Not the kind of sharing we like to see, the Blackhole exploit kit is available for free

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2011 - 11:48 AM |
Tagged: fud, security

The Blackhole exploit kit, which until now required you to have a pocketful of money and enough hacker cred to get onto the sites where was available for sale, is now freely available to any and all.  The exploit kit is a tool that allows misanthropes to commit a type of drive by attack, where clicking on a 'tainted' iframe will allow remote code execution to install a payload on your system.  It was part of the famous US Postal Service attack that occurred recently as well as other incidents The Register mentions.  Even better, the source code for ZeuS was also jsut made available.  Patch early, patch often.


"A free version of the Blackhole exploit kit has appeared online in a development that radically reduces the entry-level costs of getting into cybercrime.

The Blackhole exploit kit, which up until now would cost around $1,500 for an annual licence, creates a handy way to plant malicious scripts on compromised websites. Surfers visiting legitimate sites can be redirected using these scripts to scareware portals on sites designed to exploit browser vulnerabilities in order to distribute banking Trojans, such as those created from the ZeuS toolkit."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Intel ups their SSD warranty to 5 years

Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2011 - 03:00 PM |
Tagged: intel ssd, ssd 320, ssd

For those of you following reports of early SSD death from a variety of sources around the web, Intel offers a rebuttal by extending the warranty on their new SSDs to 5 years.  If you already picked up a previous generation of SSD from Intel you still have a 3 year warranty, The Register hypothesises that all future models will sport the extra 2 years.  This makes the smaller drives soon to be released to be used in conjunction with Intel's SRT on Z86 boards even more attractive. 


"If the Product is properly used and installed, it will be free from defects in material and workmanship, and will substantially conform to Intel's publicly available specifications for a period of five (5) years beginning on the date the Product was purchased in its original sealed packaging in the case of an Original Purchaser or the date of original purchase of a computer system containing the Product in the case of an Original System Customer."

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Source: The Register

Buy an AMD GPU (or two) and get a free copy of DiRT 3

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 24, 2011 - 02:29 PM |
Tagged: xfx, sapphire, powercolor, msi, his, free, dirt 3, amd

If you haven't heard of DiRT 3 by now, you've been missing one of the more technically innovative games developed recently.  Racing fans will go overboard for the choice of cars, spanning 50 years of racing history, which you can compete with in races across all terrain types and the more artistic will like the freestyle gymkhana events. 

The techies will be impressed by the depth of support for DX11 features and we're not just talking about tessellation added on as an afterthought.  The game was designed from the ground up to take advantage of the best graphics cards and to move the way light and shadows interact beyond DX10 HDR and the features other new games have been using. 

Whichever you are, picking up a new Radeon card from Sapphire, Powercolor, MSI, HIS or XFX nets you a free copy of the game! How can you go wrong with that?



No doubt you’ve heard that the newest addition to Codemasters’ racing games, DiRT 3 has launched today. The reviews are also in, and they’re great, I mean, they’re really great.

Being a Gaming Evolved title, we worked with Codemasters very closely on this one - DiRT 3 makes advances in graphics technologies, taking full advantage of the DirectX™ 11 API, first supported by AMD Radeon graphics. Here’s a glimpse of what DiRT 3 is truly capable of doing – giving players the ultimate visual experience:

  • Shader Model 5.0 Contact Hardening Shadows
  • DirectCompute Accelerated High Definition Ambient Occlusion
  • Optimized Hardware Tessellation

In addition, DiRT 3 has been validated for various Eyefinity configurations, including the brand new 5x1 setup. But the fun doesn’t stop there. You’ll see some examples of it here.

We believe DiRT 3 is such a great game, that we’ve been working with our AIB partners to make this game widely accessible to everyone who buys an AMD Radeon graphics card from our select AIBs, FOR FREE – please visit for more details.


Source: AMD

AMD FirePro V5900 & V7900: Professional Card, 3 Displays, Cheap...ish

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 24, 2011 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: firepro, amd

There exists a breed of video card users who want power, but not in games. They will pay thousands for the best hardware and not measure success in frames per second, but seconds per frame. There exists: professionals. AMD, NVIDIA, Matrox, and others cater to this market’s desire for top performance, features, and reliability in content production, scientific simulation, and engineering applications. AMD just recently updated their professional line with the V5900 and V7900 cards and are lauding some advantages to going red.


Professionals have standards: Be efficient. That is all.


There are four main points that AMD boasts for their latest entries into the professional market.

  • Geometry Boost: doubles the amount of geometry that can be processed per clock by the card which should make using large models a smoother experience.
  • EQAA: a new method of antialiasing which allows graphics cards to raise the level of antialiasing, but only for part of the process, and provide quality close to the higher level with a performance hit only slightly larger than the lower level. NVIDIA had CSAA, which is almost identical, for a while though.
  • PowerTune: a method of raising and lowering the clock rate of various components of the card to compensate for the differing load across the card at different times.
  • Single-card triple-monitor: the ability to connect more than two monitors to a single single-slot card allows professionals to have three (or four for the V7900) displays saving money, heat, and space. This is possibly the most compelling feature of the entire line, especially for the professional market. 
 No ATI to be seen here folks.
Obviously outside the professional market there is little use for graphics cards like these as gaming cards are cheaper and faster than their professional counterparts. For professionals, however, these cards look to be very compelling especially since performance is said to be within the same ballpark of and sometimes exceeding NVIDIA’s $4000 Quadro 6000. Troubles still exist for AMD as some professional applications such as After Effects and Premiere CS5 are partially coded in NVIDIA’s CUDA which will not be accelerated on AMD’s offering. Still, for programs not specifically written for NVIDIA, AMD’s latest offering looks to be very appetizing. Keep an eye out for our review coming very soon.
Source: Icronic

Leaking Llano and Bulldozer prices

Subject: General Tech | May 23, 2011 - 05:01 PM |
Tagged: llano, leak, bulldozer, amd

We now know what to expect from AMD's Llano, as far as pricing and initial model numbers.  None of the Llano chips top $200 which is good as the Intel models that they will be competing against are also in that price range.  Bulldozer is a little more expensive, with the lower end quad-core running $220 up to $320 for the high end octo-core, again bang on with Intel's competing Sandy Bridge parts.  It is a question of the performance gap between Intel and AMD, which unfortunately remains unanswered for now.


"AMD has started shipping its Llano APUs to notebook clients and will begin to market the APUs to channels in July 2011, according to sources from notebook makers.

AMD targets to ship one million notebook-use Llano APUs in June, 1.5 million in July, and a total of 8-9 million for the whole of 2011, revealed the sources, citing AMD's internal estimates.

If the shipment goals are realized, AMD will be able to boost its share in the notebook CPU segment to 15% by the end of the year, the sources commented."

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Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

AMD discusses "Heterogeneous Computing"

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | May 22, 2011 - 11:04 PM |
Tagged: fusion, amd, AFDS

In a little over three weeks’ time AMD will host their AMD Fusion Developer Summit 2011 (AFDS): a three-day conference with the hopes of promoting heterogeneous computing amongst developers. We have increasingly seen potential applications of using the parts of your computer outside the standard x86 core over the years though much of it was through NVIDIA’s brand. Building up to the summit, AMD’s DeveloperCentral talked with Lee Howes, parallel computing expert and Member of Technical Staff for Programming Models at AMD, about his upcoming session at AFDS.


I can't get over how much AFDS looks like a diagnosis.

In the short five-question interview, Dr. Howes outlined that the goal of his session is to show developers what to expect, good and bad, from developing for a heterogeneous architecture such as that of an APU. The rest of the interview was spent discussing how heterogeneous computing is currently and will eventually look like. Topics spanned from the slow perceived uptake of parallel computing in the home to the technological limitations of traditional CPUs that APUs and other heterogeneous computing systems look to bypass.

While AFDS is (by its namesake) a developer’s conference it is very much relevant to peer at for the end-user. The support for developers of newer computing architectures will help fuel the cycle of adoption between software and hardware which ends up with a better experience for us. What tasks would you like to see accelerated by heterogeneous computing? Let us know in the comments below.

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: ASUS GeForce GTX 570 DirectCU II Graphics Card

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | May 22, 2011 - 09:16 PM |
Tagged: gtx 570, giveaway, contest, asus

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 tenth (!!) prize is a wicked ASUS GeForce GTX 570 DirectCU II card that is a triple-slot design and that supports 3D Vision Surround out of the box!


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

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking ASUS for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as what feature in a graphics card you would most like to see in the future.  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: ASUS

MeeGo to 1.2, YouGo to download?

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | May 20, 2011 - 02:04 AM |
Tagged: meego

For those who desire an alternative to Windows 7 in their netbooks or Android in their tablet: The Linux Foundation, Intel, Nokia, Novell, and AMD are continuously developing an alternative mobile operating system based on Linux. While there are currently large doubts about how many participants are still active members in this project there must be someone still coding away because version 1.2 was released to the public.

I’m Tuxing over! : D
This version contains improvement to the following segments of MeeGo:
  • An updated Netbook “User Experience”
  • An updated in-vehicle “User Experience”
  • Developer preview for those wishing to install MeeGo on tablets
  • And of course an updated SDK
Intel and AMD continue to pledge support towards the development of MeeGo though Nokia’s recent partnership with Microsoft puts their support for MeeGo into question. Intel recently took the opportunity to blame Nokia for Intel’s lackluster mobile performance as a whole and is currently in the process of pitching handset designs they developed with Nokia to other manufacturers. Intel is also currently playing with Google’s Android to stake the ground for a foothold on ARM turf. For the nearer future, however, MeeGo claims that they will continue on their approximately 6-month release cycle and will ship MeeGo 1.3 in the October timeframe. 
Source: MeeGo

PC Perspective Podcast #155 - MSI GT680R Notebook, Corsair 650D chassis, VIA Nano Quad Core and more!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 19, 2011 - 03:24 PM |
Tagged: pcper, podcast, msi, VIA, Nano, quad core, corsair, 650d, Intel

PC Perspective Podcast #155 - 5/19/2011

This week we talk about the MSI GT680R Notebook, Corsair 650D chassis, VIA Nano Quad Core and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 43:49

Program Schedule:


ARCTIC drops the Cooling from its name and gets into audio

Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2011 - 11:54 AM |
Tagged: arctic, audio, headset, headphone

ARCTIC Cooling is no more, they've rebranded themselves and joined the rest of the industry in providing fragmented product lines.   They'll still make heatsinks for CPUs but are also going to be pushing a line of headsets for a wide variety of uses; they are currently peddling 20 different models.  [H]ard|OCP received three to review, ear can style headphones for listening to music, a Bluetooth set for those on the go and a 5.1 surround gaming headset with mic.  Only one received a recommendation from them, head on over to find out which.


"ARCTIC is well known for its processor air coolers and its fans alike. In the last couple of years it has greatly diversified its product line to include products from remote control toy cars to computer audio headphones. Today we look at three of its headphone and headset products and let you know the value of those."

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Audio Corner

Source: [H]ard|OCP