The AMD Fusion APU gets an SDK

Subject: General Tech | January 28, 2011 - 03:56 PM |
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The hardware portion of AMD's new Fusion lineup has arrived but what we really want to see is the software portion of it.  That has finally arrived with the new update to the ATI Stream SDK so programmers can start to take a look at how to best take advantage of the parallel processing that the new chips are capable of.  It will take a while to implement the new features in code form, something which should be moved ahead by the planned Developer Summit that will take place later this year. 

Source: The Register

In case you aren't nervous enough, here's a roundup of USB vulnerabilities

Subject: General Tech | January 27, 2011 - 05:25 PM |
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The simple introduction of a USB drive onto a network by a user unaware of a virus installed during the manufacturing process is worrisome enough, once the user is really trying to compromise a system via a USB device it gets rather scary.  Those USB's using U3 autorun to appear as a CD-ROM can hold nasty secrets and keyloggers built with a photosensitive sensor could perform a variety of tasks based on the amount of illumination in a room. 

Drop by Hack a Day for a look at the possible attacks you could face as well as some possible defence strategies.

"This very informative talk given at Shmoocon 2011 has been posted over at IronGeek. Covering all kinds of angles that a person could attack someones computer through the USB port, this should be read by anyone who is security minded at all. No matter which side of the port you tend to be on, this article has great information. They cover some common attack methods such as keyloggers and fake keyboards as well as some common methods of securing your system against them. We’ve actually seen this in the news a bit lately as people have been using the keyboard emulation method in conjunction with android phones to hack into systems."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Hack a Day

Dead Space 2, survival horror done well ... again

Subject: General Tech | January 26, 2011 - 06:18 PM |
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As far as Ars Technica can tell the sequel to Dead Space picks up immediately after the first ended.   You play the same character, trying to survive in less than friendly conditions without much in the way of resources.  Fans of the original will be pleased to know that the game has not morphed into a shooter, it retains the same survival horror focus while trying to improve on the atmosphere (or lack thereof).  Some of the enemies ha

Source: Ars Technica

You don't have to use your old laptop as an anchor

Subject: General Tech | January 26, 2011 - 05:15 PM |
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Gizmodo has several suggestions for those who have an old laptop kicking around doing nothing but collecting dust.  Apart from donating it or tossing it out the window, you could use it as a second monitor or as a wireless bridge or any of the five suggestions they offer.  Still, it is hard to beat an old Samsung Satellite as an impromptu boat anchor.

Source: Gizmodo

Tegra powered SuperTablet

Subject: General Tech | January 25, 2011 - 06:17 PM |
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Ars Technica has hold of an NVIDIA roadmap which leaked and it reveals the plans that they have for mobile platforms.  Considering that half of the roadmap describes tablets, it seems likely that NVIDIA's plans include a Tegra powered tablet although the roadmap references a model which was to be ready for Fall 2010.  It seems that over the coming year we can look forward to Tegra 2 3D as well as the introduction of Tegra 3.  There will also be improvement

Source: Ars Technica

Razer Naga Epic MMO is not a mouse for shooters

Subject: General Tech | January 24, 2011 - 08:45 PM |
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If you need 17 buttons, including a dozen in a grid under your thumb when you are playing a first person shooter, you are probably doing it wrong.  On the other hand MMORPGs lend themselves to excessive keyboard usage as you need more and more macro buttons to handle every occurrence.  In that case the Razer Naga Epic MMO Gaming Mousemight just be the thing to put your enemies under your thumb.  You might be hard pressed to explain

Accidentally formatted C:?

Subject: General Tech | January 24, 2011 - 04:29 PM |
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Accidental file deletion and hard drive corruption are not what you want to think about on a Monday morning; unless you are Gizmodo.  They've assembled a guide to help get those unfortunate souls whose storage have failed them recover at least some data without paying a specialized data recovery business to do so.  Physical damage is not really covered as once you arrive at that point you are better off leaving it to the professionals, however recently deleted photos of a CF card or

Source: Gizmodo

Spend a weekend on the Forums, you'll come away enriched

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2011 - 11:56 PM |
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It really doesn't matter how long you have been working with PCs, all of us at some point or another manage to forget something or make a silly mistake. 

There's a reason you don't have a Skype toolbar anymore

Subject: General Tech | January 21, 2011 - 04:59 PM |
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It might not be a record they wanted to set though you have to be impressed, the Skype toolbar single-handedly crashed 33,000 Firefox instances.  Even worse, the way it detected phone numbers was having a large detrimental effect on performance in general.  According to Ars Technica, for two weeks Mozilla tried to get someone at Skype to repair the problem for before opting to disable the add-on.  It is not uninstalled, just disabled

Source: Ars Technica

Jumping on the Sandwagon? ... BandyBridge? ... more P67 boards

Subject: General Tech | January 20, 2011 - 11:29 PM |
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[H]ard|OCP has reviewed one of Gigabyte's new P67 boards, the descriptively named Gigabyte P67A-UD7.  It costs less than most X58 boards did while offering as many, or more features as most.  When they tried overclocking they ran into a big pile of fail with the Easy Tune 6 software, but since most successful overclocking is hardware, they did not hold that against the board as they had no problems overclocking manually.  The biggest draw wa

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Making music with Linux

Subject: General Tech | January 20, 2011 - 04:43 PM |
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Ars Technica has put together a guide for those who like to make their own music and don't have a trust fund to depend on to buy them mixers and the other equipment required to properly lay down tracks.  There are several choices of software offered to those willing to take the plunge into the world of Linux powerful enough to let you craft your music properly.  The learning curve is steep, much like that of the professional level equipment; the plus is that the qualit

Source: Ars Technica

Year of the ... tiny mobile PC thingy

Subject: General Tech | January 20, 2011 - 04:16 PM |
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At some point the marketers will figure out that it has been the Year of the Tablet for over 12 months now and pick a new moniker, but probably one that is quite similar as the focus on tiny form factors for PCs is still at the forefront.  Intel lead their newest chip family with the mid-range and lower powered models and AMD is all about Brazos and their G-series of chips.  That indicates that a lot of small sized, lower powered netbooks, tablets and likely complete systems built into other things, like the classic PC hidden in a touchscreen monitor.

Source: Digitimes

We actually have to stop picking on Duke come the spring

Subject: General Tech | January 19, 2011 - 04:56 PM |
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It is hard to believe that a game which has won so many awards already might have a release date.  After so long at the top of the vapourware charts, we might get to see Duke Nukem again before the heat death of the universe.  Techdirt spotted a release date for the Xbox 360 version of the game on Amazon, for May 31st.  It will most likely be a disappointment, a game which has killed studios and seen the coming and going of num

Source: techdirt

AMDs APU arrives on the embedded scene

Subject: General Tech | January 19, 2011 - 04:23 PM |
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AMD's Bobcat based G series of APUs have arrived and it seems that AMD has it's eyes on fulfilling the needs of embedded system clients.  Point of sale, casino attractions and thin clients that will benefit from the low power draw of the new APUs and can benefit from DX11 support along with OpenGL and OpenCL compatibility will be where we first see Fusion chips.  The Inquirer has heard nothing from the usual suspects as far as mini-ATX based boards for the rest of us but

Source: The Inquirer

Thermaltake's USB keyboard with n-key rollover

Subject: General Tech | January 18, 2011 - 05:24 PM |
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Josh and I had a preview of Thermaltakes eSports lineup in their suite at CES 2011 but it seems that Benchmark Reviews was sent the new MEKA G1 KB-MEG005US mechanical gaming keyboard for review.  The interesting trick that Thermaltake pulled off with this keyboard is n-key rollover.  For those elderly members of the PC Perspective audience that remember PS/2 keyboards probably remember that you could push down as many keys as you wanted and the signal would be sent, as opposed to USB based boards that top out around 6 simultaneous

Ogle some Orochi wafer shots

Subject: General Tech | January 18, 2011 - 04:47 PM |
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You might have to squint a bit to see around the many SemiAccurate watermarks on the pictures in order to see your silicon pr0n; they have posted shots of AMDs soon to be released Orochi wafers.  Head over to see the Global Foundries 32nm Bulldozer wafer, unfortunately no information is forthcoming at this time.

Source: SemiAccurate

DDRdrive tries to win friends and influence people

Subject: General Tech | January 17, 2011 - 04:31 PM |
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If you've don't think you've heard of a company called DDRdrive then you must have forgotten a review written by Allyn back in May 2009.  It compared favourably to the ioDrive and is one of the few products out there that can beat a high quality SSD at transfer speeds but it also brings along the disadvantages of a DDR based PCIe drive, it is not bootable.  Along with that rather large issue is the maximum storage capacity of 4GB which makes SSDs look huge in comparison as well as a price

Source: The Register

12 years ago Torontonians shocked to discover it occasionally snows during Canadian winters

Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2011 - 11:11 PM |
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Our Tech Talk Forum is a breeding ground for odd problems and inventive solutions, being the forum you post in when you just aren't sure exactly what the problem is in the first place.  That nature does lend its self to generally stated problems which can confound even the most knowledgeable of members.  If you do have a real headscratcher, the best idea is to start off describing the problem and anything that might be involved in as much detail as possible.  For instance this question may look long and ra

Finally, contact lenses that provide a HUD

Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2011 - 04:24 PM |
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Two of the more popular types of exhibits at CES 2011 dealt with either 3D TV, especially the glasses free kind and augmented reality,
involving a mobile device with a camera to overlay information on a real time view of your surroundings.  ExtremeTech is reporting on something that might well be able to combine the two applications and do it in a way that does not interfere with your interaction with non-virtual reality.  Scientists are working on contact lenses that sport LEDs allowing the dis

Source: Extremetech

Corsair sounds out a new market with a 2.1 surround sound system

Subject: General Tech | January 13, 2011 - 07:03 PM |
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Continuing in the tradition of every company making as diverse a product line as possible, Corsair has branched into speakers with their

Source: [H]ard|OCP