64 Bit Flash Support Returns To Linux With Flash Player 11

Subject: General Tech | July 15, 2011 - 02:50 AM |
Tagged: linux, flash, Adobe

Linux, once the beholder of 64 bit versions of the Adobe Flash plug-in, has been without any form of 64 bit support for the past few iterations (since version 10.1 to be more specific); however, Adobe has finally reinstated support for the 64 bit Linux version with the newly announced Adobe Flash Player 11 Beta. Currently only available on the desktop (Adobe claims the mobile version is coming soon), the new beta brings a new method of 2D and 3D rendering dubbed the Stage 3D API. This new API uses GPU-acceleration to speed up rendering across “multiple screens and devices.” Support for H.264/AVC SW camera encoding and Native JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) are also features of the beta.


The announcement also briefly covers the improved security measures, specifically those that relate to GPU-acceleration. The new Stage 3D rendering API includes a new simple shader language dubbed AGAL (Adobe Graphics Assembly Language) that prohibits loops or functions inside shaders. Further, Adobe has added restrictions to the API to limit the number of calls per frame in an attempt to mitigate DDoS attacks.

The new desktop beta is available now for download. 64 bit Linux users rejoice, for the necessary evil that is Flash has returned to you.

Source: Adobe

Podcast #162 - Adventures in Bitcoin Mining, the Eyefinity experience, Ultrabooks and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 14, 2011 - 04:38 PM |
Tagged: podcast, bitcoin, mining, gpu, gpgpu, amd, nvidia, eyefinity, APU

PC Perspective Podcast #162 - 7/14/2011

This week we talk about our adventures in Bitcoin Mining, the Eyefinity experience, Ultrabooks 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: Ryan Shrout, 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: 1:16:40

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:40 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. 0:02:10 Bitcoin Currency and GPU Mining Performance Comparison
  6. 0:22:48 Bitcoin Mining Update: Power Usage Costs Across the United States
  7. 0:34:15 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  8. 0:34:50 Eyefinity and Me
  9. 0:45:00 Video Perspective: AMD A-series APU Dual Graphics Technology Performance
  10. 0:47:02 As expected NVIDIA's next generation GPU release schedule was a bit optimistic
  11. 0:49:40 A PC Macbook Air: Can Intel has?
  12. 0:53:00 PC: for all your Xbox gaming needs
  13. 0:56:06 Email from Howard
  14. 1:00:28 Email from Ian
  15. 1:03:00 Email from Jan
    1. In case you're interested, here are almost 150mpix of HDR: http://rattkin.info/archives/430
  16. 1:08:55 Quakecon Reminder - http://www.quakecon.org/
  17. 1:09:45 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Dropped the ball
    3. Josh: Finally getting cheap enough for me to buy
    4. Allyn: http://gplus.to/
  18. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  19. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  20. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  21. 1:15:15 Closing

The Bulldozer has sprung another leak, get a peek at the upcoming FX series

Subject: General Tech | July 14, 2011 - 12:40 PM |
Tagged: zambezi, leak, fx series, bulldozer, amd

Turkish site Donanim Haber got the scoop on Bulldozer and the news is good.  Compared to the first silicon we saw, which had 32 cores running at 1.8GHz, with this new leak we see seven models all running at much more respectable speeds.  There are three 8 core FX CPUs of which the high end FX-8150 runs at 3.6GHz, 4.2GHz under boost.  One of the two six core FX Bulldozers runs at 3.3/3.9GHz, the second called FX-6120 remains mysterious and similarly we know the quad core FX-4100 runs at 3.6/3.8GHz with the FX-4120 still having undetermined clock speeds.  All are based on the 32nm Zambezi core and all will be unlocked Black Edition and support DDR3 up to 1866MHz.  The actual performance when compared to SandyB is up for debate, a good starting point is this article at Real World Tech, which gives you educated guesses based on the leaked benchmarks.  Part of the uncertainly lies in the new architecture and trying to interpret how 4 modules, each module with a single shared FPU/MMX/SIMD unit and two ALUs from an engineering sample.

Hopefully, we should only have to wait 2 or 3 more months to find out for sure.


"According to recent information from AMD, two quad-core, two and three of the six-core, including the 8-core processor for 2011 Bulldozer-based model to the market poised to offer 7 different FX. AMD's most powerful processor will be the standard 8-core 3.6GHz FX-8150 processor at 2.0 technology will serve and Turbo Core 4.2GHz operating frequency of up to increase. AMD's 8-core processor, the second how quickly the standard 3.1GHz FX-8120 has been working in the technology and the Turbo Core 2.0 4GHz can go up automatically."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk


Life is unfair: Giant touchscreen Star Wars game edition

Subject: General Tech | July 13, 2011 - 03:11 PM |
Tagged: TacTile, Star Wars, gaming

Look at those kids, they aren't even smiling, yet they are controlling a giant fleet battle in the Star Wars Universe by touch!  Arthur Nishimoto was a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago and this is what he designed as part of his course.  It is hard to say exactly what the pop up menus signify exactly, but don't you desperately want to find out?  You can glean quite a bit about the Fleet Commander game and the interface called TacTile which was used at his personal site here.  The full size HD YouTube link also contains interesting comments, an almost unique occurance for that site.



Thanks to BoingBoing for first finding it.

"It's probably the level of concentration required, but these kids do not look nearly as excited about what they are doing as I think they should.

For the last two years, University of Illinois at Chicago graduate student Arthur Nishimoto has been working on this incredible-looking video game based around a multi-touch interface."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:


Source: BoingBoing

Bumpday 7/13/2011: Furry browser of choice, now less leaks

Subject: General Tech | July 13, 2011 - 02:39 PM |
Tagged: firefox, bumpday

This week Mozilla released Firefox 7 into the Aurora channels and probably about twenty other versions elsewhere as well. Firefox has come under fire (heh heh) lately for its ridiculously rapid release schedule particularly for those interested in deploying Internet Explorer alternatives in the enterprise market. With the recent release of Firefox 5 it is only reasonable that Firefox 7 be nearing its prime too. The major advancement for this version is the concentration on performance, in particular: memory leakage. Mozilla grew a slight reputation lately for not being the quickest and most responsive browser. That title was once held by Internet Explorer compared to the much faster Firebird. I guess it is time to bump it up in our memory.


Despite Mozilla being strict with their logo… rule 34. Let’s leave it at that.

In early 2004, Firefox came to life out of the ashes of a Firebird. It was not yet in the canonical “version 1” form at that time, numbers forced to follow in a line behind a point, but for many it was their browser of choice. There is a little debate whether the name is of choice but that debate was silenced with a request for a screenshot. For a moment. Before the other inevitable. And lastly, regardless of your platform on technical support, Firefox for President.


Source: PCPer Forums

The lad doth protest too much, methinks ... AMD is probably not in that much trouble

Subject: General Tech | July 13, 2011 - 12:08 PM |
Tagged: amd, finance

At The Inquirer you can read a counterpoint to a recent analysts comments on the failure of AMD in the current market.  It seems that APUs are not hot ... even though that is exactly what Intel's SandyBridge processors are whether they call them that or not.  The analyst is unimpressed with the performance of the CPU portion of Llano, which is understandable as most of us were underwhelmed with its performance.  He completely glosses over half of Llano, calling it "integrated graphics circuitry" and giving no recognition to the fact that it is the fastest iGPU ever seen and can even earn you Bitcoins.  As The Inquirer points out, the size graphics portion of the APU on AMD opens up quite a bit of utility that people just aren't programming for and while the CPU portion is clocked lower it performs true multithreaded apps much more efficeintly.

He then goes on to denegrate AMD's chances in the server room, citing Intel's Xeon refresh.  What is strange is that Intel's move to 22nm in 2012 is somehow much more of a safe bet that AMD's first generation of Bulldozer for the server room.  Both are new architectures and while Intel is generally a safe bet, AMD and GF are also a team to bet on.  He also misses mention of AMD's Terramar and Sepang, which will compete directly with the Xeon E7 lineup and apparently has no idea about ARM's plans whatsoever.

Can't argue his point about the lack of a CEO though.


AMD's Quarter 2 2011

"A CHIP ANALYST at JMP Securities has downgraded AMD, alleging that the company's APU and server offerings aren't in sync with the needs of its retail partners and are falling behind the competition, both of which, if true, are damaging for AMD's prospects."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Netflix Announces New Prices For Streaming and DVD plans

Subject: General Tech | July 12, 2011 - 08:05 PM |
Tagged: Netflix, streaming, ip

Today, Netflix announced significant changes to the movie rental service’s pricing structure in addition to a new DVD only plan. Representing their lowest price ver for unlimited DVD’s they have announced a new $7.99 a month plan for 1 DVD out at a time and $11.99 per month for 2 DVDs at a time. Netflix is further changing up the way DVD plus streaming plans work. Specifically, they are changing their plans into separate DVD only and streaming only plans. Customers would then further be able to add a streaming plan on top of the DVD plan to their account.


The unlimited streaming only plan will be priced at $7.99 a month while the unlimited DVD only plan will also be priced at $7.99 a month. Thus, the price of the lowest cost DVD and streaming monthly price will be $15 USD. The new prices are effective immediately for any new members while existing members will be subject to the price increases starting September 1, 2011.

Netflix claims that they have changed the prices in response to the realization that DVDs still have a long life and the previous model of $2 add on to the streaming plan for 1 DVD out at a time was not making them enough money cost effective. On one hand, customers are up in arms regarding the price increase for the same service they have been paying to for years, and on the other hand the price increase may allow Netflix to update its streaming catalog more frequently with new content. Regardless of the semantics, it is certainly a bold move by the company and it will be interesting to see how its customers react.

What are your thoughts on the pricing changes?

Source: Netflix

Need some help decoding your audio codec?

Subject: General Tech | July 12, 2011 - 05:58 PM |
Tagged: audio, onboard audio, codecs

With the rise of onboard audio, the technical details that used to come with your sound card are often missing from your motherboard manual.  Hardware Secrets has compiled a set of tables that will help you sort out the mysterious chip found on your motherboard.  Covering Analog Devices, C-Media, Realtek, VIA and other manufacturers they list the major chips available and an overview of their capabilities.  Bookmark this one if you find yourself tracking down audio chip specifications frequently.


"Audio codec is a small chip measuring 0.25 sq. in. (7 mm2) located on the motherboard in charge of the analog audio functions. Knowing the specs of a codec will permit you to compare the audio quality of different motherboards, allowing you to choose the right product for your needs."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

Beating the heat by using minimal energy; magnetic memory and the Landauer limit

Subject: General Tech | July 12, 2011 - 11:49 AM |
Tagged: landauer limit, magnetic memory

Recently there have been significant breakthroughs in ways to reduce the amount of energy needed for electronic calculation and therefore a reduction in the heat produced by the electronics.  This becomes more and more important as processes shrink and transistors become ever more dense.  Most notable is Intel's announcement of their success in developing 3D transistors, called Tri-Gate technology, which will require vastly reduced amounts of power to change state as well as reducing leakage.  Nanotechweb has put up an article dealing with another technique to deal with the heat which has also been in the news recently, magnetic memory.  The benefit to magnetic memory is to allow the usage of the north and south poles as 1 and 0, instead of using electrons to change charges which creates heat thanks to resistance in the circuit.  Current experiments utilize nanomagnets 100 nm wide and 200 nm long, fairly large when compared to current electronics, but show great promise and this field is one that should be watched.


"Tiny magnetic memory and logic devices that consume very little energy have been developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. With further improvements, the devices could operate close to the "Landauer limit" of minimum energy consumption because they require no moving electrons to work – something that could revolutionize electronics."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Nanotechweb

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fabs in New York and Dresden Achieve “Ready for Equipment” Milestone

Subject: General Tech | July 12, 2011 - 11:15 AM |
Tagged: new york, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, fab 8, fab 1, dresden, cleanroom

Milpitas, Calif. – July 12, 2011 – Just over one year after revealing plans for a major global capacity expansion, GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced its newly constructed cleanrooms in New York and Dresden are ready for the installation of 300mm semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment. Achieving “Ready for Equipment” (RFE) status marks the transition from the construction phase to the operations phase—a significant milestone on the path to volume manufacturing in these new facilities.

“At GLOBALFOUNDRIES, we continue to invest aggressively in driving sustained growth on advanced technologies,” said GLOBALFOUNDRIES CEO Ajit Manocha. “The build-out of our 300mm manufacturing campuses in New York and Dresden is supporting growing customer demand for advanced technologies, while creating hundreds of jobs and providing a significant boost to the economies in the surrounding regions. By completing these massive construction projects on schedule and on budget, we are continuing to deliver on our commitment to being the only truly global foundry.”

At Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany, GLOBALFOUNDRIES has completed construction of an additional wafer manufacturing facility designed to add capacity at 45nm and below, which has the potential to increase the overall output of the Fab 1 campus to 80,000 wafers per month once fully ramped. The expansion project will add more than 110,000 square feet of cleanroom space to the site and will allow Fab 1 to operate as one integrated cleanroom. This extension will make Dresden the largest wafer fab in Europe for leading-edge technology.

At Fab 8, GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ newest semiconductor manufacturing facility under construction at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Saratoga County, New York, the RFE date was moved up by nearly two months to meet heavy customer demands. Last week, GLOBALFOUNDRIES moved into the facility’s Admin 1 office building and broke ground on the Admin 2 building. Once completed, Fab 8 will stand as the most technologically advanced wafer fab in the world and the largest leading-edge semiconductor foundry in the United States. When fully built-out and ramped, the total available cleanroom space will be approximately 300,000 square feet and will be capable of a total output of approximately 60,000 wafers per month. The total facility, including cleanroom support infrastructure and office space, includes approximately 1.9 million square feet of space and is expected to come online in 2012 with volume production targeted for early 2013. Fab 8 will focus on leading-edge manufacturing at 28nm and below.