently, has managed to become one of the biggest technology giants in the world. The ruling is unlikely to make a significant dent in Apple’s finances, since $365 million is barely a third of what the firm recovered in its recent court victory over Samsung.


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Steam for Linux Beta Arrives, New NVIDIA Drivers in Tow

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 02:22PM
Author: bp9801

At long last, Steam has arrived for the Linux faithful. Well, the Steam for Linux beta that is, which is now available to the lucky few selected out of the over 60,000 applicants. Valve is keeping the beta to a limited access for now, but plans to open it up to more of the applicants over time. Those already in the beta can start playing Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and two dozen other games, which is far more than just L4D2 Valve was talking about before. Big Picture mode is also included with the Linux client, so you get two betas in one and perfect for those with a Linux-based HTPC. Steam for Linux does require Ubuntu 12.04 or higher, but Valve intends to support more distros in the future. User feedback will factor heavily into the expansion, so be sure to let the company know your preferences. A Steam Community page is available to keep up to date with the latest developments, announcements, and feedback.

To coincide with the Steam for Linux beta, NVIDIA has updated its graphics drivers for Linux 32 and 64-bit systems. The R310 drivers were developed with help from Valve and others to give Linux users the best possible experience in the new Steam games. Those new drivers can be downloaded from GeForce.com to get you on your gaming way.


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Expansion News for Blizzard Games

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 04:28PM
Author: CheeseMan42

Activision Blizzard used a third quarter 2012 results call to provide information on expansions for two of its games, Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2. StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is the second chapter in the new game and follows Sarah Kerrigan and the alien Zerg. The game will feature a new single player campaign and a number of new units. It will release in the first half of 2013. The company also announced that Diablo 3 will receive an expansion but no title or release date was announced. The company also credited Diablo 3 as one of its earnings drivers for the year.


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Google Chrome 23 Arrives with Do Not Track; Videos Receive Graphics Acceleration for Windows

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 08:34PM
Author: bp9801

Google has updated its Chrome browser to version 23 and with it comes some welcomed features. Google has added an option to send a "do not track" to various websites, which you can toggle on or off in the Settings screen. Website permissions are also easier to control, with a simple drop down menu allowing you to adjust geolocation, pop-ups, notifications, and even camera or microphone access. Just click the icon on the left of the site's URL and adjust accordingly. Windows users should be happy to know that Google has added graphics acceleration for video decoding for a smoother experience. Laptop users should see a 25% increase in battery life with the GPU-accelerated decoding enabled, which should be most appreciated for users on the go. All these updates should have already applied to your Chrome browser, but if you're still on version 22 then just restart the browser and you're good to go.


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Improving Power Outage Response

Posted: November 7, 2012 @ time: 08:59PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

At times it does seem like the release of science news is coordinated to align with other news items, such as the recent storm that started as Hurricane Sandy. As this news comes from Germany, and not the US, I suspect it is just a coincidence. Researchers at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have recently devised new software tools for responding to power outages, in an effort to better coordinate limited resources.

It is worth remembering that not only the public but the responders trying to restore power that suffer from blackouts. For example, outages can impact their ability to access fuel, so it is important to decide who should go where so the fuel spent traveling was not wasted. The complexity of the situation though can be so great that programs like Excel can reach their limit when dealing with rapidly changing data. This is why the researchers have developed a new platform to better deal with the information so the efforts of multiple teams can be well coordinated. Part of how the software does this is with role-based checklists that guides not only one's actions but also who needs to be coordinated with at other locations.

Before this software, the responders would rely on paper checklists, which definitely work well in a blackout, but left out cross-organizational information. The researchers also added a glossary to the system, because different organizations, such as fire and police departments, may use different terminology.


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