Replacing polygons with a search engine?

Subject: General Tech | April 22, 2010 - 12:00 PM |
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An Australian fellow by the name of Bruce Dell has started a company called Unlimited Detail which is working on a very different way to display graphics; one that has caught the eye of professionals like John Peddie.  He is abandoning polygons and the graphics hardware required to pump them out, but not by adopting ray tracing.  Instead he uses voxels, or pixel clouds to render objects, or at least their surfaces so as to avoid the performance hit of rendering internals that are never seen.  That has been the big hurdle to bring voxels to the PC or console and he has overcome

Source: Wired News

Eight is Enough, Left 4 Dead Style

Subject: General Tech | April 21, 2010 - 12:38 PM |
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If Left 4 Dead has been collecting a little virtual dust in your Steam account it might be time to brush it off and fire it up.  Ars Technica has some information for you not only about the new downloadable mission with new weapons and a beastie but also information on what Valve is calling Weekly Mutations.  This sounds similar to the mutations in Unreal Tournament and every week there will be something a little different about the game.

Source: Ars Technica

Intel decides to socket to us again

Subject: General Tech | April 21, 2010 - 12:10 PM |
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Foxconn, LOTES and Tyco AMP must be jumping for joy at the news about Intel's upcoming SandyBridge CPUs as it turns out they are not socket LGA1156 chips but are instead a brand new socket type, LGA1155.  The main motherboard partners with Intel are probably considering burning down warehouses full of Nehalem boards and making an insurance claim since Intel is not going to emulate AMD's strategy with socket AM2+ offering an upgrade path without having to completely replace your motherboard.  On the other hand, the new socket does allow for the changes that are reported to be in Sandy

Source: Slashdot

Take the Sandy Bridge E to Waimea Bay

Subject: General Tech | April 20, 2010 - 10:49 AM |
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It is going to take a while to finally start to see actual products for testing but the information about Intel's new platform is coming out slowly and from the naming scheme it seems Intel knew it would be taking time off.  We know a bit about their plans for the mid to low range market but the real question is their plans for the high end.  As you can read at VR-Zone the platform is called Waimea Bay and would consist of a socket LGA1156

Source: VR-Zone

Now your mouse can be gellin' too

Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2010 - 06:28 PM |
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There is something deeply wrong with making the selling point of your mouse the coating of gel it comes with, but yet that is exactly what the Jelfin Gel-covered Mouse sports.  Thankfully they did not refer to it as 'organic' gel, as the possibilities are already too nasty.  The brave fellows of Think Computers not only received one of these mice, they actually touched it; a terrifying thought when you realize this mouse comes in a sealed can.  Follow the link, if you dare.

If you haven't got up to speed on memristors ...

Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2010 - 12:19 PM |
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ExtremeTech gives a good breakdown of this experimental technology that the tech world has been abuzz about.  HP has been working hard on this project that is trying to build the replacement for flash memory, which might be hitting a scaling problem.  Trying to reduce the process size of flash memory is taking a long time, we don't expect to 20 or 30nm for about a year which is really impacting storage density.  If memristors transition to the Fab smoothly then the density will be attractive as HP has made parts of 3nm in their labs.  As if that wasn't enough to put a smile on the faces of those needing high speed, high density storage it turns out that memristors have an interesting and unique trick.  Not only can they function as storage, they can perform logic functions as well.  The speculations of them being able to learn are perhaps a little exaggerated in the media, but the theory that the speculation comes from is sound.

"Last week, I read a lot about HP's advances with the memristor. This is a new class of tiny switch that could eventually change some of the fundamental ways computing devices are designed, and I am very intrigued. In theory, at least, the new technology could allow for a replacement for NAND Flash memory, maybe for DRAM and hard drives, and maybe even for logic at some point. It's fascinating technology—but of course, the path from theory to commercial product is often longer and more complex that it initially appears."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Extremetech

AMD Reports a Record Q1 Revenues and Courts New Potential Customers

Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2010 - 06:11 PM |
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AMD announced yesterday that they had a record Q1 with revenues of $1.57 billion and a net income of $257 million.  The previous quarter saw revenues of $1.65 billion, with a $1.1 billion net income due primarily to the $1.25 billion settlement that Intel paid AMD.  Considering the typical weakness of Q1, AMD has done very well.  This stronger than usual quarter was not unexpected as Intel also saw a very profitable Q1.

Source: AMD

nVIDIA's future with Apple does not look Optimustic

Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2010 - 11:29 AM |
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nVIDIA is rightly proud of it Optimus technology, a rather smooth way to save battery life and still offer graphical performance when needed thanks to a GPU that can disable its self.  They also had reason to be proud to be supplying GPUs to Apple for their various systems.   But then suddenly Apple releases their new Macbook Pro which features a GPU that can be enabled and disabled on the fly that does not use nVIDIA's Optimus Technology.  It would seem that Apple's antipathy towards exclusive relationships with suppliers is still strong. 

Source: The Inquirer

Is the Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe a herald of doom for the sound card?

Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2010 - 11:41 AM |
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The Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe
that Josh just finished reviewing is a fine soundcard.  It can pas through protected HD audio via an HDMI 1.3a cable letting you shatter your ear drums watching the newest Michael Bey movie.  It has switchable OPAMPS for the audiophiles to colour their music with.  Dig into the control panel and you will find no end of things to tweak, up to and including telling the s