AMD Catalyst 11.4 for Linux Released

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Chipsets | May 3, 2011 - 03:54 PM |
Tagged: ubuntu, rhel, Red Hat, opensuse, linux, driver, catalyst, ati, amd

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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 - 01:40 PM |
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 3, 2011 - 01:59 AM |
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.

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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 - 05:47 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 - 03:43 PM |
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 - 04:03 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.

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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 - 09:57 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

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: Thermaltake esports Shock One Gaming Headsets!

Subject: General Tech | April 29, 2011 - 08:09 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, giveaway, 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 eighth (!!) prize pack is a pair of Thermaltake eSports Shock One Gaming Headsets!

ttheadphone.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 Thermaltake for its sponsorship of PC Perspective and maybe include a thought or two on the new site design (compliments, constructive criticism, hate filled monologues, whatever).  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: Thermaltake

Windows 7 is so mainstream, 8 is so much cooler

Subject: General Tech | April 29, 2011 - 03:27 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, win8, OS, arm

Successfully selling an OS seems to have spurred Microsoft into a frenzy of action, far from the massive denial and self abuse they indulged in after the launch of that flounder known as ME Vista. We are already seeing leaded builds of Windows 8, which are festooned with more ARMs and Ribbons than that Royal Wedding last night.  Thanks to these leaks, and a list compiled by Maximum PC, you can see the 7 things we know about 8.

MPC_portable_workspace.png

"Pre-release versions of Windows 8 have leaked to the web. Here’s what they tell us about the upcoming OS

Recently leaked builds show that Windows 8 will be a very different OS from its forebears, from the kernel to the cloud. ARM processor support, mobile-device optimization, and system-wide menu tweaks abound. There are still a lot of things we don't know about the next OS from Microsoft, but the number of things we can say for sure is growing. Read on for our list of 7 things we know about Windows 8!"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Maximum PC

Psyko's new gaming headset isn't just a Carbon copy of their last model

Subject: General Tech | April 28, 2011 - 06:01 PM |
Tagged: headphones, headset, psyko, gaming, audio

The new Psyko Carbon headset sports 7 speakers, including 40mm subs, which is supposed to surround your head with sound.  With that insane amount of power it is no surprise to see that this headset comes with its own amplifier.  The real question is whether the PsykoWave speaker virtualization technology which is intended emulate positional sound like you would have with properly set up speakers.  The Tech Report knows how well it works, so you can visit them to find out for yourself.

TR_phones.jpg

"Psyko Audio Labs has updated its surround-sound gaming headset with a new Carbon model that offers a number of upgrades and a lower asking price. We have a listen to see if the Carbon is a good alternative to traditional virtualization methods."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner