It's like Spore in space... even though that was in space too. Kinetic Void Kickstarter almost over but not at goal yet.

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: Kickstarter

Kinetic Void is a PC single player space adventure game looking for funding on Kickstarter. They are currently at $47,000 out of their $60,000 goal with approximately 6 hours to go. If you have a 2GHz CPU and GeForce 8800 GPU or better and would like to back the project then do so like -- right now. You will only be billed for your pledge if they reach their $60,000 goal.

Update (5/30/2012): They're funded -- but if you want to keep donating to give them more development funds I'm sure they could use it.

Yet another awesome looking indie project is looking for crowd-funding.

There are probably a bunch of fans of space sims in our audience -- and I know there are a bunch of fans of PC games in our audience. Most of these games will only be possible with crowd funding and Kinetic Void is teetering on the edge of expiring. If you like it -- the next 6 hours is basically your last chance to back it so do not wait.

When I started writing this article it was at $46,000… so it’s possible. Hop to it if you want it.

The expected system requirements for the game is quite lean with just a 2.0 GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, and GeForce 8800 GPU needed to play. They recommend a multi-core CPU which is still very reasonable these days to say the least. It is not the prettiest game but that is not the point.

$10-or-more will get you the full game when it is launched in late 2012 or early 2013 -- or if you spring for $20+ you can get Beta access as well.

But only if it is funded… so go to Kickstarter if it seems interesting to you.

Source: Kickstarter

Pedestrians, you have 30 seconds to reach safety; Stainless Kickstarts Carmageddon Reincarnation

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 01:07 PM |
Tagged: cunning stunt, carmageddon reincarnation

The game that was condemned by the Pope and used by the media as the posterchild for how violent video games should be strictly controlled is back thanks to the love of the original creators and help from a very successfull Kickstarter campaign.  Soon you will be able to run amok among pedestrians, setting them on fire, zapping them with your Electro-Bastard Ray or even colliding into them with your car.  They have a lot of work to do if they want this game to live up to its predecessors as this was the first game featuring damage to your car and physics processing to handle collisions.  You have until June 6th to donate funds to the Carmageddon Reincarnation kickstarter, with a variety of rewards available depending on how much you donate ... $15 to get the game.

 

"Max Damage is back! Carmageddon: Reincarnation is going to reintroduce the gaming world to the original freeform driving sensation, where pedestrians (and cows) equal points and your opponents are a bunch of crazies in a twisted mix of automotive killing machines. It’s the racing game where racing is for wimps."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

 

A very specialized but completely open source CUDA-like program for image manipulation

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2012 - 12:11 PM |
Tagged: CUDA, open source, opengl

Hack a Day linked to a program that could be of great use for anyone who manipulates and processes images, or anyone who wants to be able to make fractals very quickly.  Utilizing the OpenGL Shader Language Reuben Carter developed a command line tool that processes images using NVIDIA GPUs.  As we have talked about in the past on PC Perspective, GPUs are much better at this sort of parallel processing than a traditional CPU or the CPU portion on modern processors.  Below is one obvious use of this program, the quick creation of complex fractals but this program can also process pre-exisiting images.  Edge detection, colour transforms and perhaps even image recognition tasks can be completed with his software at a much faster speed than CPU bound image manipulation programs.  If you are in that field, or looking to decorate your dorm room,  you should grab his software via the GitHub link in the article.

RJC_Mandelbrot.jpg

"If you ever need to manipulate images really fast, or just want to make some pretty fractals, [Reuben] has just what you need. He developed a neat command line tool to send code to a graphics card and generate images using pixel shaders. Opposed to making these images with a CPU, a GPU processes every pixel in parallel, making image processing much faster."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Hack a Day

OCZ launches Agility 4 SSD based on Indilinx Everest 2

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 29, 2012 - 08:45 PM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, Agility 4

OCZ Technology Group launched their latest entry in the Agility 4 line of Solid State Drives. The drive will make use of the Indilinx Everest 2 controller over a SATA 6Gbps interface. It is rated to provide 400MB/s reads with up to 85,000 write IOs per second. Unlike its 5-year Vertex 4 brethren the Agility 4 will be backed by a 3-year warranty.

Just a couple of months ago Al posted his review of the OCZ Vertex 4 solid state drive which he found to be aggressively priced and with good potential depending on firmware support.

OCZ has just released the Agility 4 to complement their new product line with a slightly cheaper and slightly lower performance option compared to the Vertex. Both drives are based on the same Indilinx Everest 2 controller with transfer rates being the main divisor between the two products. Retail price of the Agility 4 is placed much more aggressively and flirts even closer with the $1 per gigabyte line than the Vertex 4.

OCZAgility4.png

Almost time to get change our metric to cents per gigabyte. ... Yay!

The Agility 4 is rated to perform with consistent read bandwidths of 400MB/s which is below the Vertex 4’s rated 535 MB/s sequential reads throughput. The write IOPS is rated at 85,000 random transactions per second and exactly matches that metric with the Vertex 4.

OCZ is covering the Agility 4 with a 3-year manufacturer warranty. It is on back-order from NCIX with an expected retail value of $259.20 for the 256GB version which might as well be called a dollar per gigabyte. Newegg has yet to list the product or its expected value.

Source: OCZ

Take the PC Perspective Survey - Win Prizes!

Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2012 - 06:53 PM |
Tagged: survey, ocz, giveaway, corsair, contest

Every once in a while take an opportunity to learn about YOU, our faithful fans of PC Perspective.  Today is one of those days as we have setup a small survey to help point us in the right direction for the future of the website.  We can learn a lot from your help with this:

  1. We learn about you.
  2. We learn what you want to read on PC Perspective.
  3. We learn what you don't want to read on PC Perspective.
  4. We learn what you want to see as the future of PC Perspective.

As you can see, YOU have a lot of power over what is going to happen here, so wield it wisely.  If you write in the comments section that we should fire Josh then we'll probably do it probably not do it. 

Other than the obviously great feelings you'll receive from helping out your friends at PC Perspective, we decided that to entice you to spend the 5 minutes on the survey that it will require we are going to offer up a handful of prizes as well!

survey-vertex4small.jpg

1 x OCZ 128GB Vertex 4 SSD

survey-corsairc70.jpg

1 x Corsair Vengeance C70 Military Green Chassis

survey-gigabyte.jpg

1 x Gigabyte Z77 G1.Sniper M3 Motherboard

All you have to do to win one of these great prizes is:

  1. Fill out our survey.
  2. Wait for us to pick you as a winner.

Man, we pride ourselves on making our contests and sweepstakes easy, but this is ridiculous!  The competition is open to ALL people around the world though you can ONLY enter one time!  The survey will run through the 8th of June, so get your entries in!

Good luck and thank you so much for being a part of PC Perspective!

Continue on to the survey for your chance to win and support PC Perspective while doing it!

How consoles would have gouged Diablo 3 over $44 million

Subject: General Tech, Systems | May 29, 2012 - 05:04 PM |
Tagged: diablo iii, consoles, blizzard

Matt Ployhar of Intel has posted on their Software Blogs about how much money in royalties would be given to Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo if Diablo 3 were published on a console platform. Activision-Blizzard along with a couple of other publishers recently pocket the difference -- but unlike the consoles it is not an actual cost so the publishers can, and many do, lower their prices to the $50 point at launch. It really shows how expensive the seemingly cheaper console platforms really are.

So who would make a device for $805 to sell it for $499 after billions in research, development, and marketing?

Sony does and they get that money back from you in good time -- subtly.

The perception of consoles being a cheaper gaming platform than the PC is just a perception. Over the lifespan of the platform you can pay less for a better experience with a somewhat larger upfront cost on the PC. You are paying a premium with the consoles to experience exclusive titles that are only exclusive because you allowed the platform to charge you to pay the publisher to make it exclusive. Imagine how that cost grows if you own multiple consoles?

5-depressing.png

But I find good value in paying extra so that others cannot play too.

Matt Ployhar of the Intel Software Blogs does a very rough calculation of how much Blizzard would have paid Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo had their game been on a console platform. With 6.3 million units of Diablo 3 sold in the last two weeks and a typical royalty rate of $7-10 per game sale for console platforms the platform owner would take $44-63 million away from Blizzard.

This means that you would have been paying the platform owner $44-63 million to have Diablo 3 be placed on a platform which will be unsupported probably long before you finish with your game.

Blizzard has been selling Diablo 2 since the Nintendo 64 era. Consoles are paid to be disposable, the PC is not.

Source: Intel Blog

Red Hat gives Enterprise Linux a new Fedora

Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2012 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: Red Hat, linux, Fedora, Beefy Miracle

Ubuntu certainly steals the show for end users but on the enterprise side it is Red Hat's that is the star, with Fedora being its flavour more suited to personal use.  A brand new release has arrived today, which will give home sysadmins a bit of work to test for compatibility with their current systems.  Thankfully the base kernel has not changed much, this release deals with patches that have been fully tested over the past six months along with updates to the software which comes with Fedora.  The Inquirer makes mention of Ovirt, a virtual machine management program, JBoss Application Server 7 and enhancements in Openstack, all of which should be well received by professionals.  They will also be happy to know that Red Hat's Beefy Miracle has stuck with the Gnome interface instead of switching to Unity.

its-a-beefy-miracle.png

"The Red Hat sponsored Fedora project serves as the proving ground for new features that eventually end up in the firm's Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system. Now Red Hat has announced that it has released Fedora 17 including updates to Gnome, Eclipse, GIMP and Openstack along with numerous patches."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

AMD and Intel both need to improve their Linux support

Subject: General Tech | May 28, 2012 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: linux, Intel, amd, Ivy Bridge, llano, opencl

Two different stories today focus on how both major CPU vendors have allowed their support for the new features present in their architectures to fall behind for Linux OSes.  From The Inquirer we hear about the how poor OpenCL support from AMD is leaving APU accelerated computing for Linux to lag behind Windows development.  This goes far beyond purely graphical tasks and the complaints we have heard from gamers as OpenCL is a computing language that can handle far more than just pushing pixels.  The two most common OpenCL applications that people are familiar with are the GPU clients for BOINC and Folding@Home, which enable you to chug work units on your graphics card or the graphics cores on your CPU.  AMD's Neal Robinson who is the current senior director of Consumer Developer Support has taken up the challenge of promoting Linux OpenCL support from within AMD, so keep your eyes peeled for news from his team.

Intel's Ivy Bridge is no better according to Phoronix, as testing shows very little improvement on the default Ubuntu Unity desktop with Compiz.  That is what allows Ubuntu users to show the iconic Desktop Cube on the Gnome desktop environment and using it shows negative effects on the general performance of the system.  Switching to KDE and OpenGL generally resulted in better performance as did Xfce.  Phoronix does not hold out much hope for the improvement of Compiz on Ivy Bridge processors or Intel's open source drivers for the near future, either for graphics or GPU accelerated computation.

xgl-compiz-01.jpg

"For AMD flaky Linux support isn't just a matter of gamers complaining, but now with its APUs, standard applications are simply not making use of the compute power that AMD needs to compete with Intel."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

HP to cut 27k jobs over 2 years. More depressing layoff news.

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | May 26, 2012 - 03:10 AM |
Tagged: hp

ZDNet reports that HP will cut 27,000 jobs over the next two years which represents approximately 8 percent of their global staffing. The company claims that it will take those savings -- which are expected to be slightly over 3 billion dollars -- and re-invest them in research and development.

Yes that is right: 27k as in 27,000 jobs over two years.

CEO Meg Whitman made a statement that over the next couple of years HP will cut around eight percent of their workforce to refocus on research and development. They expect that with their projected cuts they will be able to recover $3-3.5 billion from wages to spend on their research into “cloud and big data” technologies.

Let us hope that they can keep their projected revenue even with the lessened workforce.

hp.png

So many printers -- but none print money.

And let us just think about the announcement for another second. The expectation is to lay off all those employees over the course of two years to reduce the short-term morale dip.

So instead you have practically all of your employees dust off their resumes in case their Russian roulette chance is not an empty chamber?

Congratulations HP -- you now probably have a company full of paranoid personnel.

Once again the loss of jobs is under 10 percent and thus I hesitate to make any guesses about the health of HP as a company. My general rule of thumb is that you can very loosely tell how bad a company is off depending on how many employees they lay off percentage wise. Up to approximately 10 percent is tragic but somewhat standard restructuring for a larger company. Up to 30 percent is seriously hard times. Approximately 100 percent means the company is either attempting to reboot or get picked apart for liquidation.

Again, that is just my rule of thumb when I look at these stories.

Source: ZDNet

Kingdoms of Amalur developer laid off entire 379-person staff

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2012 - 10:04 PM |
Tagged: 38 Studios

38 Studios, developer of Kingdoms of Amalur, has laid off their entire payroll of 379 staffers to pay off outstanding loans to the state of Rhode Island. The game sold 1.3 million copies in its first three months which is great but far short of the 3 million units required to pull a profit.

Kingdoms of Amalur was hotly anticipated and sold decently -- but just not decently enough.

Critics were somewhat positive about the quality of Reckoning and sales were likewise good. The game sold 1.3 million units in its first 90 days which is quite effective for the start of a franchise. Unfortunately finances were much tighter than the developer let on as sales were under half of where they needed to be. While they were able to make the $1.125 million loan payment to the state they were unable to do so while also paying their staff. All 379 were let go from the company.

amalur.jpg

3 million units sold was pretty unreasonably optimistic for an expectation…

Alex Rubens of G4 and PC World has set up a public Google doc for those who were employed at 38 Studios to find potential new employers. Despite some vandalism it is still maintained by the original author albeit read-only for the rest of us.

As for the committee in charge of granting the loan to 38 Studios: two of the twelve members have resigned recently including the Vice Chairwoman Helena Foulkes who resigned under advice from the Governor. I personally tend to be forgiving of mistakes and would not desire for someone to be forced to leave after a single error unless it was malicious or negligent. And even if you disagree with my statement -- Foulkes was hired after the deal and thus was not even involved.

Oh well -- politics is as politics does. It looks better to have someone lose their job than to solve problems.

Source: Ars Technica

Blizzard further delays Diablo III real-money auction house

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2012 - 09:15 PM |
Tagged: diablo iii

Ars Technica reports that Blizzard has delayed the Diablo III auction house where users could buy and sell equipment using real money. While the delay is technically “indefinitely” as reported -- they just mean that no alternative release date has been announced.

This Diablows.

In the wake of recent security concerns Blizzard decided to further delay the ability to trade in-game items with fellow gamers for real money. The original launch of the real money auction house was set for some time this past week. Since then we have seen a delay to this upcoming Tuesday which today has also been overturned: launch date TBD.

diablo3.png

I wonder if I can be paid in Vespene Gas...

While Blizzard has been known to take a painstakingly long time to launch products I do not expect the delay to persist too much longer. While this delay has no definite timeframe it feels more like the company just cannot estimate development time rather than expects extensive attention is required.

In other words: it seems to be a question about how little work is required rather than how much.

Source: Ars Technica

The Facebook Browser -- a soap Opera

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | May 25, 2012 - 03:54 PM |
Tagged:

A source for Pocket-Lint claims that Facebook is looking to purchase Opera for a branded web browser. There is still question about whether Opera wants to sell or whether Facebook is able to muscle market share away from Google, Firefox, and Microsoft.

I, personally, find this rumor quite difficult to believe.

I could see Facebook being able to push a web browser -- they have the money and the user-base -- and I could see the deal but not expect it. Facebook would need to push for a web browser and Opera would need to sell.

Facebook.png

That said, with what goes on Facebook -- all we would need is Tide ads.

The main reason why this news sounds fictitious is because it occurred so close to the IPO. Going public would not contribute to the ability or desire for Facebook to acquire Opera. If it would not contribute to the acquisition then it is easy to assume it contributed to the rumor…

It is also unclear whether the source suggests that Facebook would like to purchase Opera and/or whether Opera would like to be purchased by Facebook.

I could see Facebook desiring to own a browser but this whole rumor does not smell right. Facebook is still quite good friends with Microsoft and I would expect that getting further involved in the Internet Explorer market share would be more desirable for the time being.

Source: Pocket Lint

Trimming the price but not the quality from their KNS series of headsets

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2012 - 02:29 PM |
Tagged: audio, headset, gaming headset, KRK Systems, KNS 6400

If you are looking for a decent pair of circumaural headphones that simply offer great performance and do not delve into simulating 5.1 or 7.1 sound and have a budget of around $100 then check out KRK Systems' KNS 6400.  One of the best features of both this headset and its more expensive brother are the cords, which are not integral but can be replaced if they become damaged or if KRK Systems follows TechPowerUp's suggestion of selling custom cables for those with specific needs.  The audio quality is not top notch when compared to more expensive headphones but for $100 KRK Systems seems to have done very well.

TPU_bundle.jpg

"KRK Systems is well on their way to becoming a big name in the headphone business. Today we will be taking a look at yet another interesting set of closed back headphones, namely the KNS 6400s which feature the same mechanical design as the KNS 8400."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

 

Source: TechPowerUp

NVIDIA's big chip, the GK110

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2012 - 11:28 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GTC 2012, gk110

We at PC Perspective were not the only ones who became a wee bit excited when we had the news from NVIDIA about what the GK110 Kepler chip is going to be capable of.  The chip will be powering professional HPC systems with the Telsa K20 board which will deliver over a teraflop of double precision processing power.  That precision is not so important to the proper rendering of fluid dynamics in the underground water of Crysis 2 but for scientists trying to model the real world it is double what they say from the previous generation of Fermi based Tesla boards.  Check out The Tech Report as they delve into how NVIDIA tweaked their new architecture to deal with new choke points and the compute enhancements they've added.

TR_mandelbrot.jpg

"At its 2012 GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia revealed plenty of details about the biggest GPU of its Kepler generation. Here's what you need to know."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Windows 8 gives a little more attention to multiple monitors. Oh look -- a feature for traditional PCs.

Subject: General Tech, Displays | May 24, 2012 - 08:22 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, multi monitor

PC Mag highlights enhanced support for multiple monitor systems in the upcoming Windows 8 Release Preview. It is like Microsoft has finally thrown a bone to the desktop and to a lesser extent, the laptop. Some features that were mentioned in the article have been around for a while, however.

If you have given the gift of a multiple monitor setup -- do not expect a take-backsies without a fight.

Chloe Albanesius of PC Mag wrote an article which outlines what enhanced support multiple monitor users will experience if they move to Windows 8. A refreshing suspend of the ctrl-alt-deleterious news. Or maybe Microsoft was just afraid of being attacked with vestigial display cables?

roundtable.jpg

Just think of the possibilities of per-monitor backgrounds… a shrine just for Josh...

The article opens with a description of the author’s triple monitor setup. Oddly enough my layout is very often an exact mirror image of her layout, horizontally. I would not be surprised if that choice was due to my left-handedness -- very amused, but not surprised.

Windows 8 will make it easy to load different backgrounds for each monitor but earlier versions were capable of that for as long as I could remember. The trick is to create a single very large background image in a program like Photoshop or The GIMP. This very large image must have the same dimensions as the sum of your monitor resolutions horizontally by the sum of your monitor resolutions vertically. The top left of that image is the top left of your “primary” monitor. Fill in the backgrounds wherever the desired monitor falls on that grid -- making sure to put whatever is above and to the left of the top left corner of the primary monitor at the extreme right and bottom. Set that background to “tiled” and you are set.

Notice how I never said that making it easier would be unwelcomed rather just that it was already possible.

The more important features include the ability to enable the taskbar on each monitor and customize how icons will appear for each display. That, combined with enabling corner context support for each monitor should help alleviate some of the juggling over real estate on the primary monitor.

You should be able to see all the changes for multiple monitor users in the upcoming Windows 8 Release Preview.

That is, of course, unless Microsoft ends up starting from scratch before they launch -- again.

Source: PC Mag

Green is the new blue for Intel -- pledges more eco friendly

Subject: General Tech, Processors, Mobile | May 24, 2012 - 06:01 PM |
Tagged: Intel

Intel has released a report about their environmental efforts in terms of manufacturing efficiency, waste, and the efficiency of their products themselves. Their 2020 mobile and data center product line is expected to use 25-fold less power than their 2010 product line. Intel is hoping to use less water and consume 1.4 TWh less energy between 2012 and 2015 in their manufacturing with no chemical waste to landfill by 2020.

It is not easy been green.

… But, especially now, Intel can afford to try.

The chip manufacturer has set some goals for themselves to decrease their impact on the environment. These plans were published in their 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report (pdf), released last week. The plan highlights goals extending out as far as 2020.

It would seem that for Intel foresight is also 2020.

11-intel-green.png

Yes, those puns were terrible, I admit it.

One of the forefront issues raised is alterations to their supply chain. Their raw materials have been addressed -- not just for eco-friendliness -- but also for human rights violations. By the end of 2012 Intel intends to validate that all tantalum would be “conflict-free” with the other three minerals verified by the end of 2013.

On the topic of environmental impact Intel is also intending on reducing their electrical and water usage at their manufacturing plants. A total of 1.4 TWh of energy is expected to be reduced from 2012 through 2015. Intel is also lauding their solar initiatives although they fell short of committing to any specific future endeavors in clean energy in this report.

Lastly, Intel claims that their mobile and data center products will consume 25-fold less power than their 2010 counterparts. Obviously such a statement falls more under gloating than a vow to promote sustainability but it is respectable none-the-less.

Podcast #203 - ASUS N56VM notebook, XFX 7850s and 7870s, Thunderbolt on Windows and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2012 - 02:59 PM |
Tagged: video, xfx, thunderbolt, podcast, msi, Ivy Bridge, Intel, asus, amd, 7870, 7850, 680

PC Perspective Podcast #203 - 05/24/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the ASUS N56VM notebook, XFX 7850s and 7870s, Thunderbolt on Windows 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!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malvantano

Program length: 1:12:55

Program Schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:02:00 You talked about all the cool stuff last week!
    1. GK110
    2. NVIDIA GRID
    3. AMD Trinity
    4. GTX 670
  6. 0:13:30 Antec High Current Pro Platinum 1000 watt PSU
  7. 0:16:20 ASUS N56VM Ivy Bridge Notebook - our reference system
  8. 0:17:30 XFX HD 7870 and HD 7850 Black Edition
  9. 0:28:25 Unreal Engine 4 Screenshots
  10. 0:31:00 AMD to stop making "needlessly powerful" CPUs
  11. 0:42:00 NVIDIA is not recalling Kepler
  12. 0:45:00 Thunderbolt for Windows from ASUS and MSI announced
  13. 0:48:30 Josh's Banana Phone - VIA $49 Android PC
  14. 0:51:30 Seagate to purchase LaCie
  15. 0:56:30 The discrete graphics card is not dead
  16. 1:02:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Pegasus R4 Thunderbolt External Storage
    2. Jeremy: DeLorean Hovercraft or levitating bed? Or I could go old school.
    3. Josh: Some Thieving Goodies from Way Back
    4. Allyn: Paragon Hard Disk Manager 12 - alignment for SSDs integral with partition moves / resizes / etc
  17. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  18. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  19. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  20. Closing

Source:

TET, ePO and SSO... McAfee and Intel's Cloud

Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2012 - 12:19 PM |
Tagged: mcafee, Intel, cloud

Intel's purchase of AntiVirus vendor McAfee has been feeding rumours and speculation for about 10 months now and while we have plenty of buzzwords and a feeling that they are looking at securing Cloud Computing only recently have we seen anything concrete.  The first product to give us insight into their actual plans has arrived on the market bearing an awkward name, McAfee Management for Optimized Virtual Environments AntiVirus.  This is essentially antivirus and antimalware specifically designed to be used in virtualized server environments which are connected to and providing services to a large amount of geographically separate devices ... aka 'The Cloud".  It is possible that they have a product which will be able to prevent the spread of an infection by leveraging the strictly partitioned nature of virtual servers and data stores, something that will be very important for anyone providing SaaS (Software as a Service) to clients. 

The Register also points out that in order to fully benefit from this AV product you will need a relatively new Xeon for your servers to support Trusted Execution Technology and a Sandy/Ivy Bridge processor for client side machines.  That means hardware upgrades which Intel's sales team would be more than happy to talk to you about.

ds-move-anti-virus.png

"What Intel is planning is a cloud-to-desktop security strategy, mixing hardware and software features in a federated framework designed to make cloud computing safer, locking down the desktop and, coincidentally, giving IT managers another reason to specify Intel's systems during the next upgrade cycle."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Windows 8 Metro browser will have some Flash support

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | May 23, 2012 - 10:46 PM |
Tagged: WOA, windows 8, flash

Microsoft has backed down, to some extent, from their “plug-in free; web standards only” position for the Metro-half of IE10. Some, but not all, Flash content will be able to play in the Metro browser. This change should be included in the Windows 8 Release Preview expected to be released in early June.

You may turn your back on Adobe but you’ll be back in a Flash.

Rafael Rivera has published a post on his Within Windows blog which he co-authored with Paul Thurrott about Flash integration with the Metro web browser. Until recently Microsoft was passionately against anything other than web standards in their Metro browser. Plugins are still not allowed in the application but that does not exclude Microsoft from embedding Flash into the browser directly.

wflash.png

I guess Silverlight is not popular enough…

(screenshot credit: Within Windows)

Adobe actively supports Microsoft’s efforts and has provided the source code to facilitate the integration into Metro Internet Explorer 10.

Security will rest somewhat on Microsoft’s ability to patch their software in time but will also be supported by a whitelist system. Flash for Internet Explorer 10 will only be supported on certain websites in certain ways. Unless your website is listed as requiring Flash for compatibility reasons then your website will not have access to the platform.

I am not really sure whether there is a cut or dry answer to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. The only thing I can say for certain is that Microsoft gives the impression that they had a strong and clear vision for Windows 8 and since completely abandoned their plan.

It follows the rumors of what happened to Vista: a bunch of years working on a secure memory management architecture that was scrapped at the last minute requiring over half of the OS to be rewritten in C++.

We all know how great that turned out.

Seagate Pursuing Controlling Interest In LaCie

Subject: General Tech | May 23, 2012 - 02:58 PM |
Tagged: storage, Seagate, LaCie, buyout

Seagate announced today that they will be pursuing a controlling interest in LaCie. The two companies deal in complementary areas of the storage industry with Seagate manufacturing drives and LaCie developing mobile and desktop drive enclosures and NAS solutions. In order to achieve a controlling (more than 50%) interest in the company, Seagate has offered to purchase all of Philippe Spruch’s–LaCie’s Chairman and CEO–shares. In addition to shares from an unnamed affiliate, such a buy would net Seagate 64.5% of outstanding shares of LaCie stock. Seagate is offering the LaCie shareholders €4.05 (approximately $5.09 USD) for their stock, and may be increased to as much as €4.17 should Seagate get 95% of LaCie shares and voting rights within 6 months of closing.

 

SeagateandLacie.jpg

The merging of Seagate and LaCie logos (hehe).

After acquiring a controlling interest, they would then work to buy back all other otustanding shares with a cash offer. The initial purchase of stock is still pending governmental approval. Ricol Lasteyrie & Associates has been appointed as an independent expert by the board of directors for LaCie to examine the offer and determine whether or not to accept. Should it go through, Philippe Spruch would join Seagate as the president of Seagate’s consumer storage division. He would have the current Seagate vice president Patrick Connolly and LaCie deputy general manager Pierre van der Elst reporting to him. At this time, Seagate has not disclosed how much the former LaCie employees would be paid to work for Seagate. If all the appropriate governing bodies “okay” it, the buyout is expected to happen in the third quarter of 2012 (Q3 2012).

Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO was quoted in the press release in stating: “Seagate has a strong commitment to the growing consumer storage market and bringing the most dynamic products to market. LaCie has built an exceptional consumer brand by delivering exciting and innovative high-end products for many years. This transaction would bring a highly complementary set of capabilities to Seagate, significantly expand our consumer product offerings, add a premium-branded direct-attached storage line, strengthen our network-attached storage business line and enhance our capabilities in software development."

The combination of Seagate and LaCie seems odd a first, because LaCie does not manufacture their own drives (so it’s not a hard drive patent portfolio Seagate is after); but they are actually complementary services. While Seagate has the hard drive storage down, LaCie has a lineup of drive enclosures and NAS boxes. By combining the two, Seagate can manufacture the drives and the enclosures themselves. Seagate does currently have a few enclosures but their expertise is primarily in the drive technology itself. The opposite is true to Lacie, so the two companies coming together is a good thing for Seagate. One thing that LaCie has done that instantly benefits Seagate is focusing on high end and premium drive enclosures. While Seagate has focused on low and midrange drive enclosures, LaCie has solely focused on high end. This is beneficial because Seagate can integrate those higher profit margin premium LaCie products into their lineup without the need for extensive research and development. Whether it will also result in an improved product lineup and/or cheaper products for consumers remains to be seen, but it has the potential to be a good thing.

Source: Seagate