The 8GB Atari 810 Drive, now with flash memory support

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 5, 2011 - 06:05 PM |
Tagged: mod, microSD, atari 810

It is common knowledge that technology gets smaller as time advances. There is, however, a point where a certain level of advancement trots along the border to absurdity and makes you think about exactly what is possible with modern technology and occasionally an innovative spirit. Leave it to the hackers to consistently push that boundary and entertain the rest of us less talented individuals.

Recently a blogger by the name of Rossum detailed on their Posterous blog their project of creating a microSD reader as a model replacement of an Atari 810 disk drive.
 
atari810sd.png
Image from Rossum
 
The original Atari 810 disk had the storage of 88K which is about 90,000 times smaller than the 8GB microSD card used in the miniaturized model 810 drive. Rossum claims to provide all the models, schematics, and code for the project in the near future for anyone wishing to dust off their soldering irons and create their own.

Gigabyte goes wireless with their new Aviva mouse

Subject: General Tech | May 5, 2011 - 06:04 PM |
Tagged: mouse, wireless, gaming, gigabyte

Gigabyte has joined in the attempts of many companies to convince gamers that wireless mice are cool.  With 50 hours of battery life and 6500DPI sensor the Aviva M8600 sounds good on paper but until you get it on the mat you will never know how well it performs.  Hardware Secrets were certainly impressed by its ambidexterity, they were just as uncomfortable using it with the left hand as with the right.  No complaints about input lag though.

HS_aviva.jpg

"Gamers usually shun wireless peripherals, always wary of a possible energy loss. No one wants to rummage around for a cable and lose an online match. With that in mind, Gigabyte has released a wireless gaming-grade mouse with a long lasting 50 hour battery that comes with an extra battery that you can rapidly switch. Besides those characteristics, the Aivia M8600 reaches 6,500 DPI and features a design for both right- and left-handed users, plus ten reprogrammable buttons. Let's talk first about its physical aspects and then test its wireless operation."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Recent Study Finds Students In US Are Not Properly Prepared To Protect Themselves Online

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 5, 2011 - 08:35 AM |
Tagged: Internet, Education, Cyber Security

 Microsoft recently posted a press release detailing the results of its sponsored study by the NCSA (National Cyber Security Alliance). The study sought to determine whom people believe bears the responsibility for teaching children how to protect themselves on the Internet, as well as what the current situation is as far as K-12 students’ level of preparedness and education. The executive director of the NCSA, Michael Kaiser, had this to say:

“Just as we would not hand a child a set of car keys with no instruction about how to drive, we should not be sending students out into the world without a solid understanding of how to be safe and secure online."

According to Microsoft, the NCSA advocates for a “comprehensive approach” to teaching children from K-12 how to stay safe and secure online. While the consensus seems to be that students do need educated in Internet security, people are divided on exactly who bears the primary responsibility for teaching children. Children’s teachers, parents, and even government leaders and law enforcement have all been raised as possible responsible parties. The majority of teachers (80 percent) and school administrators (60 percent) surveyed are proponents of parents being responsible for teaching their kids about “digital safety, security, and ethics.” On the other hand, more than 50 percent of the IT coordinators surveyed believe that teachers are the ones that bear the most responsibility of educating kids. From the survey, one area where all groups do seem to agree is on the question of government responsibility in educating kids. Microsoft states that less than one percent believe law enforcement and government officials should bear the responsibility.

chart_1_responsibility.png

While cyber security is important for students to learn, as 97 percent of school administrators believe schools should have courses and an educational plan for students throughout their K-12 grades, only 68 percent of administrators “believe their schools or school districts are doing an adequate job of preparing students...”

The situation of adequate education looks even bleaker when teachers where surveyed. When asked whether they feel prepared to teach students adequately, 24 percent believed they were adequately prepared to talk about and educate kids on protecting personal information on the Internet, and 23 percent are comfortable teaching the risks of cyberbullying. Further, only one-third of teachers surveyed believe they are prepared to educated students on basic Internet security skills “such as password protection and backing up data.” The low numbers are attributed to the lack of professional development training that teachers are receiving. Microsoft states that “86 percent received less than six hours of related training.” Microsoft quotes Kaiser in saying that “America’s schools have not caught up with the realities of the modern economy. Teachers are not getting adequate training in online safety topics, and schools have yet to adopt a comprehensive approach to online safety, security and ethics as part of a primary education. In the 21st century, these topics are as important as reading, writing and math.”

In all of this, there is a ray of hope. Comparing the 2010 study to the NCSA’s 2008 study which you can read here, an increasing number of teachers believe cyber security and professional development training is a priority.More than 60 percent of school officials and teachers are interested in pursing further security training. This interest in training among teachers is up to 69 percent from 55 percent in 2008. IT coordinators and administrators are also becoming more interested in revamping the educational curriculum to better teach their students and workers.  Further improvements in interest among educators pursuing further security training can be seen between the 2010 and the 2011 NCSA study.  Also, slightly higher percentages exist across the board for teachers who have tought aspects of security in their classrooms compared to both the 2010 and 2008 studies.

On the other hand, while interest in training is increasing for teachers, from 2010 to 2011, security topics taught in clases have actually dropped.  This is in addition to a decrease in teachers' beliefs that they bear responsibility in educating kids.

chart2.PNG

A comparison paper between the 2008 and 2010 study can be downloaded here (PDF).

What are your thoughts on this issue; who bears the primary responsibility in educating children on the importance of Internet safety?

 

Image 1 courtesy 2011 NCSA study.  Image 2 courtesy 2008 to 2010 NCSA comparison study.  Material is copyright NCSA, and used according to fair usage guidelines for the purpose of commentary and reporting.

Source: Microsoft

Seagate Shows Off 1TB Per Platter Hard Drives

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 5, 2011 - 08:28 AM |
Tagged: Hard Drive, Areal Density, 1TB Platter

 In an amazing feat of data density, Seagate has once again made a leap to the next level of storage technology unveiling 1 Terabyte per platter drives. WIth an areal density of 625 Gigabytes per square inch, Seagate claims the new drives are capable of storing “virtually countless hours of digital music,” and “1,500 video games.”

barracuda_xt_white_rev_lres.jpg

The move to 1TB per platter drives is an especially important step for high capacity drives. Current 1TB+ drives are using two 500 GB platters, while current 3TB drives are using either four 750 GB platters in the form of the WD Caviar Green 3 TB that PC Perspective has reviewed here, or the five 600 GB platters. With Seagate’s new technology, they will be able to cut the number of platters in their highest capacity 3 TB drives almost in half. By moving from five platters to three, their drives will run cooler, faster, and with less power draw. Improved areal density also reduces the number of moving parts, and thus decreases the points of failure, even with the inclusion of newer and more sensitive read heads.

The place in the market where this new technology will make the most noticeable difference is in the mobile segment. With just a single platter, mobile users will have close to 1.5 terabytes of internal storage in a two platter drive, or 750 GB in a one platter drive while using less power and being capable of faster reads. This means that road warriors will be able to keep more of their files with them without reducing battery life compared to the current crop of mobile hard drives.

Unfortunately, mobile users will have to wait, as Seagate has only announced 3.5” desktop and external drives. These drives will be branded under both the Seagate Barracuda XT and GoFlex lines respectively.

GoFlex_USB3.jpg

For desktop users, they can currently expect capacities ranging from 1TB to 3TB drives. In a RAID array, these new lower power and potentially faster drives would make for a great addition to an HD video editing rig. Call me crazy, but I’m going to hold onto my old school 320 GB Seagate drives until I can jump straight to 4 TB. So, where’s my 4 platter, 4TB drive Seagate?

Are you excited about this new platter technology? What would you do with 3 terabytes of storage?

Source: Seagate

What is AIDA64 Extreme Edition? Only the new improved replacement for the Everest benchmarking tool

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Systems, Storage | May 4, 2011 - 06:43 PM |
Tagged: ssd, everest, benchmarking, benchmark, aida64, aida

BUDAPEST, Hungary - May 04, 2011 - FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.70 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.70 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises.

aida64.jpg

The new AIDA64 release further strengthens its solid-state drive health and temperature monitoring capabilities, and implements support for the latest graphics processors from both AMD and nVIDIA.

New features & improvements

  • LGA1155 B3 stepping motherboards support
  • Preliminary support for AMD “Bulldozer” and “Llano” processors
  • Intel 320, Intel 510, OCZ Vertex 3, Samsung PM810 SSD support
  • GPU details for AMD Radeon HD 6770M, Radeon HD 6790
  • GPU details for nVIDIA GeForce GT 520, GT 520M, GT 550M, GT 555M, GTX 550 Ti, GTX 590

Pricing and Availability
AIDA64 Extreme Edition and AIDA64 Business Edition are available now at www.aida64.com/online-store. Additional information on product features, system requirements, and language versions is available at www.aida64.com/products. Join our Discussion Forum at forums.aida64.com.

AIDA64 license renewal is now available. For more information, visit www.aida64.com/aida64-renewal.
A migration program is available for all EVEREST customers at www.aida64.com/everest-upgrade.

Source: AIDA

Antivirus effectiveness report: Microsoft Security Essentials behind its peers

Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2011 - 05:28 PM |
Tagged: mse, Malware, antivirus

One of the major drawbacks of having general purpose computation devices is malware. Your computers are designed to manipulate and store instructions and information and they do that amazingly. Your computers, however, cannot tell who gave what instruction; they follow a set of instructions until it links to another, which they follow, ad infinitum. When someone who wants to use your computer can get their series of instructions run by your computer: that is when you got a problem.

Antivirus software is designed to detect when a bundle of bits on your computer could translate to a likely attack. The big question is how effective are each antivirus package at doing just that.
 
MSE.png
Oh is it reeaaaalllllyyy?
 
The firm AV-test.org tests antivirus software and assigns it with a score based on various factors. They recently published their findings for this quarter and found Microsoft Security Essentials was the second-least effective at preventing infections from occurring according to their scoring metric. Their report (PDF) shows that while Microsoft is effective at blocking recent malware it has difficulty with 0-day attacks.
 
Despite the ranking it should be noted that antivirus software should be just a guard looking over your shoulder monitoring what you do. Keep your computer and all programs on it that receive data up to date, be careful of what you run, and keep a minimum number of ports forwarded to your PC. Then and only then will an Antivirus package help protect you against what is left.
 
Lastly, if you happen to suspect that your computer has an infection: back up your data, reinstall your operating system, and enjoy a speedy virus-free computer. That method is free and more effective than hoping an Antivirus package reversed all the damage the virus did because you have no method of knowing otherwise.
Source: av-test.org

Rumor: Amazon Tablet in 2011 looking more likely

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | May 4, 2011 - 02:32 PM |
Tagged: tablet, kindle, amazon

Amazon certainly has a knack for causing a ruckus in just about any industry they step into. Their inception placed them in stiff competition with bookstores and mail-order catalogs; since then they have branched out even as far as rental computing and storage, content production and publishing, and consumer electronics.

A recently rumored OEM order to Quanta Computer, already an OEM partner of RIM and Sony, proposes that Amazon is looking to beef up their portfolio to include Tablet PCs.

amazondron.png

Could Amazon be Kindling for a much bigger fire? 

According to DigiTimes’ accounts from an unnamed source the orders Amazon placed would be for touch screens. The source expects that units shipped would be around 700,000-800,000 units per month starting in the second half of the year. The total transaction is also expected to be worth $3.5 billion US for Quanta.
 
This rumor, if true, does not suggest which type of tablet Amazon would be up to. Currently Amazon is involved in the e-book market through their Kindle line which DigiTimes also suggests might receive a price cut to reposition itself in the market. Amazon is also currently invested in the Android platform through their Amazon Appstore for Android. They also developed an in-browser trial for Android Apps called Test Drive. This sequence of events tends to suggest that Amazon is gearing up for an Android-based tablet but does little more than just that: suggest.
Source: DigiTimes

Intel Invents New 3 Dimensional Transistor for 22nm Ivy Bridge CPUs, Dubs it "Tri-Gate"

Subject: General Tech, Processors | May 4, 2011 - 01:55 PM |
Tagged: transistor, Intel

"After a decade of research, Intel has unveiled the world's first three dimensional transistor" states Mark Bohr, a Senior Fellow for Intel. Silicon based transistors in computers, mobile devices, vehicles, and embedded equipment have only existed in a planar, or two dimensional, form until today.

The new three dimensional transistor, dubbed "Tri-Gate," is now ready for high volume production, and will be included in Intel's new Ivy Bridge 22nm processors. This new Tri-Gate transistor is a huge deal for Intel as it will enable them to maintain the pace of current chip evolution as outlined by Moore's Law. If you are not familiar with Moore's Law, it states that approximately every 18 months, transistor density will double, bringing with it increases in performance and yeild while decreasing cost of production. Intel states that "It has become the basic business model for the semiconductor industry for more than 40 years." 

As processors become smaller and smaller, the electric current becomes more and more difficult to contain.  There are hundreds of thousands of minute connections and switches inside today's processors, and as manufacturing processes shrink, the amount of current leakage increases.  With Intel's Core 2 Duo processors, Intel created a new "high-k"(high dielectric constant, which is a property of matter relating to the amount of charge it can hold) metal gate transistor using a material called Hafnium.  The new material replaced the silicon dioxide dielectric gate of the transistor to combat the current leakage problem at 32nm.  This allowed the chip process to shrink while scaling to produce less current leakage and heat.  To be more specific, Intel states that "because high-k gate dielectrics can be several times thicker, they reduce gate leakage by over 100 times. As a result, these devices run cooler."

Unfortunately, at the much smaller 22nm process, Intel was not achieving results congruent with Moore's Law using even their high-k gate transistors.  In order to maintain the scaling predicted in Moore's Law, Intel had to once again re-invent their transistors.  In order to create a smaller manufacturing process while overcoming current leakage, Intel had to develop a way to use more of what little space they had available to them.  It is here that they entered the third dimension.  By designing a transistor that is able to control the electrical current on three sides instead of a single plane, they are able to shrink the transistor while ending up with more surface area to "control the stream" as Mark Bohr puts it.

Planar_vs_Tri-Gate.jpg

The proposed benefits of Tri-Gate lie in it's ability to operate at lower voltages, with higher energy efficiency, all while running cooler and faster than ever before.  More specifically, up to 37 percent increases in performance at low voltages versus Intel's current line of 32nm processors.  Intel further states that "the new transistors consume less than half the power when at the same performance as 2-D planar transistors on 32nm chips."  This means that at the same performance level of the current crop of Intel CPUs, Ivy Bridge will be able to do the same calculations either while using half the power needed of Sandy Bridge or nearly twice as fast (it is unlikely to scale perfectly as there is overhead and other elements of the chip that will not be as radically revamped) at the same level of power consumption.  If this sort of scaling turns out to be true for the majority of Ivy Bridge chips, the overclocking abilities and resulting performance should be of unprecedented levels.

The use of Tri-Gate transistors is also mentioned as being beneficial for mobile and handheld devices as the power efficiency should allow increases in battery life.  This is due to the chip running at decreased voltages while maintaining (at least) the same level of performance as current mobile chips.  While Intel did not demo any mobile CPUs, they did state that Tri-Gate transistors may be integrated into future Atom chips.

Source: Intel

U.S. Judge Makes Landmark Ruling That an IP Address Does Not Equal a Person

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 4, 2011 - 01:36 PM |
Tagged: Law, Copyright, Bit Torrent

This past year has seen a surge of copyright infringement cases where copyright holders have brought suits against not one, but hundreds or even thousands of defendants. These kinds of wide sweeping cases are highly controversial, and, according to TorrentFreak opponents have even gone so far as to call these types of cases as "extortion".

copyright_symbol.jpg

The main reason for the controversy is that rights-holders are acquiring lists of IP addresses that connect to, download, and/or share illegal files that they own the original copyright for. They are then bringing lawsuits against the so called John Does listed in the IP addresses, and using legal subpoenas to force ISPs to release personal information of the account holder(s) connected to that IP at the times the IP address was logged downloading and/or sharing their files. While many may not realize the flaw in this logic, it seems as though a District Court judge by the name of Harold Baker has questioned the legality and implications of assuming an IP address is grounds enough to obtain further personal information.

The issue of connecting solely an IP address to a person is that while a log with an IP address along with specific dates and times can be connected to an ISP’s subscriber and their Internet connection, there is no way to know that it was that particular person who represented that IP address in that matter. It could just as easily have been another person living in the household, a friend or visitor who used the wireless connection, or a malicious individual piggy-backing on that subscriber’s Internet connection (and thus the IP address).

TorrentFreak reports that “Judge Baker cited a recent child porn case where the U.S. authorities raided the wrong people, because the real offenders were piggybacking on their Wi-Fi connections.” They also state that Judge Baker believes that these types of cases, particularly when it involves adult entertainment, assuming an IP address is enough material to subpoena for further personally identifiable information could obstruct a “‘fair’ legal process.” This is because, bringing a suit against someone by connecting them to solely an IP address, especially when it involves adult entertainment, could irreparably defame an innocent persons character.

Judge Baker goes on to say that rights-holders could potentially use the delicate issue of the accusation of allegedly sharing adult material to encourage even innocent people to settle out of court. TorrentFreak reports that “Baker conlcudes [sic] by saying that his Court is not supporting a “fishing expedition” for subscribers’ details if there is no evidence that it has jurisdiction over the defendants.”

There is no question that Judge Baker’s ruling could potentially change the landscape of bit torrent related lawsuits throughout the United States. Rights-holders are no doubt going to aggressively combat this ruling; however, civil rights groups and countless innocent people are rejoicing at the knowledge that it may very well be the beginning of the end for John Doe bit torrent lawsuits in the Unite States.

Image courtesy MikeBlogs via Flickr (creative commons 2.0 w/attribution).

 

Source: TorrentFreak

Meet bufferbloat, the worst enemy a gamer never heard of

Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2011 - 11:56 AM |
Tagged: lag, buffer, bloat, input lag, gaming, online

Packet loss, network latency and input lag are often blamed for the reason your character is now a corpse and why your opponent is doing a happy dance on your naughty bits but there is another target to blame for your lousy online gaming skills, buffer bloat.  It seems that larger storage space is not always a good thing as TCP/IP needs dropped packets to tell it to slow down and when a network sports a buffer that can hold 10 seconds or so of data in its buffer before dropping a packet and informing the connection that there is a problem.  If you've ever played a game which slows down and then does a quick speed up for a few seconds you have probably met buffer bloat.  Slashdot doesn't have a solution but they do have more information for you.

Bufferfish.jpg

"Gamers often find 'input lag' annoying, but over the years, delay has crept into many other gadgets with equally painful results. Something as simple as mobile communication or changing TV channels can suffer. Software too is far from innocent (Java or Visual Studio 2010 anyone?), and even the desktop itself is riddled with 'invisible' latencies which can frustrate users (take the new Launcher bar in Ubuntu 11 for example). More worryingly, Bufferbloat is a problem that plagues the internet, but has only recently hit the news. Half of the problem is that it's often difficult to pin down unless you look out for it. As Mick West pointed out: 'Players, and sometimes even designers, cannot always put into words what they feel is wrong with a particular game's controls ... Or they might not be able to tell you anything, and simply say the game sucked, without really understanding why it sucked.'"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: Slashdot

AMD is still the graphics market leader ... except for that SandyBridge problem

Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2011 - 11:19 AM |
Tagged: peddie, nvidia, market share, Intel, gpu, amd

SemiAccurate got hold of Jon Peddie's most recent look at the GPU market and how it is divvied up between the major competitors; which doesn't include SIS who hit 0% this year.  The two current discreet GPU makers swapped positions last quarter with AMD in the lead  and that remains true this quarter as they have grown to 24.8% while NVIDIA fell to 20%.  Last year at this time NVIDIA had a comfortable 8% more of the market than AMD, but with a Fermi launch that just didn't go as well as hoped and AMD coming out strong and generally less expensive, that lead has evaporated thanks not only to the discreet GPUs but also Brazos.

Speaking of APUs, the more mathematically inclined readers may notice that a large chunk of the graphics market is missing in those figures.  54.4% of that missing market belongs to Intel who have seen their share of the market jump by alnost 10% since Q1 2010.  The vast majority of their market share belongs to the embedded GPU present in many Intel systems but at least some of that growth is thanks to the new SandyBridge platform which many enthusiasts are purchasing and which counts towards market share even if it is only being used for transcoding in a system with a discreet GPU.

SA_peddieGPU.png

"The latest GPU marketshare numbers from Jon Peddie are out, and it looks like we have a new leader in GPUs, AMD. According to the numbers released today, Q1 saw AMD overtake Nvidia in year over year GPU marketshare, and the turn-around promised last February fizzle."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: SemiAccurate

Brink Video Series Helps Players Get SMART Before Release

Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2011 - 08:52 AM |
Tagged: PC, gaming, First Person Shooter

Brink is a new first person shooter developed by Splash Damage, and powered by a revamped id Tech 4 engine with a strong multi player focus. It is set to release on May 10, 2011 for the PC as well as the Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3.

A web video series dubbed "Get SMART," is running up to the game's release date to both get gamers excited about the game and show them how to navigate the environment of The Ark and give them that extra bit of edge in the first days of battle.  The full series can be found on the game's website here, and shows off everything from HUD design to story and plot mechanics.  The following video; however, details a new movement system that the developers hope will cause players to rethink the way they play a first person shooter.

In an age where multi player shooters are flooding the market, Brink may appear to be "just another multi player shooter;" however, with Brink, the developers are attempting to differentiate themselves by implementing a new movement system and making combat even more customizable with deploy-able items, character buffs, wall hopping of all things and 4 different character classes.

With what they dub the "SMART" (Smooth Movement Across Random Terrain) system, you are able to point your reticle at an area and by using the sprint key, have your character move there wether that be by vaulting, sliding, or wall hopping.  The added dimensions for movement should help encourage new play styles to the traditional team multi player FPS gameplay.  For example, characters are no longer stopped dead in their tracks by a waist high wall, or are not able to flank their enemies due to a hole in a bombed out fence being too low to the ground.   

After watching the movement system demonstration, do you think SMART will shake up the multi player genre or is it just a gimmick?

Source: Bethesda

AMD's new DX11 compatible embedded E6760 GPU can handle 6 displays

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 3, 2011 - 11:54 AM |
Tagged: e6760, embedded, gpu, amd, eyefinity

Usually reading off a list of the abilities of an embedded GPU are fairly quick ... determine if it can handle YouTube in high definition and maybe play WoW and move on.  APUs offer a bit more interest for enthusiasts with interesting load sharing applications with a discreet GPU and the rise of SandyBridge and Bobcat seem to spell the end of the GPU embedded on a motherboard.  However there are still a few tricks left before the end of the line, the new Radeon E6760 isn't going to win many speed races but it can support up to 6 monitors, a nice trick when you consider that many of these chips will be running displays in casinos, airports and medical imaging.  The E4690 is finally retiring, meet the new E6760 at AnandTech.

AAT_e6760.jpg

"Kicking off our coverage of embedded GPUs is AMD’s Radeon E6760, which is launching today. The E6760 is the latest and greatest AMD embedded video card, utilizing the Turks GPU (6600/6700M) from AMD’s value lineup. The E6760 isn’t a product most of us will be buying directly, but if AMD has it their way it’s a product a lot of us will be seeing in action in the years to come in embedded devices."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: AnandTech

AMD Catalyst 11.4 for Linux Released

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Chipsets | May 3, 2011 - 11:54 AM |
Tagged: ubuntu, rhel, Red Hat, opensuse, linux, driver, catalyst, ati, amd

amdgame.jpg

In a previous article we stated:

"Highlights of the Linux AMD Catalyst™ 11.4 release include: This release of AMD Catalyst™ Linux introduces support for the following new operating systems Ubuntu 11.04 support (early look) SLED/SLES 10 SP4 support (early look) RHEL 5.6 support (production)"

AMD introduced a new feature into Linux with Catalyst™ 11.4, PowerXpress.

  • PowerXpress: Will enable certain mainstream mobile chipsets to seemlessly switch from integrated graphics to the dedicated graphics. *note: This only applies to Intel Processors with on chip graphics and AMD dedicated graphics and must be switched on by invoking switchlibGL and switchlibglx and restarting the Xorg server.

If you are running RHEL 5.6 or SLED/SLES 10 SP4 and need the driver you can get it here.

If you are running Ubuntu 11.04, install the driver under the "Additional Drivers" program.

If you are running a BSD variant you must still use the Open-Source driver "Radeon" and "RadeonHD" as AMD has yet to release a BSD driver.

Be sure to check back to PCPer for my complete review of the 11.4 driver and PowerXpress.

Source: AMD

Eli Pariser Cautions Web Users of the Filter Bubble

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 3, 2011 - 09:40 AM |
Tagged: Internet, Information, Filtering

TED talks are very similar to the motivational speeches that kids everywhere have had to endure throughout their junior high and high school years. The only real difference is that the talks are made available online to millions of people instead of a few thousand at a time. That said, if you are at all interested in the technology world, TED talks are usually both enlightening and relevant to present issues in the industry. 

If that preface has not already scared you off of this article, I encourage you to watch this particular TED talk (which is embedded below), where Eli Pariser demonstrates just what a "filter bubble" is, and what repercussions the once ever-interconnected Internet world faces as more and more websites make personalization take priority over discovery.

Eli uses a search on Google for the subject "Egypt" to show that the results two people get can be drastically different. In an even more "close to home" example, by being a part of a social network like Facebook, you may already be inside a filter bubble and not even know it! This filter bubble is in the form of the "news feed" on Facebook. If you have not talked to, as an example, your best friends from college or high school in a few months, it likely will appear to you that according to their lack of any posts showing on your news feed, they have dropped off the face of the planet and have not updated their Facebook status since the last time you talked to them. More than likely; however, you are part of a filter bubble and simply were not aware of it.

Facebook has somewhat recently modified the way its news feed shows statuses of your Facebook friends to show only statuses of friends with whom you have a certain number of interactions with. This may seem like a good thing at first, as it leaves more room for the people that you talk with most often. Think for a second; however, if you missed your little brother or only nephew's first winning football game score status and photos of him during the winning play because you haven't talked to them in a few weeks. While that may be something you would consider to be big news and something that you would likely want to know about, Facebook's computer algorithms may just decide the exact opposite for you.

In practice, filter bubbles and personalization on the web are likely to be more subtle occurrences. Eli Pariser's talk does beg the question of whether or not filter bubbles are the right for the Internet and its users in any capacity. Is individual personalization worth people giving up the freedom to stumble upon new information and the opportunity to get the same exposure to the world as everyone else if they so choose? Do you see the personalized web as a positive or a negative thing for the world? What are your thoughts on users being led into a "web of one" as Eli cautions?

Source: TED

PSN Attack Fallout Worsens, 12,700 Credit Card Numbers Stolen

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2011 - 09:59 PM |
Tagged: sony, PSN

Hackers really do not seem to have learned the old adage of not kicking someone when they are down as Sony has learned that hackers have obtained even more personal data from the popular gaming console's multi-player service.  It is believed that 12,700 non-US customer credit card numbers and expiration dates along with 10,700 direct debit bank account numbers of a number of customers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, and Spain were possibly stolen.  The credit and debit card information was included in an older SOE database from 2007.  Joystiq has claimed in a recent update that Sony has informed them that this information was obtained during the initial attack and was not a new attack.  There is a minuscule amount of hope for those customers in knowing that the security codes located on the back of their cards were not compromised.  Unfortunately, there are still many transactions that can occur without needing to input the security code.

PlayStation.jpg

Ars technica quoted Sony in saying that:
 
"Our ongoing investigation of illegal intrusions into Sony Online Entertainment systems has discovered that hackers may have obtained personal customer information from SOE systems. . . . Stolen information includes, to the extent you provided it to us, the following: name, address (city, state, zip, country), email address, gender, birthdate, phone number, login name and hashed password." (sic)
 
The Playstation Blog has reiterated in a post today that "Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information.  If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking."  Sony recommends that once the PlayStation Network is back up, their customers should log on and change their password.  Further, they encourage their customers to monitor their bank and credit card statements to protect themselves from unauthorized usage.
Source: ars technica

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Corsair Gaming Audio Series SP2500 2.1 Speaker System

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 2, 2011 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: speakers, giveaway, corsair, contest

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift recently to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The ninth (!!) prize is a set of Corsair Gaming Audio Series SP2500 2.1 Speakers!!

corsairsp2500.png

What do you have to do to win this wonderful piece of hardware?

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking Corsair for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as an interesting feature or addition you would like to see in future speaker sets.  Be creative! You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

Source: Corsair

CAT6 could beat DisplayPort at its own game

Subject: General Tech, Displays | May 2, 2011 - 11:43 AM |
Tagged: hdcp, cat6, gefen

Gefen is not a famous company but they are one with an interesting idea that they've just made real.  They will sell you a box that can extend a HDCP compliant signal along CAT6 cable of up to 1920x 1200  resolution as far as 200'.  It can send a 2560 x 1600 using a pair of CAT 6 cables, though that signal does not seem to be HDCP compliant.  The only down side is the price, at $1300 this is not something you buy because it is neat, but because you really need it.

GefenDVIDLCAT6.jpg

"CHATSWORTH, CA – The leader in digital connectivity announced the release of its new extender for professional computer systems using dual link DVI graphics. The DVI DL CAT-6 Extender offers a plug and play method of signal extension that guarantees a lossless video transmission with zero signal dropouts.

The next generation DVI DL CAT-6 Extender delivers uncompressed high resolution video to any remote display up to 200 feet (60m) in distance over two industry-standard CAT-6 cables. This is a substantial advantage over previous solutions, which required an add-on booster using more expensive cabling to handle distances beyond five meters. "

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Gefen

Do you want to write for PC Perspective?

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 2, 2011 - 12:03 AM |
Tagged: pcper, recruits

If you don't listen to the PC Perspective Podcast (what's wrong with you!?!) then you might not know that PC Perspective is looking for a handful of new talented and hard working writers and reviewers.  If you have ever thought that you wanted to take your love of technology, computers and gadgets to the next level and contribute back to it, this is the chance!

We are on the hunt for contributing writers for news coverage, reviews and potentially event coverage too.  There is no specific location required but if you happen to be in the Cincinnati / Northern KY area, that is a huge plus.

siteangle.jpg
 

If you think this job is just absolutely meant for you, then please get in touch with me.  Send an email to rshrout (--at--) pcper.com with some or all of this information:

  • Location in the world and times available for working on PC Perspective
  • Any previous experience working in the technology field
  • Writing experience, technical or otherwise, and links to any examples
  • Ability to work with programs for video editing, photo editing, CMS systems
  • Any product review experience
  • Specific areas of expertise (motherboards, GPUs, tablets, ARM, etc)

We are looking forward to your emails and your help in making PC Perspective the best source of tech information online!

Next Generation Thunderbolt by 2015

Subject: General Tech | April 29, 2011 - 05:57 PM |
Tagged: thunderbolt, Intel

Intel is working on the next generation of its Thunderbolt technology. The new technology will reportedly have a thinner cable then is currently used for USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. Though unnamed, it would use silicon photonics to transfer information at 50Gbps, or five times the speed of the just-launched Thunderbolt 1.0. Data would travel at light speed, but the use of silicon meant it could be cheaper to use, PCWorld and others in attendance were told.
 
intel-thunderbolt-Technology.jpg
 
 The cabling would be thinner then used in USB 3.0, and would be able to run up to a distance of 100 meters. DisplayPort, PCI-Express and other standards could still use the technology as an interconnect.  It is presumed that Thunderbolt 2.0 will have the same features as the current revision such as daisy-chaining a display with storage or other hardware that would not normally need its own dedicated port.
 
With the current revision of Thunderbolt being so new and not used by anyone but Apple, what does this mean for the future of external devices? Does Thunderbolt 2.0 make USB 3.0 obsolete? Will anyone but Apple use Thunderbolt 2.0? I can see Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2.0 having many uses for laptops and other small form factor PCs. It would be nice to be able to come home with your laptop and connect only one cable and have two monitors two other hard drives connected.
Source: PCWorld