AMD's 2011 just leaked all over the net

Subject: General Tech | May 27, 2011 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: vision, leak, fusion, amd

AMD_Fusion_1.jpg

AMD's plans for 2011 are making the rounds as geeks love to share things that they shouldn't have access to yet. A set of slides from a presentation has hit the net, covering the positioning AMD sees for its upcoming products in the current market. AMD Vision is back in a big way with four separate logos running from HD Internet to Ultimate and even stickers denoting how many cores and GPUs are within a machine.

 

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Several new software enhancements are also mentioned such as AMD Steady Video which is intended to remove any shakes or wiggles from video posted to the net by someone with an unsteady hand. AMD AllDay Power demonstrates the power saving features that are unique to AMD ... at least in AMDs mind ... and they tout over 10hrs usage with their upcoming products.

 

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On the hardware side is a new name, Desna, which is AMD's answer to the tablet wars. This will be a DX11 APU which will compete to power the next generation of tablets. Hardware Accelerated Flash support certainly makes it stand out, as does enhancements to productivity software such as Office and the list of support for Win7 features. Check out the full deck of slides at NGOHQ.

 

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Source: NGOHQ

'Come Get Some' – Party with NVIDIA and Duke Nukem

Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2011 - 03:30 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, flying pigs, duke

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — May XX, 2011 — NVIDIA is pulling out all the stops for the highly-anticipated launch of Duke Nukem Forever on June 11, 2011. Today, we’re announcing that we’re giving one extremely lucky gamer the chance to win an all-expenses VIP trip for two to the official Gearbox launch event in Dallas, Texas. (Contest open to U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec) residents only.)

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Sure to be one of the coolest – and maybe the rowdiest – parties of the summer (it’s a Duke party, after all!), the Gearbox Community Day/Duke Nukem Launch Event will blow into Dallas Texas at the Palladium Ballroom. If you’re deemed worthy enough to hang with the King and his court, here’s some of the cool stuff you’re in for:

  • Test your metal playing Duke Nukem Forever alongside the Gearbox crew
  • Rub elbows with the Gearbox and NVIDIA development teams
  • Party at an exclusive NVIDIA reception before the launch event (Monday, June 13)
  • Hear from the people behind some of Gearbox’s biggest games: Duke Nukem Forever, Borderlands, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Brothers in Arms, and more
  • Get exclusive sneak-peeks at new, never-before-seen Gearbox materials
  • Join the partying and mayhem

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to party with Duke? If so, what are you waiting for? Christmas? Go to http://www.geforce.com/Community/Rewards right now to enter!

Oh yea, one thing...you need to be 21 years old to party with Duke. That’s just how he rolls. Sorry kids!

By the way, be sure your PC system is cranked up and ready for Duke. To help, NVIDIA and EVGA have teamed up to bring you Duke’s “Fully Loaded Package,” a special edition Duke Nukem Forever bundle that includes a full PC copy of Duke Nukem Forever for the PC, an EVGA GeForce® GTX 560 graphic card, a limited edition DNF art book and mouse pad, and a custom Duke Nukem “Radioactive” belt buckle.

That should complete your arsenal, giving you everything you’ll need to wipe out aliens that have been stealing Earth’s women and drinking Duke’s beer. Get Duke’s Fully Loaded Package now.

But wait, there’s one more thing….

As NVIDIA’s special guest, you’ll be one of the first gamers on the planet to see the unveiling of the brand new, official Duke Nukem Forever mod. This bad boy packs more NVIDIA GeForce GTX power than a Devastator, features a mind-blowing Duke-themed chassis, and will show Duke in all his glory in breathtaking 3D with NVIDIA 3D Vision technology. You haven’t seen a mod like this before…anywhere!

Good luck! And, we hope to see you in Texas!

Source: NVIDIA

Antec's 3D sound from 2.1 speakers with the Soundscience Rockus 3D kit

Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2011 - 02:12 PM |
Tagged: audio, antec, soundscience rockus

Antec's Soundscience Rockus 3D are a set of 2.1 speakers, a pair of small satellite speakers in a shape reminiscent of a hand held loud speaker and a subwoofer measuring 14" x 8" x 11".  On the back are analog and digital inputs, TOSLINK as opposed to SPDIF which makes sense on a 2.1 speaker system, as well as a switch to toggle between three bass modes.  As for the 3D button, which supposedly uses digital signal processing to enhance your listening experience;  The Tech Report were not quite sure how.

 

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"Much like Corsair, Antec has delved into the audio world with its first set of PC speakers. How did it fare?"

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Podcast #156 - AMD FirePro V7900 and V5900, MSI R6970 Lightning, Intel i7-990x and more!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 26, 2011 - 02:04 PM |
Tagged: R6970, podcast, nvidia, Intel, firepro, amd, 990x, 990fx

PC Perspective Podcast #156- 5/26/2011

This week we talk about the AMD FirePro V7900 and V5900, MSI R6970 Lightning, Intel i7-990x,Viewer questions 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: http://pcper.com/podcast - 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: 1:02:44

Program Schedule:

Skype fall down, go boom ... doubtful Microsoft has anything to do with it

Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2011 - 12:12 PM |
Tagged: fud, skype, microsoft

According to The Inquirer, at 12:15 GMT (+1 hr thanks to daylight savings), Skype suffered a major network failure that seems to not only have taken out the Skype VoIP client but also impacted the availablitity of their site.  As of right now there is no work around or solution, Skype is investigating the cause but for now other clients are your best bet for communicating over the web. 

Since this has occured 2 weeks after Microsoft purchased Skype, speculation is running rampant that this is some sort of planned interruption.  It seems a little far fetched to think that even a company with as much financial power as Microsoft would dump $8.5 billion just to shut down a competing service.  They are going to want some return on their investment and simply using Skype's patents, some of which are still under review now or its infrastructure to prop up Sharepoint is not going to return that money.  Ad generated revenue on the sidebar of the client and hooking this up to Microsoft's various social and gaming applications seems more likely, which implies that shutting down Skype is the last thing on their mind.

Hopefully it will be fixed in time for This Week in Computer Hardware.

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"VOICE OVER IP (VoIP) and chat service Skype has crashed throughout the world and continues to crash on login, leading many to suspect that its recent acquisition by Microsoft is a definite disaster.

The service began to crash around 12:15pm UK time, kicking people offline and freezing when they tried to log back in again. Other users who remained online had difficulties making calls. Restarting your PC or reinstalling Skype has no effect, as the problem is clearly on Skype's end."

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Source: The Inquirer

Apple Defender: for better and for worse

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 25, 2011 - 09:22 PM |
Tagged: Malware, apple

Apple users have been dealing with a bad bout of malware over the last few weeks ironically called Mac Defender. Its modus operandi involves scaring the Apple user with claims of malware in a phony file browser and giving them a magical option to remove all problems. That option is actually the malware, but since the users are convinced they are downloading anti-malware they will often allow it to happen and provide their admin password. At that point, they are prompted to provide their credit card number to actually remove the now-present infection. Apple was actively quiet about the whole experience but has now gone vocal about the experience. Also, a new revision of Mac Defender just got substantially harder to avoid.

 
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The most insecure part of your computer.
 
Apple received criticism recently for demanding that their technical support staff would not be able to assist customers suffering from the Mac Defender bug. That stance was apparently leading up to a recent announcement from Apple for how to remove Mac Defender and its known variants as well as a promise to release a software update which will remove and prevent clean users from installing known variants of the malware. This was then offset by the news that a more recent version of Mac Defender, known as Mac Guard, can install without requiring the input of the admin password.
 

It should be noted that admin password or not; Apple or not; patch or not; this form of malware strikes the most vulnerable point of any system: the user’s complacency. It does not matter how good of an antivirus solution you have, or how protected your operating system and programs are (though in many cases both of those are lacking as well) you need to be cautious about what you do with any device that accepts information that is not yours. Food for thought: software that can jailbreak an iPhone steal admin privileges from Apple and give it to you. Even in a locked down system such as an iPhone where the user does not have admin rights, what would have happened had you not been the recipient of the admin privileges?

Source: Ars Technica

Google creates new image format; Mozilla WebPs all over it

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2011 - 04:55 PM |
Tagged: webp, mozilla, google

Google made news over the last year by butting heads with MPEG-LA with their royalty-free and open-sourced video codec: WebM. The hope was to provide an alternative to H.264 which was on a temporary royalty-free basis to end-users wishing to encode videos in the format (it has since been changed to a perpetual royalty-free license for end-users, 3 months after WebM’s release). WebM was mostly received with open arms from vendors, especially of free and open-sourced software such as Mozilla, and really shook up the industry. Google is now hoping to catch lightning twice by releasing a similar project for still images to replace the aging JPEG format. Mozilla’s response is suggesting that Google might just end up burnt by this experience.

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WebP was requested to Mozilla Firefox’s bug tracker, Bugzilla, late last September as an enhancement request for Firefox. Since then, Mozilla closed the bug with a status of “RESOLVED WONTFIX” and a statement that they would not accept a patch for it but will re-evaluate their stance in the future if the format changes. 

So for the near future it is looking like Jpeg, GIF, and PNG will reign Kings of the web. Mozilla’s Jeff Muizelaar goes into quite a bit of detail about their complaints with WebP in their personal blog. If you are a web developer you do not need to rush out and re-encode your images yet; however, you also do not have the option to if you still wish support the majority of web browsers. Typically that is a desire that web designers have.

Source: Ars Technica

Pigs were spotted flying over the frozen banks of the river Lethe; Duke has gone Gold

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2011 - 12:44 PM |
Tagged: gaming, duke nukem

The Duke is back, or at least at a point where the release is unstoppable.  The master DVD , aka the gold copy, has gone to the manufacturers for mass copying and assembling of the final package.  The arrival is not a guarantee of a good game, but like Ars Technica, we can at least hope.

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"When we say a game has "gone gold," it means that the work on the game has finished, and a master copy has been sent out to the duplication plants to be pressed, packaged, and shipped out to consumers. This used to mean that the development team could take a break, but now going gold is likely to simply start a countdown to the inevitable day-one patch. Let's not be cynical, however, because today is a grand day: Duke Nukem Forever has gone gold."

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Source: Ars Technica

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.

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"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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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. 

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"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