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Subject: General Tech | September 27, 2011 - 06:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Creative, X-FI HD USB, usb audio, audio, digital audio converter
It has become commonplace to see USB headsets that can be plugged into any system and will work without drivers needing to be installed. That has not been widely spread to actual soundcards yet but Creative is changing that with the release of the X-FI HD USB, which does need drivers but should happily function on any machine. For under $100 you get a small box which acts as a headphone amplifier and mic receiver but can also take audio from almost any source to be recorded to your PC. It is a really good deal for a Digital Audio Converter, especially for notebook users which is why [H]ard|OCP heartily recommends the device for those looking to easily boost their audio performance.
"Creative's latest sound card is an external model that sports a USB interface and boasts high quality digital, analog, and dedicated headphone connectivity options. We tell you if this may be the audio upgrade that laptop users and those of you with no free expansion slots in your desktop PC have been looking for."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Corsair SP2500 High-Power 2.1 PC Speaker System Review @ ThinkComputers
- Antec Rockus 3D 2,1 Sound system @ Rbmods
- Sandberg X-Plosion 2.1 Speaker Set Review @ Real World Labs
- Edifier Aurora 2.1 Speaker @ OC3D
- eBase Portable Speaker Review @ Tech-Reviews
- XtremeMac Tango TRX Speaker Dock Review @ Tech-Reviews
- Jabra Halo Bluetooth Headset Review @ Tech-Reviews
- SoundMAGIC E10 In-Ear Earphones Review @ Tech-Reviews
- Arctic Sound P311 Review @ HardwareLOOK
- Tt eSports Shock Spin Gaming Headphones @ TechwareLab
- Plantronics GameCom 777 Gaming Headset @ kitguru
- JBL OnBeat Review @ t-break
Subject: General Tech | September 27, 2011 - 05:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, mesa, HiZ, Intel, sandy bridge
Phoronix are dedicated to testing out the current limitations of Linux and the graphics performance Sandy Bridge is capable of, so much so that they abandoned the joys of Oktoberfest to test the new implementation of hierarchical Z support for Intel's Mesa DRI driver. Specifically they wanted to see the improvements made to the performance of the graphical portion of a Core i5 2520M. The new implementation did well, with improvements across the board though more impressive in some tasks that others. Read on to see what you can expect from the new Mesa driver.
"While there are still several days left of this year's Oktoberfest, to take a short break this morning from benchmarking the wonderful beer, food, and Bavarian females, here are benchmarks of the new Intel HiZ Linux support. Just a few days ago a new, nearly ready patch-set was published for implementing hierarchical Z support within Intel's Mesa DRI driver."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Tutorial: OS X automation with MacRuby and the Scripting Bridge @ Ars Technica
- World takes notice as SSL-chewing BEAST is unleashed @ The Register
- Mysql.com Hacked, Made To Serve Malware @ Slashdot
- Q & A with AMD's Raymond Dumbeck and Manish Punjabi @ t-break
- Olympus Tough TG-310 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Win 50 tickets for Gitex shopper 2011 @ t-break
Subject: General Tech | September 26, 2011 - 05:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fud, security, SSL
SSL and secure data transfer are wounded, but not dying quite yet if you use an elderly encryption protocol called RC4 or ARC4. Current AES is suggested as the preferred way of encrypting data transfers, but the BEAST (Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS) attack is capable of defeating AES encryption. Unfortunately there are attack methods which are able to defeat RC4, specifically as it is implemented for WPA and WES in wireless networks. Google informed The Register that they have been using RC4, although clients that attempt to connect which don't support that encryption method are offered the vulnerable AES method. Google also pointed out the latest developer version of Chrome protects against the BEAST attack but don't mention when the main version of Chrome will protect users.
"The recommendations published Friday by two-factor authentication service PhoneFactor, suggest websites use the RC4 cipher to encrypt SSL traffic instead of newer, and ironically cryptographically stronger, algorithms such as AES. Google webservers are already configured to favor RC4, according to this analysis tool from security firm Qualys. A Google spokesman says the company has used those settings "for years."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Rick Bergman leaving AMD has no up side @ SemiAccurate
- MS denies secure boot will exclude Linux @ The Register
- Avast buys Android thiefbuster developer @ The Register
- Ubuntu 11.04 vs. Ubuntu 11.10 Benchmarks @ Phoronix
- A case for better keyboards @ The Tech Report
- ThinkComputers and Thermaltake YouTube Contest
- Win a Samsung Galaxy SII @ t-break
Subject: General Tech | September 26, 2011 - 07:49 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: The Old Republic, Star Wars, MMO, BioWare
WOW there is a lot of anticipation building up towards EA’s The Old Republic. The MMO Star Wars fans seem to be swooning over after each successive trailer release has released yet another trailer. Made entirely in-game (with the likely exception of a few title sequences) the new trailer shows the breadth of the MMO: Ton-Ton to Wookie; Droid wars to Space battles. Then, with a final unexpected jolt of music, it is finally revealed to be released December 20th, 2011 in North America and December 22nd, 2011 in Europe. And the floor be once again littered with passed out piles of PC Gamers.
Those three Jawa got messed up!
While I am personally not an MMO player it looks to me like BioWare will do Star Wars fans justice with this offering. Few companies can spread their focus and make massive games like BioWare and that is one of the main attributes required to recreate an entire world for many different viewpoints to explore. Many were nervous about the fate of The Old Republic; BioWare was very cagey with disclosing their release dates which led to speculation of behind the scene troubles developing a game as massive as they promised. Now that a date is official and is as nearby as it is, it seems like BioWare was simply just keeping the mantra: “It is done when it is done.”
Subject: General Tech | September 25, 2011 - 10:56 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows 8, windows, Utility, ui, tweaker, microsoft, Metro, developer preview, beta
Are you trying out the Windows 8 Developer Preview that was released earlier this month and finding the new Windows Explorer Ribbon and Metro UI start menu frustrating? If so, Lee Whittington has just the tweaking utility for you!
A freeware tool developed for The Windows Club dubbed Metro UI Tweaker (for Windows 8) is the first third party tweaking tool for the upcoming operating system. It provides several tweaking options to make the transition to the Metro UI more palatable including the ability to completely disable (or enable) the Metro Start Menu and new Ribbon interface in Windows Explorer (which can also be easily hidden without the need for this tool via an icon in the corner). When disabling the Metro Start Menu and Ribbon, the Metro style Task Manager and new lock screen will also be disabled.
Such sweeping changes are not the only tweaks possible, however. The Windows 8 utility also lets you add power options including sleep, restart, and full shutdown to the Metro interface (when clicking on your user name’s picture), as well as adding any application or file to the Metro Start Menu.
Now at version 1.0, the Metro UI Tweaker is available for download from here for those adventurous enough to use a beta tweaking tool on a beta operating system. How do you feel about the new Windows 8 interface? Will you be checking out this tool? Let us know in the comments.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 24, 2011 - 08:08 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: VIA, Patent, htc, apple
Do not let the title deceive you: we probably also find Apple and Patent Infringement stories as boring as you do; this case on the other hand makes it through our tightly meshed sift and into our news feed. VIA is best known for chipsets and specialty x86 processors. VIA’s influence was recently felt through the introduction of the netbook craze as a result of their VIA Nano CPU line which lead to the rise of the Intel Atom processor line. Recently VIA decided that they would set their sights on Apple and sue them over three patents. This is one of those cases where the what is not nearly as funny as the alleged why.
Did Apple take a bite out of VIA’s forbidden fruit?
(Image from Wikipedia, modified)
If it seems to you that VIA is suing Apple over seemingly no reason then you probably are correct. There does not appear to be any public reason for VIA to go after Apple. HTC on the other hand has many reasons to sue, technically counter-sue, Apple. For those wondering where HTC came from in this discussion: the chairperson for HTC is the wife of the CEO of VIA Technologies. It very much seems like the whole reason for the VIA lawsuit is to protect his wife's company in their own lawsuits. If these patent lawsuits continue on their current trajectory then we might just be forced to sit every company down and settle like we did with similar issues back in the 90’s: Springer.
Did Apple bite off more than they could chew? (Registration not required for comments)
Subject: General Tech | September 23, 2011 - 10:12 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: PC, gaming, beta, battlefield 3
PC Perspective’s own Scott Michaud has been eagerly awaiting the launch of Battlefield 3, and was kind enough to keep me in the loop on the important aspects of the upcoming multi-platform multiplayer shooter. One aspect that many gamers (including myself) worldwide are likely salivating over is the imminent Battlefield 3 beta launch next week. Specifically, the Battlefield 3 beta will be available for download starting September 29th, 2011 for the general public and the 27th for those who pre-ordered or purchased the Limited/Tier 1 edition of Medal Of Honor.
The beta will be available on all major platforms, including PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3. In order to play the beta on the Xbox 360 and PS3, the game will show up automatically in the Xbox Live Marketplace and Playstation Network respectively. On the PC side of things, gamers will need to download EA’s Origin client first, and then download the Battlefield 3 beta from the free games section of the Origin client.
The open beta will last until October 10th, and until then there are no caps or time limits regarding how far you can rank up or how often you can play. The map in question will be the “Op: Metro” map from the Alpha. Unfortunately, any ranks or stats you gain from the beta will not carry over into the final game.
While many gamers will be playing the beta on Xbox 360 and PS3, there will likely be a good number of gamers who will play it on the PC for the PC experience. During the EuroGamer expo, DICE General Manager Karl Magnusson spoke to NVIDIA, and stated that 1.5 million copies of Battlefield 3 had been pre-ordered and that DICE was happy to be back on the PC. Further, he stated that they are enjoying the feedback from gamers and whether it is the visuals, audio, or game play that they are enjoying, “all the feedback we get is really freakin’ cool.”
The minimum (and recommended) system requirements for the PC are as follows:
|OS||Windows Vista SP2 32 bit||Windows 7 64 bit|
|Processor||2 GHz dual core||quad core|
|Memory (RAM)||2 GB||4 GB|
|Hard Drive||20 GB||20 GB|
|Graphics (GPU)||DirectX 10 with 512mb RAM||DirectX 11 with 1GB RAM|
|Sound||DirectX compatible||DirectX compatible|
|Peripherals||Keyboard, mouse, DVD-ROM||Keyboard, mouse, DVD-ROM|
Have you been following the development of Battlefield 3 and are you looking forward to the open beta? Let us know in the comments.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Mobile | September 23, 2011 - 09:07 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: pcper live, m17x, hd 6990, alienware
UPDATE: Shows over folks! Thanks to those of you that stopped by and we'll be doing more of these types of things in the very near future. Feel free to watch the reply hosted on YouTube if you want.
So, here we go. After weeks of screwing around with a complely new studio setup at the PC Perspective office, we are going to try something new. Consider this an ultra-alpha-beta if you will. Come stop by our Live Stream channel below to watch us unbox and play around with the new Alienware M17x gaming laptop complete with Radeon HD 6990 graphics! You can even use the Justin.tv chat located at http://justin.tv/pcper to talk with us live and ask questions, etc.
Oh, and we are going to give away some random stuff sitting around the office to those of you that comment in the Justin.tv chat too, so there is that as well. :)
Just as a side note: this is our first attempt at something like this so it might be perfect but it is more than likely going to be a bit rough arond the edges. I am most curious though to get some feedback on what you liked, didn't like or would like to see additional or changed in this kind of process. We aren't going to focus only on "unboxings" and stuff - far from it. Instead expect to see live demonstrations of hardware, overclocking attempts, multi-display gaming setups and more. If you can, please leave some feedback in the comments below!!
Note: We should be underway by 5:25pm ET or so!
Subject: General Tech | September 23, 2011 - 02:32 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Internet, Comcast, computer
This week saw the national launch of Comcast’s internet connectivity program for low income families. As a result of the Comcast-NBC merger, the company was required to create a low cost option for families in the US to connect to the internet. Dubbed the Internet Essentials program, it is undoubtedly a good thing to come out of the deal despite the more nebulous aspects.
The Internet Essentials program entails a $9.95 plus tax per month cable connection with 1.5 Mbps download speeds and 384 Kbps upload speeds, which is a good value compared to more expensive DSL or slower dial up connections. In addition to the Internet connection, families who sign up will receive a voucher through Acer or Dell for a computer in the amount of 149.99 plus tax. While specific specifications of the computer have not been given, Comcast describes it as a netbook computer with Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and the Windows 7 Starter operating system. It may also be bundled with productivity software when available. Families will also have access to free training materials in print, online, or in person. The service will be available throughout the Comcast service area for eligible families. In order to qualify for the service, families must have at least one student eligible for free lunches through the National School Lunch Program, must not have any overdue Comcast bills or unreturned equipment, and the household must not have had Comcast service for the past 90 days. Unfortunately, those families with students who only qualify for reduced price (but not free) lunches will not qualify for the Internet Essentials program.
The ISP will begin taking customers starting in the 2011 to 2012 school year, and will continue taking on new customers for three years following the initial roll out. Customers who are already using the Internet Essentials service will continue to be eligible for it so long as at least one child is eligible for free lunches, they do not close their Comcast account, and they do not violate the company’s residential ISP service agreement.
I for one am glad to see Comcast offering this service as the Internet is becoming increasingly important for students as a learning, collaboration, and productivity tool. Students can now be on a more level playing field in their school work, and this is great news, even if Comcast was forced to offer it as a condition of their merger approval. If you are interested in or know a family that might benefit from the Internet Essentials service, please head over to the company’s website or call 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376) for an application.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Storage | September 22, 2011 - 08:42 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: pcper, giveaway, drobo, contest
UPDATE: Just a couple more days left on this contest - we are closing entries for this Drobo at 12:01am EST on September 26th!
So you know here at PC Perspective we are big fans of backing up your data. And one such brand of devices that helps users do that efficiently and safely is Drobo. We are still working on our Drobo FS review here internally, but should probably check out Allyn's previous review of the 8-bay Drobo Pro to get an idea of the technology and reliability of Drobo.
But, back to the point, did we say you could win a brand new Drobo for yourself? Yes, you can get your hands on a free Drobo FS unit by simply filling out a form and using your Twitter and Facebook accounts to spread the good word of data security!!
What do you have to do? It's a simple three step process:
- Follow @Drobo on Twitter and send a message to all your friends with the hash tags #drobo and #pcper telling them about your love of both!
- OR .... hit up Drobo on their Facebook page and leave a note on YOUR wall for your friends on the same topic - backing up your data and how Drobo gets it done.
- Finally, fill out the form at http://bit.ly/pcperdrobo to finish the job.
You will be emailed a coupon for a Drobo even if you don't win the free one, so you can still get something out this deal, right?!?
Our thanks go out to Drobo for the donations and to our loyal reader base for support PC Perspective over the years!
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | September 22, 2011 - 06:26 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: skyrim, rage, pc gaming, diablo iii, consoles, battlefield 3, batman
During a conference call with NVIDIA this week some interesting information from DFC Intelligence, "a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on interactive entertainment and the emerging video game, online game, interactive entertainment and portable game markets" according to their webiste, was revealed that paints the world of PC gaming in a much more positive light than previously expected. By anyone's account, the coming fall and winter release schedules are going to be packed with fantastic releases:
Several of these games, including DOTA 2, Diablo III and The Old Republic are going to be PC-only titles with others (like Battlefield 3, RAGE and Skyrim) that will without question look better and play better on the PC. This sets up a great time for hardware companies like NVIDIA and AMD to sell system upgrades in order to maximize user experience in these titles.
And while most gaming pundits have been telling us for years that PC gaming is dying, the report from DFC tells a different story:
Based on revenue alone, estimates show PC gaming to surpass the sales of console games by 2014 with steady growth. How can this be? Have you stopped by your local Gamestop or Best Buy and seen the shelf space devoted to PC games compared to that devoted to the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii?
Here is the key and it is something we have always suspected but haven't really been able to nail down: packaged sales are dying while digital distribution methods and new monetary game mechanics are increasing. Because the industry's most prolific digital sales platform is notoriously tight with sales numbers (Valve's Steam), we have to depend on third party reports from DFC and others. According to this chart, the digital sales of gaming on the PC are skyrocketing and will take PC revenues past consoles in just a few years time.
One note here: this does NOT just include downloaded games in the traditional sense. Instead, new pay models like the monthly subscriptions of World of Warcraft and "free to play" models that charge for upgrades and additional features are really going to be pushing the industry forward. Looking at titles like League of Legends that claims 15 million PC gamers worldwide and others like World of Tanks and World of Planes, this trend is growing and though it differs from the "traditional" PC gaming mentality, it appears to be dominating our future.
Many a PC gamer has lamented about the "console port" generation of games and this graph demonstrates how the power of the PC and the power of the current generation of consoles have diverged over the years. By NVIDIA's estimates we are now about 8-9x the performance level of the Xbox 360 when compared to the GTX 580 that currently sells for about $450. But if you look at the quality difference between something like Deus Ex: Human Revolution on the PC and the consoles, you do NOT see anything close to that kind of improvement. Game developers have always had their hands tied by having to develop for the lowest common platform and while the PC market (when dominant) meant an upgrade cycle of 2-3 years we are now hitting a 6th year of static console gaming power.
If we want to see games that look like THIS, a screenshot from the Unreal Engine Samaritan demo, then we need to boost the baseline and soon.
But the numbers that DFC Intelligence provided give hope to those die-hards in the enthusiast and PC gaming community that with the expanding reach and positive growth of the PC market as a whole, developers will see this as their chance to move the medium forward beyond the status quo.
Subject: General Tech | September 22, 2011 - 06:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hyperformance, lucid
The Tech Report sat down with Offir Remez from Lucid to talk about their horribly named new product, HyperFormance. Don't dismiss the actual technology because of the name however, instead think of it as Smarter V-Sync for your games. This is intended to help with the tearing that can be present as frames are dropped by the video card trying to match the 60Hz refresh rate of an LCD monitor. This is rather important when you consider the attention reviewers are now paying to those tears and dropped frames as a better way of measuring the in game performance of various GPUs. Read on to learn about HyperFormance as well as Lucid's other recent products.
"Lucid's new 'HyperFormance' tech may have an unfortunate name, but it still has the potential to change the way we think about GPU performance by delivering a vastly improved gaming experience through a single intelligent software algorithm."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Samsung has started mass production of 20nm DDR3 @ SemiAccurate
- Modifying DD-WRT’s protected GUI @ Hack a Day
- Adobe rushes out emergency fix for critical bug in Flash @ The Register
- The Web's rapid release cycle—and how IT departments can tame it @ Ars Technica
- Canon EOS 600D Review @ t-break
- Sony Bravia KDL-55NX720 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Win a Sapphire HD6870 Dual Fan Overclock Edition @ kitguru
- Real World Labs And Plextor Joint Contest
Subject: General Tech | September 22, 2011 - 04:20 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Troll, pcie, PCI Express, Patent, Lawsuit
There is an expression that states "everything is bigger in Texas," and that goes double for patent lawsuits. A company by the name of Internet Machines MC LLC recently lodged a complaint with the Eastern District of Texas for alleged patent infringement by a number of OEM manufacturers, system builders, and retailers of computers containing PCI Express switching technologies. Specifically, Internet Machines holds US Patent number 7,539,190, a rather generalized patent that covers multicasting in a shared address space wherein data is stored in a buffer and then forwarded to its intended port. The companies being called to court include PLX Technology, Alienware, Dell, Samsung, and others. While the computers that are assembled using PCI Express may well be utilizing switching technology, the fact that Internet Machines is going after system assemblers and retailers-- companies that work with computers but do not design and build the motherboards and other components themselves-- instead of the standards body that designs and maintains the PCI Express standard that everyone in the industry uses raises a question of integrity on the part of Internet Machines. Are their motives true in defending their patents, or is it the method of operation of a patent troll?
A diagram describing the patent in question
A system builder who wishes to remain anonymous contacted us with further details on the patent case in question. It seems that this patent showdown is not Internet Machines’ first rodeo. They have previously pursued other companies over US Patents 7,421,532 and 7,454,552 which cover switching with transparent and non-transparent ports. The case was settled in 2010, and it seems that Internet Machines (a seemingly no longer operating company) is not satisfied with the settlement. Internet Machines is moving for a jury trial in this latest round of lawsuits and concerns yet another data switching patent for PCI Express that covers multicasting in a shared address space. It widens the net further by including numerous system builders and OEMs that build devices that contain PCI Express technology but do not deal with the PCIe standard directly. How the company has been able to patent aspects of the PCI Express standard is unclear; however, they patent is worded in such an ambiguous way that it could apply to almost anything they wanted it to.
Beyond the ambiguous use of the patent system is the issue of targeting companies that have little control over the PCI Express specification to begin with. Our source worded it best in stating that PCI Express is a standard that everyone uses. The companies targeted by Internet Machines’ recent lawsuit do not manufacture motherboards or control the PCI Express standard. “We build computers, that’s it.” What are your thoughts on the issue? Let us know in the comments below.
Subject: General Tech | September 21, 2011 - 06:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, cartel, syndicate
Over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN is an interview with Shams Jorjani who works for Paradox and is involved in the development of a game called Cartel. If you don't quite recognize the company's name, Paradox is most well known for Magicka and Mount & Blade. His first response defines what is great about Paradox, "Well we’re making PC games! That’s what we do, right?"
Cartel won't be ready for a year or more but as it is envisioned you will be fighting Cartels (think Megacorporations) with a squad of elite troops that you kit out with the equipment you have stolen or researched. While Jorjani doesn't like the Syndicate: Total War comparison, it might be a good way for those who have no idea what Syndicate is to grasp the concept.
"Paradox are developing a game called Cartel. The timing is interesting, because this is a game of two familiar halves: one real-time squad-based RTS action, the other on a global research and diplomacy map. And it is set in a near-future world of global mega-corporations, or “cartels”, battling for ultimate supremacy. Sound familiar? It should do. This is the antidote to EA’s new Syndicate being an FPS, and Paradox aren’t too shy about it. I talked to Paradox’s Shams Jorjani about what the Swedish publisher is up to, and whether this could be regarded as Syndicate: Total War.
Sadly, there are no images at this time. Boo."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Hard Reset Gameplay Performance @ [H]ard|OCP
- The dreams in which I'm dying: Ars reviews Gears of War 3
- Warco: an FPS where you hold a camera instead of a gun @ Ars Technica
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution Gaming and Performance Review on AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series Video Cards @Hi Tech Legion
- F1 2011 Game Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Dead Island @ Tweaktown
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution PC Review @ eTeknix
- Hard Reset Review @ Techgage
- Hard Reset GPU & CPU Performance Test @ TechSpot
- Hands-on with the Diablo 3 beta: keep that Internet on! @ Ars Technica
- The Race For Space: Lifeless Planet @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Starhawk - PS3 @ HEXUS
- Gears of War 3 Game Review (XBOX 360) @ HardwareHeaven
- God of War Collection Volume 2 Review (PS3) @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: General Tech | September 21, 2011 - 05:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, kepler, GK117, GK107
The news on the street is that two chips from NVIDIA's Kepler lineup should be arriving relatively soon, but don't get too excited. The GK117 will be a hybrid Fermi/Kepler card, not a GPU but perhaps a powerful addition to any render farm or other application which can benefit the new architecture. It could also just be a test chip the NVIDIA created to test the integration capabilities of the two architectures. The GK107 seems to likely be a mobile part, something SemiAccurate dismisses quickly as it will have to compete with the integrated GPUs present in both AMD and Intel mobile chips.
There is no sign of the Kepler everyone is waiting for, the GPU that will power NVIDIA's next generation of graphics cards. Why haven't we seen any sign of it yet? Drop by SemiAccurate for speculation on some of the possible reasons.
"Nvidia has two Kepler parts taped out and likely back in house by now. They are however, not the fire-breathing big chips you would expect.
Sources tell SemiAccurate that the first Kepler chips taped out about three months after the first 28nm Fermi shrink taped out. If you remember when we exclusively told you about the dates on those about a month ago, now there are a few more details to add."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- How to run Windows 8 in VirtualBox @ ExtremeTech
- Getting to grips with SSD performance @ The Register
- NAS Benchmarking Utility @ Computing on Demand
- Skype for iPhone makes stealing address books a snap @ The Register
- UEFI – Just How Important It Really Is @ Hardware Secrets
- LGA 2011 and Sandy Bridge-E News from IDF 2011 @ X-bit Labs
- NVIDIA Talks PC Gaming Trends @ Techgage
- Guide on choosing a Wireless Router @ t-break
Subject: General Tech | September 20, 2011 - 04:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, Corsair Vengeance, audio, keyboard, gaming mouse
Over at Overclockers Club is a look at Corsair's Vengeance series of keyboards, mice and headsets. They captured several slides from a recent presentation that show a brief history of Corsair's products as well as having hands on time with the newest members of the Vengeance lineup. From the M60 mouse with a dedicated sniper button to the K60 mechanical keyboard, they've focused on the needs of gamers, not casual users. The Vengeance 1100 headset and it's noise cancelling microphone also gets a look.
"The M60 is Corsair's new enthusiast grade-gaming mouse that looks to improve user experience in first-person shooters. Like the M90, the M60 utilizes an Avago 5670 DPI sensor with lift-detection for real-time adjustments. However, the M60 utilizes an aluminum unibody design with an adjustable center of gravity and PTFE glide pads. Making the Vengeance M60 potentially even more powerful as a FPS tool, there is also a red "sniper" button that lowers the DPI on-the-fly. When activated, the mouse toggles between a high-speed DPI mode and a precision mode. This serves to improve accuracy when using in-game sniper rifles, and could come in handy whenever a lower DPI is required for kills."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Corsair Vengeance Gaming Peripherals Preview @ Neoseeker
- Ozone Strike Mechanical Keyboard @ XSReviews
- Pandawill Rii mini i6 Keyboard Remote @ techPowerUp
- Roccat Valo Max Customization Gaming Keyboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Roccat Isku Gaming Keyboard @ kitguru
- Zowie Celeritas Competive Gaming Keyboard Review @ OCC
- Razer Black Widow Ultimate Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ eTeknix
- IOGEAR GKM571R 2.4 GHz Multimedia Mini Keyboard Review @ MissingRemote
- SteelSeries 6Gv2 Mechanical keyboard @ LanOC Reviews
- Roccat ISKU Gaming Keyboard Review with Roccat TALK @ HardwareHeaven
- Wheel Stand Pro Review @ XtremeComputing
- Mouse Without Borders @ CoD
- Steelseries Sensei Mouse @ kitguru
- Zowie EC2 Review @ OCC
- Steelseries Sensei Gaming Mouse @ XSReviews
- R.A.T 7 Gaming Mouse Albino Edition Review @ Tech-Reviews
- NZXT Avatar S 1600 DPI Gaming Mouse Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Spy Mouse Review @ t-break
Subject: General Tech | September 20, 2011 - 04:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fud, SSL, tls, security
The good news about the discovery that the encryption procedure behind Secure Socket Layer and Transport Layer Security has been compromised is that the newest versions of both SSL and TLS are still safe and they have been available for a while now. The bad news is that not only do only a tiny handful of websites utilize TLS 1.1/1.2 and SSL 3.0, most browsers don't even support the updated protocols. Oddly Internet Explorer and Internet Information Services both support the newer protocols, though they are not enabled by default; the only one that does have TLS 1.2 enabled by default is Opera.
"Researchers have discovered a serious weakness in virtually all websites protected by the secure sockets layer protocol that allows attackers to silently decrypt data that's passing between a webserver and an end-user browser.
The vulnerability resides in versions 1.0 and earlier of TLS, or transport layer security, the successor to the secure sockets layer technology that serves as the internet's foundation of trust. Although versions 1.1 and 1.2 of TLS aren't susceptible, they remain almost entirely unsupported in browsers and websites alike, making encrypted transactions on PayPal, GMail, and just about every other website vulnerable to eavesdropping by hackers who are able to control the connection between the end user and the website he's visiting."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ultrabook platform may not benefit ODMs @ DigiTimes
- Intel downstream partners request CPU price drop @ DigiTimes
- Intel sets to invest NT$300 million in software designer Insyde @ DigiTimes
- Microsoft's high-risk Windows 8 .NET switch @ The Register
- A Look at the Windows 8 Developer @ SemiAccurate
- Cisco plans virtual switch for Hyper-V in Windows Server 8 @ Ars Technica
- Apple makes a hash of password security (again) @ The Register
- Intel X79 chipset and Socket 2011 are ready for the desktop @ The Register
- Asus WL-330N3G 6 in 1 Wireless-N Mobile Router Review @ eTeknix
- Olympus PEN E-PM1 Review @ TechReviewSource
- XDC2011 Chicago Recap: Open-Source Graphics, GPGPU, OpenGL 3.0 @ Phoronix
- Name the Browser Contest - 2 Days Left! @ NGOHQ
- Win a Dell XPS Laptop with Overclock3D & Dell Outlet
Subject: General Tech | September 19, 2011 - 05:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Catch more on both of these stories and their history at The Register.
"Google has officially launched Native Client – a means of securely running C and C++ code inside a browser – as part of a new stable version of its Chrome browser that activates this rather controversial sandboxing technology.
Mountain View turned on Native Client, aka NaCl, in the Chrome beta last month, and on Friday, it debuted in the new Chrome 14, a stable release that also includes Google's new Web Audio API."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- M-Lab (Thanks DigitalKitty)
- Intel extends its influence beyond the CPU realm @ The Register
- Rambus shows off how to sniff crypto keys @ SemiAccurate
- Windows 8 and the marginalization of geeks @ The Tech Report
- UNIVAC: the troubled life of America's first computer @ Ars Technica
- Essential Open Source Tools For Windows Admins @ Slashdot
- This Is What Started AMD's Open-Source Strategy @ Phoronix
- Testing EXT4 & Btrfs On A Serial ATA 3.0 SSD @ Phoronix
- Gamefest 2011 Rundown @ XSReviews
- From iQ2011: HTC Flyer 10.1 Hands-on @ t-break
- From iQ 2011: A Tsunami of Data @ t-break
- IDF 2011 Recap and Announcing Pipeline @ AnandTech
- From iQ 2011: AllJoyn connects devices easily @ t-break
- Contest For Three NZXT Havik 140 CPU Coolers @ Legit Reviews
- New Quiz: Cooling @ Hardware Secrets
- The TR Podcast 96: IDF and inside the second
- Computing on Demand: C.O.D. Giveaway: Sentey Burton GS-6500B
Subject: General Tech | September 17, 2011 - 11:50 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: usb, PC, mic, headsets, gaming, corsair, analog, 7.1, 5.1
Following in the success of the company’s HS1 gaming headset, Corsair recently unveiled three new gaming headsets in its new Vengeance lineup of gaming peripherals. The new arrivals include the Vengeance 1100, 1300, and 1500 audio peripherals, of which two support USB connections.
The Vengeance 1100 is the smallest of the three gaming headsets, and features a behind-the-head headphone design and boom microphone extending from the left speaker. Using 40mm drivers, the headphones are capable of a claimed 94 decibel dynamic range, and is one of Corsairs lightest headsets. The microphone is of the unidirectional variety and features noise cancellation technology. Connectivity options include two 3.5mm audio jacks at the end of the 1.8 meter cable for headphone and microphone or a single USB connection with the included adapter cable.
The Vengeance 1300 headset with dual 3.5mm analog connections.
While lightweight and open ear headphones have their place, they are not for everyone. Thankfully, Corsair have also introduced two larger designs dubbed the Vengeance 1300 and 1500 to suit the needs of gamers who prefer (whether out of desire for isolated sound or to appease the significant other) the around-the-ears circumaural design. The 1300 supports connecting to high end sound cards with 3.5mm audio connections for both sound and the noise canceling cardioid microphone while the Vengeance 1500 connects to the computer using USB for both sound and microphone. Both models feature 50mm drivers, 95 decibel dynamic range, 3 meter cables, noise canceling microphones, and support for positional audio. Further, the Vengeance 1300 uses X-Fi CMSS-3D while the 1500 headset supports 5.1 and 7.1 Dolby Headphone positional audio. The larger designs are bound to be relatively heavy compared to the smaller Vengeance 1100; however, the closed ear design should provide cleaner audio while blocking out background noise.
As far as pricing and availability are concerned, the new gaming headsets and other Vengeance gaming peripherals are slated for an October 2011 launch worldwide. The Vengeance 1100 weights in at an attractive $39 US MSRP while the larger 1300 and 1500 have a suggested retail price of $79 US and $99 USD respectively.
Do you game with headsets, or are you more of the crank-the-home-theater-speakers-to-11 (and immerse the whole neighborhood in your Battlefield match) kind of person? I have somewhat recently moved to a pair of headphones for gaming and it definitely has its benefits (including the aforementioned spouse acceptance factor...). How do you think the new Corsair headsets will stack up to the competition? Let us know in the comments!
Subject: General Tech | September 17, 2011 - 08:30 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mice, mechanical keyboard, corsair
For such an old technology it certainly seems like gaming mechanical keyboards are making a surge into the market lately. More and more hands are in the pot full of Cherries; each hand with their personal set of distinguishing features to set their offering apart from all the others. Some prefer to opt for backlighting; some prefer to opt for ludicrous amounts of keys to be pressed at once; and some prefer to duke it out in switch type, extra buttons, and price. Razer recently jumped in to the fray with their premiere and recently expanded BlackWidow product line. Corsair seems to have their sights directly on Razer, however, with their own mechanical keyboard lineup: The Vengence K60 FPS keyboard and the K90 MMO keyboard the latter with blue backlighting. Also announced are two gaming mice, one to complement each keyboard with similar model numbers: M60 and M90.
Are your ears burning Razer? This could get bloody.
I must say that upon overviewing Corsair’s claims of a 20KRO keyboard I am quite interested in this product. According to their product page, they have essentially created the basis of an NKRO keyboard by isolating every key from each other (rather than having certain combinations of as low as 3 keys confuse the controller) but instead of using a native PS/2 controller for real NKRO they opted for messing with USB in such a way to allow up to 20 keys pressed at once. While the question still remains of how up-to “up-to” really is, if they really isolated every key it is possible that you simply will not have enough fingers to jam the keyboard without physically trying to make it happen. Such a feat is possible, however: Microsoft has done a similar accomplishment with their SideWinder X4 keyboard, claiming 26KRO over USB.
I mean honestly, who needs two hands on your FPS keyboard?
It seems very much like Corsair is attempting to ram into the market chest-first like some Cherry-flavored Kool-Aid man. A special one-handed wristguard for the FPS model and replaceable keycaps for the WSAD and number keys knowing that without backlighting they are the first to go show that they thought this through before they made their leap. The backlight K90 also priced nearly identically to Razer’s BlackWidow Ultimate at $129 with the FPS-centric K60 priced at $109 though that price includes the wrist guard. The two mice are priced at $79 for the M90 and $69 for the M60. Update 9/17/2011: I forgot to mention, Corsair said it should be available in October.