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Subject: General Tech | August 18, 2010 - 12:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
As a group, geeks get excited over things that tend to leave the rest of the population scratching their heads in confusion but only because they can't follow what is being discussed. Take for instance Josh's excitement at getting an inside scoop on the saga of BFG, Best Buy and AMD and the licensing agreement that is tearing them apart.
As interesting as that information is it is a subplot in our serial, the main thread is the emergence of GPGPU's and the drama of AMD and nVIDIA. The Inquirer takes a long look at what the market is currently like, as we have new Fermi based Tesla HPC cards coming from nVIDIA and AMD's Firestream series has recently had an update as well. The hardware is certainly one aspect of our plot, with nVIDIA having better performance but at the cost of power savings, whereas AMD can offer a card that may not be as fast but has a TDP about half of a Tesla card. Software is also a major player in this drama, with nVIDIA's closed source but provably powerful CUDA versus the open sourced OpenCL promoted by AMD and others. Will AMD bow and license CUDA in a repeat of OpenGL versus DirectX or shall we see a new plot line come out of this clash? Stay tuned and keep current with our Podcast, your cheat sheet to the wild world of tech.
"GRAPHICS CARDS are no longer just graphics cards thanks to Nvidia, but the firm that brought graphics chips to the server room is for the first time about to face some serious competition.
In the past five years we here at The INQUIRER have called Nvidia many things, however the accolade of high performance computing (HPC) innovator is also applicable. The company's focus on producing general purpose graphics processing units (GPGPUs) has lowered the cost barrier to HPC, allowing small companies, researchers and even hobbyists access to serious computing power."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Load Line Calibration and You @ Overclockers.com
- Google Tablet Reportedly Launching Nov. 26th on Verizon @ Gizmodo
- Firefox 4 Will Be One Generation Ahead @ Slashdot
- AMD quietly drops CPU prices @ SemiAccurate
- ASUS DRW-24B1ST SATA DVD-RW Drive Review @ Tweaknews
- Best School Backpacks and Bags @ Digital Trends
- FREETALK Everyman Camera @ alienbabeltech
- Kingston bangs in record sales while competitors falter - Interview with Bernd Dombrowsky @ KitGuru
Subject: General Tech | August 17, 2010 - 11:43 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
iFrames are a tried and true way of delivering nastiness to your machine while you browse the web. The newest trick that the sne'er-do-wells have learned is to bypass the defence that Firefox uses against misleading and obfuscated URLs by using an iFrame to load the page. No fix is available as of yet so you might want to be extra careful entering your personal data and logging into sites you'd rather not let others have access to. On the plus side there is
Subject: General Tech | August 16, 2010 - 02:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
The Inquirer spotted a French website, fired up their translator and stumbled upon what could be a leaked roadmap from Intel describing their SandyBridge plans for 2011. With 19 models this lineup will have quite a bit of variety to it, with dual and quad core models being released. For now the naming scheme remains the same with i7 and i5 filling the top roles and sporting Turboboost and the i3 models lacking that feature and coming only in dual core parts. Even
Subject: General Tech | August 13, 2010 - 04:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
On the forums one of the most common types of advice you will get is to back up your files, preferably multiple times as losing data is not fun. There are a variety of ways to do that, from online storage like Carbonite who we talk about on the PC Perspective Podcast at least once an episode, to the variety of ways suggested to this forum user. The bottom line is that no matter that a hard drive has never died on you in the past, they do all die e
Subject: General Tech | August 12, 2010 - 11:28 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
DigiTimes picked up some information today that might make a few people holding off on an upgrade a little sadder. The rumours we'd heard placed the availability of HD6000 cards in the fall but it seems that we will be waiting until November before we get to purchase AMD's next generation of GPUs. The story, if true is a little convoluted; originally codenamed North Islands, these cards were to be built on a 32nm process by TSMC until TSMC decided to skip 32nm and go from 40nm straight to 28nm. AMD didn't feel confident about jumping into the new process and Global Foundries
Subject: General Tech | August 11, 2010 - 01:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Sold separately and reviewed together by Bjorn3D, the Razer Imperator mouse and Vespula
dual sided mouse mat do seem a good pairing. The mouse keeps with Razer's tradition of sensitive sensors, 5600DPI this time, and the mat not only provides a smooth surface it also comes with a gel wrist rest. Apart from the
Subject: General Tech | August 11, 2010 - 11:34 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Having your car tell you when your tire pressure is low is a rather handy little feature and saves you from having to bend over slightly on the odd occasion to do a visual inspection. That convenience needs to be balanced with security, as tends to be necessary. It seems that the wireless signal that the tires send to the car's processor every 60-90 seconds can be used to hack into the electronic control units of various systems on the car ranging from the windshield wipers to the brakes. Some of the hacks can be simply annoying, turning on a variety of warning lights or star
Subject: General Tech | August 10, 2010 - 03:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Subject: General Tech | August 10, 2010 - 11:45 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
While not exactly the first virus to hit Android phones as Vodaphone did ship some HTC Magic handsets with one preinstalled, the first trojan targeting Androids
has been spotted in the wild. It is disguised as an innocuous looking media player in .APK format but it is no media player, it is a nasty little Trojan that will start making rather expensive calls using your phone, raising your bill and probably ruining your day ...
Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2010 - 01:06 PM | Steve Grever
Courtesy of Razer
Courtesy of Razer
Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2010 - 12:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Having just patched a vulnerability tied to how Windows handles Control Panel icons and a day before a rather heavy Patch Tuesday arrives we have a new and nasty kernel vulnerability that affects all Windows versions. This one seems a little odd but is no less threatening because of its target. It would seem that pasting a large number of colour values, more than 256 specifically, into an improperly allocated buffer could allow one of those nasty net denizens to sneak in something malicious that will get to run its self with kernel level privileges.
Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2010 - 06:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
There are more than a few decades of cumulative knowledge available to our members in the PC Perspective Forums, so if you have a general question, such as a query about the quality of a certain brand of GPU reseller, the chances are very good you will have a few replies to let you know how well they do their jobs. More specific questions might take a while but be patient, your chances are good that someone knows.
Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2010 - 11:46 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
According to The Inquirer it is official, the next breed of Apple iMacs and Mac Pros will be using the AMD instead of switching to an nVIDIA Fermi based GPU. For the Mac Pro the standard will be the HD5770 with an optional upgrade to the HD5870 for those looking for more rendering power. The iMacs will feature an HD5750 for the largest 27" model with the smaller versions using the HD5670 or HD4670 in some 22" models. Looks like Apple still hasn't forgiven nVIDIA for B
Subject: General Tech | August 5, 2010 - 12:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Acer is going to release a $375 dual boot laptop sometime in the near future, though they have not yet specified when. The first OS is the familiar and aged WinXP and the second is the very young and unfamiliar Chrome OS from Google. This should give you a chance to get to know Chrome and its capabilities while still being able to switch to a more familiar OS. The Atom N450 processor and 1GB of RAM offer enough processing power for simple tasks, it sports a 10.1-inch screen and has a 160GB hard drive, so don't expect performance miracles but do expect it to be light.
Subject: General Tech | August 4, 2010 - 05:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
New around the pad is the CM Storm Inferno Laser Gaming Mouse a debatably
scaled down version of their Sentinel mouse. Its buttons go all the way to 11, though they are in a rather unique configuration that should be viewed before you rush out to buy this mouth. It sports CM's 4000 DPI Storm Tactical Laser Sensor
with five different customizable sensitivities and the buttons can be customized in a rather impressive variety of ways. Head on over to Benc
Subject: General Tech | August 4, 2010 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Here at PC Perspective, as well as at other sites like TechSpot, the focus was on performance. The amount of change in hardware over the past decade means a lot to this new StarCraft, as the original did not have to worry about leveraging multiple cores on single CPUs or 3D effects using multiple GPUs. Many will find the results an interesting look at a game that has been in development as long as a certain FPS but has actually stuck with a tec
Subject: General Tech | August 4, 2010 - 11:56 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
When the Western Digital EcoGreen F4EG drive arrives in September it is going to be rather popular. A new larger platter means that the 1.5TB and 2TB flavours will sport 3 platters instead of two which will bring power consumption down. It does still remain a 5400rpm drive, though that will not matter so much if your OS and active programs reside on an SSD and the WD drive is used for large term storage as the 32MB cache and SATA 3 interface should give you enough bandwidth for that purpose.
Subject: General Tech | August 3, 2010 - 12:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you are looking to boost the audio on your laptop by carrying around some extra speakers you run the risk of an encumbrance penalty, as the speakers large enough to sound good are bulky and the tiny ones tend to sound no better than the ones built into the laptop. The Choiix Boom Boom
compromises and comes in a form reminiscent of an iPhone (12mm x 160mm x 90mm), though in reality it is a clamshell which opens to reveal the grill covering the 4 speakers inside. Powered by USB and connected via a 3.5mm RCA jack so there will be a pair of wires connecting the speaker.
Subject: General Tech | August 3, 2010 - 11:35 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Earlier in July a rather nasty Windows flaw that takes advantage of the way that Windows displays Control Panel shortcuts to install a rootkit on your system appeared. Simply displaying the icon, via explorer for instance, would give the attacker control and that control was targeted at a rather specific and unpleasant task, the disruption of programs used to control and monitor large manufacturing plants. As [H]ard|OCP