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January 2009
Geek Recipes (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 31-January-2009  20:32:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's some yummy recent threads from our Geek Recipes forum:


Fruit Mince Pies
by Codam

Greek Lamb
by Bastard Child

Lamb for Australia Day
by dan77


Smoking Meats
by spankyofoz

15 Minute Salmon Fillet
by scarletxfi

Artichoke Dip
by pipsqeek



Saturday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 31-January-2009  17:21:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboards:
ASRock N7AD-SLI LGA775 board on LegitReviews.
DFI LanParty JR X58-T3H6 LGA775 board on CPU3D.
Gigabyte GA-X48-DS5 LGA775 board on PCStats.
DFI X58 T3eH8 Ultra LGA1366 board on OC3D.
MSI G41M Micro ATX LGA775 board on TrustedReviews.
XFX MB-X58I-CH19 LGA1366 board on Motherboards.org.

Software:
Chronicles of Riddick - Assault on Dark Athena PC game on GamingHeaven.
Cryostasis PC game on GamingHeaven.
Pirates of the Burning Sea PC game on GamingNexus.
Space Trader on PC Game on GamingNexus.
Rise of the Argonauts PC game on GamePyre.

Memory:
CSX 3GB DDR3-1600MHz on Phoronix.
CSX CSXO-CEC-800-4GB-KIT on OCOnline.

Input Etc:
Cyber E-Sport Orbita Mouse on Pro-Clockers.
Das Keyboard on XbitLabs.
Logitech VX Nano Wireless Notebook Mouse on TheTechLounge.
Razer Lycosa Mirror Keyboard on OCClub.

Video Cards:
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC on XbitLabs.
HIS 4670 IceQ on XSReviews.



Saturday Midday (5 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 31-January-2009  12:48:43 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Microsoft have confirmed there will be no more Windows 7 betas. On the “Engineering Windows 7″ blog, Windows development chief Steven Sinofsky reiterated what officials stated less plainly at the Professional Developers Conference last year: There will be just one beta of Windows 7. Microsoft’s “official” response when asked for a ship-date target for Windows 7 remains three years after Vista’s general availability date (which was January 29, 2007).

But Windows 7 might be insecure. Microsoft's efforts to make Windows 7 less annoying than Vista may also be making it less secure than its predecessor. With Windows Vista, the operating system popped up a warning any time a major change was being made to the system, whether by the OS or by a third-party application. With Windows 7, users can choose how often to be notified, with the current default set to notify only when a third-party application is making a change.

Intel might be releasing an 8 core Xeon next month. Speculation around the chip suggests that it will be Intel’s Nehalem EP processor, a chip designed for dual-socket workstations and servers. The EP, which is scheduled for a release in early 2009, will use Intel’s Quick Path Interconnect, removing all need for a front-side bus and letting more data flow between the processor and the system. It will also feature an integrated memory controller.

The government is keeping quiet about Internet Censorship trials. Mark White, COO of iiNet, said the ISP put in its submission to be part of the trial on December 6 and was told that the Government would come back with more details by the middle of January, but all it had heard was "deafening silence". "I can't for a moment speculate what's going on but it certainly doesn't seem to be running as a project on time and they're certainly not communicating with the people that they need to - that is, the ISPs that have offered to test this thing," said White.

Computers may soon be available for only $10. New Delhi: To take knowledge to every household and help students get feed on every subject while sitting home, the government is set to make available low-cost computers at $10 within six months. Technology for these small devices have been developed by IISC, Bangalore and IIT Madras.

Seagate's tales of woe continue. A few weeks ago, TG Daily noticed there were a growing number of reported drive failures posted on NewEgg.com's customer review section for Seagate's 7200.11 500G Barracuda hard drives. Trends in recent weeks have shown many more dissatisfied users than they had previously. Many users report their Barracuda drive became inoperable after a few months. And while Seagate has issued a fix, we find reports online which indicate Seagate is actively censoring negative comments and questions about this drive's reported errors on their website.

Have you wondered why everything is turning up as a beta? Like many PC gamers in the last week, I recently fired up the new Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II beta on Steam to see what all the fuss was about. While my thoughts on the game itself are best left for another day, it got me thinking about the current use of betas in PC gaming and their overall effect on the market. Primarily, when did "beta" become a new buzzword for "demo"?

DRM continues to cause issues. Players of the PC game Gears of War have a problem that means they are currently unable to even load their game. The reason – a hard-coded shutoff date in the DRM that prevents the game from playing. Yet again, DRM prevents an honestly purchased game from working. Will Crysis and GTA IV break next?

Have you finished yesterday's timewaster yet? If you have check out the sequel, Armor Picross 2.



A Pair of PSUs (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 30-January-2009  21:15:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Windwithme has reviewed two PSUs - click for the threads:


GIGABYTE ODIN Pro 1200W

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 1200W



Friday Evening (3 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 30-January-2009  19:40:53 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Michael Atkinson continues to delay talks on an R18+ game rating. As another working week draws to a close and you begin to wonder what manner of horrible evils are lurking out there in the world to destroy the wonderful ideals of a handful of politicians, know that your children are just a tiny bit safer today thanks to South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson.

Apparently anti-piracy measures are bloody useless. Traffic management company Ipoque has just released a whitepaper, detailing pros and cons of different methods of dealing with piracy on P2P networks. Surprisingly, the conclusions in the paper are not straight adverts for their own products and services. We will highlight some of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly conclusions.

Swiss police have used Google Earth to aid a drug bust. Swiss police said they stumbled across a large marijuana plantation while using Google Earth, the search engine company's satellite mapping software. Officers discovered the hemp field in the northeastern canton (state) of Thurgau last year while investigating an alleged drug ring, said the head of Zurich police's specialist narcotics unit Norbert Klossner.

Dell is entering the cell phone market. This time, they've got the Wall Street Journal in a twist over renewed rumors that Dell is "preparing a move into cellphones as early as next month." Next month, is of course the big cellphone coming out party known as Mobile World Congress in Barcelona -- an event Dell has flat-out denied any intention to attend.

Drive makers have settled on a disk encryption standard. he world's six largest computer drive makers today published the final specifications for a single, full-disk encryption standard that can be used across all hard disk drives, solid state drives (SSD) and encryption key management applications. Once enabled, any disk that uses the specification will be locked without a password -- and the password will be needed even before a computer boots.

Tweaktown have posted their round up of 2009 Blu-ray releases. I’ve taken the liberty of rounding up the rumored release lists of titles for the year. I will stress that these are not confirmed and are in certain degrees of production. It is also possible some may be delayed. Additionally, this does not profess to be a list of every Blu-ray to be released this year, but a selection of the major ones. And there are of course many others that I don’t know about.

Today's timewaster is Armor Picross. One of the best puzzle logic games out there.



Misc Pics (24 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 30-January-2009  14:47:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to Aaron, Voldo and Mario for these!

         

         



Friday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 30-January-2009  07:00:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cooling:
Gelid Silent Spirit CPU Cooler and GC1 Thermal Paste on Tech-Reviews.
Gelid Silent Spirit CPU cooler on PureOC.
Thermaltake BigTyp 14 Pro CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers.
Zalman CNPS9300AT CPU Cooler on ExtremeOC.

Audio / Visual:
Apple LED Cinema Display on ITReviewed.
Panasonic Viera TH-42PZ85 42in Plasma TV on TrustedReviews.

Portable:
Alienware M17 Gaming Laptop on ITReviewed.
Lowepro Classified 250AW Notebook and Camera Bag on ThinkComputers.
Panasonic ToughBook CF-H1 Mobile Clinical Assistant on TrustedReviews.
Rock Xtreme 780 17in Gaming Notebook on TrustedReviews.

Video Cards:
BFG GeForce GTX 285 OCX on Guru3D.
Sapphire ATOMIC HD 4870x2 (H2O) on CPU3D.
EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition on HWLogic.
Sapphire Ultimate HD4670 Passively Cooled on Metku.
XFX 9800GT 512MB on XSReviews.
XFX GTX-285 XXX on Bjorn3D.

Cases:
Scythe Fenris Wolf on Bit-Tech.
NZXT Lexa Blackline on Tech-Reviews.
Silverstone Fortress on OCClub.

Power Supply:
Cooler Master Silent Pro M 600W Modular on Tweaknews.
Enermax Liberty ECO 500W on HWSecrets.
InWin Commander 850W on TechWareLabs.
Tagan SuperRock 680W TG680-U33II on TechPowerUp.



Friday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 30-January-2009  00:11:04 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

Google has officially launched Gmail Offline, allowing users to read and compose mail without the need to be connected to the internet. As detailed in the announcement today via the official Gmail blog, once you switch on Gmail Offline (as usual it’s in the labs tab under settings) Gmail uses Google Gears to download a local cache of your mail.

Russian PM Vladimir Putin told Michael Dell that Russia doesn't need his help with IT expansion. DAVOS, Switzerland (Fortune) -- Ever since Vladimir Putin rose to power in 2000, his political opponents and entire countries have learned to their cost that he has a tough, demeaning streak. Wednesday it was Michael Dell's turn.

Next time you decide to use an outside dunny don't forget the toilet paper and to close the door. Google has swiftly yanked an image from its mapping service showing a man sitting on his outhouse dunny in an inner-city Melbourne backyard.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy will soon sign off on the imminent internet filtering trial. The next few days will see the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy sign agreements with some of the internet service providers (ISP) who submitted applications to be a part of the ISP-level objectionable content filtering trial.

Apple has shipped around 125,000 iPhones to Australia in the first 3 months since going on sale in July 2008. "I wasn't expecting the number to be that high," IDC telecommunications market analyst Mark Novosel told ZDNet.com.au this week, noting he had thought it would be more in the realm of 50 to 100 thousand for the quarter to 30 September. As for the reason, Novosel put it all down to hype. "Basically there was so much hype in the market. Australians had been waiting for one and a half years."

Telstra chief executive Sol Trujillo says that Google's Android mobile platform isn't "robust". "We are looking at it," Trujillo said in the interview with ZDNet.com.au sister site CNET News.com, responding to a question about Android. "But the platform isn't at the stage where it's really robust. We are looking at what's being said about it in the blogosphere, and we're looking at testing it."

Bit-tech is test driving a set of G.Skill F3-12800CL8T-6GBHK Tri-Channel DDR3 modules. Just a few days ago we took a look at the Corsair DHX+ triple-channel DDR3 kit for Core i7 CPUs and today it's G.Skill's turn. Matched to the Corsair modules at 1,600MHz CAS-8, they feature a standard profile package with blue "HK" heatspreaders compared to the more elaborate DHX+ heatsinks on the Corsair.

Meanwhile, The Tech Report is looking at the new Lian Li's TYR PC-X500 Enclosure. The TYR series initially caught our attention for its side-mounted drives and monolithic front panel. I've seen a lot of cases over the years, and I don't think I've ever felt quite as strong of a 'how does that work?' moment as when I first saw the X500.

Stanford University scientists have developed a new email system that figures out who messages are intended for. Semantic technology that understands phrases and relationships between words instead of simply recognizing typed characters can scour data bases and the Internet to track down intended email recipients.



Thursday Morning (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 29-January-2009  00:37:21 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales is proposing changes on who can edit the online encyclopedia after vandals have changed the entries of two US senators, Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, to erroneously report that they had died. The proposal, which was approved 60-40 by participants in an online poll, would not allow first-time or anonymous users to make instant edits but would require that they be approved first by trusted users.

Apparently a man from NZ found 60 US military files, including names and telephone numbers for American soldiers on an MP3 player he bought in Oklahoma. TV One News said the 60 files contained personal details of US soldiers, including some who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq. A New Zealand security expert said the information should not be in the public domain, but that it did not appear likely to affect US national security. The US Embassy declined to comment on the incident.

Speculation is growing that eBay is looking at selling Skype. Industry insiders believe that eBay signalled its intent last week after John Donahue, its chief executive, described Skype as a “great stand-alone business”. This has led to suggestions that eBay would find it relatively easy to part with Skype, if a substantial bid was made.

Windows is a first-class gaming platform..........according to Microsoft. The comments come at the same time as Microsoft appoints a new general manager for the controversial Games for Windows Live division which has been met with scorn from many gamers.

In June 2008 social networking giants, Facebook and MySpace, had about the same number of registered unique users, however, since then Facebook has surged well and truly ahead of MySpace. Facebook now claims 200 million unique users to MySpace's 100 million according to Adage. The glut of the growth Facebook has experienced comes from countries other than America. MySpace is quick to point out that while Facebook has outpaced it in unique visitors, it still sells more ads.

ExtremeTech has a preview of Windows Internet Explorer 8 RC1. Times are tough for Microsoft, with job cuts, the European Union breathing down its neck again, and Firefox slowly but steadily encroaching on Internet Explorer. More than ever, Microsoft needs IE8 to succeed if it wants to maintain its dominant position. Fortunately, the beta looked good. And while this first release candidate is little changed from the beta, the few adjustments made definitely improve the product.

It seems that world's six largest computer hard drive makers have finally published the final specifications for a single, full-disk encryption standard. According to a press release any disk that uses the specification will be locked without a password and the password will be needed even before a computer boots.

Now some news for our photography enthusiasts. Dpreview has posted and in depth review of the Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II lens. The Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II may be one of the cheapest lenses currently on the market, but its optics belie its lowly price. As befits a classic standard prime lens, it's very sharp when stopped down (especially in the centre), shows minimal chromatic aberration, and has relatively low distortion; APS-C users will also benefit from extremely low vignetting.

Trusted Reviews is looking at the Kata R-106 Camera Rucksack. I've used and reviewed some consumer-level Kata bags before, and I've been pretty impressed by their clever design and excellent construction, but The R-106 is in a completely different league.



Photography Gallery (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 28-January-2009  17:40:40 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Some recent photos from our Photography Gallery forum:




Western Digital 2TB HDD (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 28-January-2009  16:31:57 (GMT +10) - by Agg

As rumoured for a little while, Western Digital have released the first 2TB hard drive. WD (NYSE: WDC) today announced the first 2 terabyte (TB) hard drive - the world's highest capacity drive and the latest addition to WD's popular, environmentally friendly, cool and quiet, WD® Caviar® Green™ hard drive family. This new 3.5-inch platform is based on WD's industry-leading 500 GB/platter technology (with 400 Gb/in2 areal density) with 32 MB cache, producing drives with capacities of up to 2 TB.

 

Spec sheet here. Product page here. Coverage on HotHardware and TrustedReviews.

There's a large thread about this drive here in our Storage and Backup forum.



Wednesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 28-January-2009  16:16:52 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Motherboard
ASUS M4A79T on Legit Reviews
Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R on Motherboards.org
MSI X58 Platinum on Viperlair
Gigabyte EX58-UD4P on Hardware Zone
ASUS G71V on InsideHW
ECS A780GM-A Ultra on Tbreak

RAM
OCZ DDR3-1600 Platinum 6Gb Kit on CPU3D
Kingston HyperX 2GHz DDR3 3x1GB Kit on Extreme Overclocking
CSX Diablo DDR3-2000MHz 3GB Kit on Tweaktown
Patriot Viper DDR3-2000 on PureOC

PSU
Akasa Freedom Power 1000W on Driver Heaven
Corsair TX850W on Driver Heaven
OCZ ModXstream Pro 500w on Overclock3D
Thermaltake Toughpower Cable Management 750W on Modders-Inc
OCZ ModXStream-Pro 600W on Overclockers Club

CPU
AMD Phenom II X4 940 on Techspot
Intel Core i7 Memory Performance on bit-tech.net

Games
Mirrors Edge on Bjorn3D
Battleforge Hands-On Preview on bit-tech.net
Left 4 Dead on ITReviewed
Dawn of War 2 Beta on bit-tech.net
Guitar Hero: Metallica on Gaming Heaven
Killzone 2 on Gaming Nexus

Graphics/Display
ATI Catalyst Driver 8.12 Hotfix on Big Bruin
nVidia GeForce GTX 285 on ITReviewed
Sapphire HD 4870 1GB Toxic Edition on Hardware Zone
Acer P244W on Digital Trends
Sony Bravia KDL-37V4000 on Trusted Reviews

Portables
Blaupunkt TravelPilot 700 on Darkvision Hardware
Qstarz BT-Q2000 GPS Explore 2000 on Trusted Reviews
Lenovo IdeaPad S1 on Phoronix
Creative Zen MP3 Player on Hardware Secrets
Dell Inspiron Mini 12 on ITReviewed
Dell Inspiron Mini 9 on The Tech Lounge
Cowon S9 on Tech Review Source
HTC Touch Viva on Trusted Reviews

Miscellaneous
CyberPower Gamer Xtreme XT on Think Computers
Webroot Software Internet Security Essentials on ITReviews
Microsoft Sidewinder X6 on Hi-Tech Reviews
OCZ Apex Series 250GB SSD on PC Perspective



Wednesday Afternoon (4 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 28-January-2009  15:38:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Jay has been working hard to keep our Internet Filtering Wiki Page updated with news links and other info. Also check out these pages: Information about Electric Shocks, Aquariums and Swapping a HDD.

Tech-Report, not content with having Intel's X25-E SSD, probably the fastest SATA drive ever, have whacked four of them onto a RAID controller. Armed with a high-end RAID card and four X25-Es, we've set out to see just how fast a RAID 0 array can be. This is easily the most exotic storage configuration we've ever tested, but can it live up to our unavoidably lofty expectations? Let's find out.

From Polski Radon: KDE 4.2, codename "The Answer", has finally been released! A year and a half after the first KDE 4.0 preview, the user-friendly GPLv3/LGPL licensed desktop environment is ready for the majority of end users on Desktop, Laptop and Netbook computers. Visit the Release Announcement to see videos of KDE 4.2, or try it out on your system by burning a LiveCD. There's a screenshot here.

Phoronix looked at the boot times of Moblin, which is Intel's software for netbooks. Originally, the Moblin core was based upon Ubuntu, but Intel ended up rebasing off Fedora last year and they have been preparing for the second version of their core operating system. Just this week they released Moblin V2 Core Alpha, which we are looking at in this article. Specifically, we are looking at how fast this Intel software is able to boot!

Spore has an expansion pack on the way, called Spore: Galactic Adventures. Bit-Tech wonder if it will bring people back to the game or not. Built to capitalise on the strengths of Spore’s almost evilly intelligent editors while also tackling the fundamental flaws many people find with the end-game, Galactic Adventures’ main new feature is a new creation tool that lets players craft their own adventures.



Competitions (8 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 28-January-2009  04:03:25 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's a reminder about a couple of competition type things:

AMD are celebrating the launch of the new Phenom II CPU and their DRAGON platform with a competition site opened to the public in Australia. With ATI a dominant force in the desktop graphics market at the moment, the new AMD Phenom 2 CPU is set to make a splash with gamers and overclockers alike.

AMD have been kind enough to provide registered OCAU users the chance to win an XBOX 360 console by just entering the competition here or clicking through the banner you may see occasionally on OCAU. OCAU members MUST INCLUDE "OCAU" (and if it fits, their account/forum name) together with their last name in the "Last Name" entry box on the site. For example: James OCAUAggRolfe. In future the form will be modified to allow that info to be entered more easily.

There are five XBOX 360 consoles to be won in total, with at least one guaranteed for an OCAU member! The competition closes at the end of January and is open to everyone!



Also, on 26th February 2009 at Beyond Gaming (525 George Street, Sydney) Gigabyte, OCAU and The Overclocker will be holding the Australian qualifiers for Gigabyte’s Open Overclocking Pan-Asia Championships in Thailand in mid-March. More than just a competition, it’s an opportunity for all Australian overclockers to meet up.

Win stuff! Free beer! More info here.



Wednesday Morning Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 28-January-2009  01:52:08 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboards:
MSI P7NGM-Digital (NVIDIA GeForce 9300 mGPU) Atom board on HWZone.
Asus P5Q-EM Intel G45 Express LGA775 board on PCStats.
Foxconn BloodRage X58 LGA1366 board on PCStats.
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P LGA775 board on LegitReviews.
Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P X58 LGA1366 board on BenchmarkReviews.

Video Cards:
Zotac GeForce GTX 285 & GTX 295 on Techgage.
nVidia GeForce GTX 295 on ITReviewed.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 in Tri-SLI Tested on Tweaktown.

Cases:
SunBeamtech Acrylic HTPC Chassis on Guru3D.
SilverStone Raven RV01 on Bit-Tech.

Cooling:
Scythe Musashi VGA cooler on OCClub.
CoolIT Domino ALC CPU Cooler on RBMods.

Storage:
OCZ Throttle (eSATA Flash Drive) on Bjorn3D.
G.Skill TITAN 256GB 2.5-inch MLC Solid State Disk on Tweaktown.
Thecus N5200 network storage on GamingNexus.
Kanguru e-Flash eSATA + USB 16GB Flash Drive on EverythingUSB.
WD 2TB Caviar Green Monster Drive on HotHardware.



Tuesday Morning News & Reviews (4 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 27-January-2009  00:02:40 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

This one is for our photography folks. Anandtech is looking at the state of digital imaging. January and February are anticipation months in the Digital Camera industry this year. Anything big is likely to wait until PMA in March to be announced. Manufacturers are consolidating product lines, reshuffling their point-and-shoot offerings, and dropping hints. With the worldwide economy in recession (or worse) things seem even slower than usual as the Digital SLR industry – which many thought was bullet-proof – is finally feeling the pinch of declining sales.

Intel has announced that it intends to launch its 45nm Lynnfield Core i5 processors later this year. Just recently, Intel announced the introduction of three new energy-efficient quad cores for its Core 2 lineup - Q8200s, Q9400s, and Q9500s with 65w TDP. Later this year in August or September, the company intends to launch its 45nm Lynnfield Core i5 processors, based on socket LGA1156. Moreover, these initial models will carry a TDP of 95w.

Microsoft has axed the entire ACES studio that was responsible for the Microsoft Flight Simulator series. According to our sources, all but six full-time members of the ACES team were let go, which now leads us to think that the future of the Flight Simulator X technology as well as any future sequels to the game are also in doubt.

Is this the end of Microsoft Zune music platform? While our moles tell us that nothing is final yet with the Zune, it is obvious that Microsoft will have to turn things around with the Zune platform in order to compete with the iPod. Could it be that Microsoft has another ace in the hole for the Zune platform to try before throwing in the towel?

It seems that not all is well at ASUS with reports that there is an internal power struggle going on between Johnny Shih and Tung Tsu Hsien. What does this all mean though? Nothing at this stage, but if this rift continues to build between two powerful men in the Taiwanese tech business, Johnny Shih and Tung Tsu Hsien, and with a desire to create branded products after being basically kicked out of the ASUS, anything could happen - at this stage though, it's all open to speculation.

AMD has announced the availability of five new 45nm Quad-Core AMD Opteron HE processors. The 45nm Quad-Core AMD Opteron HE processor, has speeds ranging from 2.1 to 2.3 GHz. AMD claims that Server platforms based on these new AMD Opteron HE processors can offer up to 20 per cent lower idle power compared to similarly configured competing systems, helping cut energy costs without compromising any of the processor features of the standard power options.

Christoph Katzer of Anandtech has payed a visit to Lian Li's Headquarters in Taipei. I'm still jetting around the world, visiting various manufacturers. Up next on my list is a familiar name for anyone that has ever considered purchasing an aluminum chassis. In fact, Lian Li is practically synonymous with high quality aluminum cases; that's where they started, and they've never really strayed from that path.
Reviews:



Fold For OCAU This Summer - Can You Take The Heat? (24 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 26-January-2009  18:14:50 (GMT +10) - by DiGiTaL MoNkEY

OCAU's Folding@Home team has been working hard this summer, but we still need your help. While the team has been contributing over 1.5 Million points per day, we still need your help to increase this number to stop us falling behind during this summer season.

The team is looking for Nvidia GeForce 8XXX, 9XXX and 260/28X/295 GPU's (ATI GPU's Too!) to help increase our output. If you are ready to start, then check out this thread for instructions. Don't have a GPU to spare? Folding@Home works on your CPU as well! There's a guide to getting started here. If you have Sony Playstation 3 you should already have the client pre-installed and ready for you to start producing!

So, if you would like to help scientists learn about diseases like Cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Disease, Osteogenesis Imperfecta - possibly help find a cure for it and put OCAU back in the number one spot - then drop by the Distributed Computing section and see how you can be a part of it. Remember OCAU is Team 24!

 



Monday Morning (5 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 26-January-2009  08:37:06 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Have a great Australia day and welcome to the (Chinese) New Year.

Turns out we are one in a billion. The global number of internet users has surpassed one billion with China accounting for the largest population of Web surfers, digital research firm comScore reported on Friday. "The second billion will be online before we know it, and the third billion will arrive even faster than that," he said.

Apparently, the new Windows taskbar is better than the OSX dock. Yeah, I said it. The Windows 7 taskbar is the most important Windows UI change since Windows 95, and it will dramatically change the way you use Windows. And it's better than the Mac's Dock. That's because the "superbar"—as the taskbar is known by developers—jerks taskbar functionality in a new direction. It's no longer merely a window manager—just a place to manage open windows and by proxy, open applications. It's now a bona fide application launcher

WIndows 7 might be split into different versions. These pictures supposedly come from a new build of the Windows 7 beta, 7025. It goes without saying that while we knew this was a possibility, we've been seriously wishing against it. We hope these are fake (and they very well could be), but seriously Microsoft... don't even think about this.

Google has reported an increase in Q4 revenue. Bankruptcy’s, layoff’s , and dismal financial reports have been headline news for the tech industry recently, but Google as always likes to reminds us that advertising is the place to be. The search giant reported a revenue increase of 18 percent over Q4 2007, and a 3 percent bump compared to Q3 2008.

Dan is warning us not to trust our perceptions. "Oh yeah. That's faster," said Andrew, the Editor. I, the Assistant Editor, did not disagree. We didn't, you see, at that point know that the new baby Amiga was actually clocked at exactly the same 7MHz as the previous Amiga 500, and every other Motorola-68000-powered Amiga for that matter. We thought it could very easily be faster. It'd pretty much have to be faster, wouldn't it? It certainly wasn't any cheaper than an A500, so if it wasn't faster then it'd probably be a huge commercial failure. So we thought it was faster.

The Pope is now on Youtube. Video and audio footage of his speeches as well as news of the Holy See will be posted on the site, the Vatican says. Although the Vatican has its own website, the YouTube venture represents its biggest reach into cyberspace, says the BBC's Duncan Kennedy in Rome. Give us today our holy video...

Finally, check out these cool packing tape designs.



Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 25-January-2009  21:40:02 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Fairly quiet in the forums tonight.. but still some interesting things going on:

Motherboard Monitor 5 Update 3 now available for Intel in Overclocking & Hardware.
Razer Offers Up 5,600DPI Mamba Wireless Gaming Mouse in Overclocking & Hardware.
WATER in my computer! HELP! in Troubleshooting Help.
AMD's Yukon ultra-thin notebook platform in AMD Hardware.
Net loss for AMD for ninth straight quarter in AMD Hardware.
Upcoming Atoms and Intel's CULV platform in Intel Hardware.
Intel Core 2 Q9650, Q9550, Q9400, Q8300, Q8200 Price Cuts in Intel Hardware.
Music to Test/Show Off new speakers in PC Audio.
Dell Adamo photoshoot in Portable and Small Form Factor.
EVGA Voltage Tuner Coming Soon in Video Cards.
Pros and Cons of SLI in Video Cards.
A small increase in tube size means a significant increase in potential flow rate? in Extreme Cooling.
Flight Sim gone? MS sack entire team in Games.
Checklist: How to Suck at Information Security in Business & Enterprise Computing.
Alternatives to site to site VPN in Business & Enterprise Computing.
My Detailed Attempt/Guide to Repacking a Dell Notebook Battery in Electronics.
DIY Headphone Amp in Electronics.
Movie: Karate Kid Remake :\ in Entertainment.
U2 - No Line on the Horizon in Entertainment.
Post your Police (and other emergency services) photos here! in Photography Gallery.
Young Liberals propose national service for Australia in Current Events.



Sunday Evening (3 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 25-January-2009  20:01:00 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Dan has more letters! Clusters, fragmentation, 32bit memory hacks, AA battery replacements and the Windows key.

The media is once again lampooning Conroy, with plenty of good arguments. In case you hadn't heard, Senator Stephen Conroy, the Communications Minister, will soon serve Australians a smut-free internet. Or, at the very least, he'll soon supervise the audition for his sanitised feed. Late last year he announced it on his now-defunct blog. Any day now, some of Australia's internet service providers - the companies you pay for your web access - will join in a pilot of the minister's filter.

Intel's chairman is retiring. Intel's Craig Barrett will retire from his position as Chairman and member of the Board of Directors effective May 2009 at the company's AGM (Annual General Meeting). The exact date has not yet been determined. He will be replaced by Jane Shaw, who was elected yesterday to serve as non-executive Chair of the Board for a one-year term, effective immediately after Barrett steps down. She has served as a Director of the Company since 1993, and is currently Chair of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.

Wikipedia is looking at limiting user edit privileges. Wikipedia is apparently considering instituting a new editorial process that would put better safeguards in place and require all updates to be approved by a "reliable" user. The so-called Flagged Revisions process would allow registered, trusted editors to publish changes to the site immediately. All other edits would be sent to a queue and would not be published until they get approved by one of Wikipedia's trusted team of editors.

You can now use your GPU to crack WPA secured wireless. No weak password can survive a GPU-accelerated password recovery attack. Last week’s released Wireless Security Auditor is prone to shorten the time it takes for a network administrator to pen-test the strength of the WPA/WPA2-PSK passwords used on the wireless network. Its core functionality of shortening the wireless password recovery time up to a hundred times based on the GPU used, is naturally going to empower unethical wardrivers with the ability to easily guess the no longer considered secure 8 character passwords.

Turns out P2P can be used for good. This week, millions of people watched Obama’s inauguration on the Internet through one of the many sites that offered a live feed. CNN’s broadcast was without doubt one of the most used viewed streams, with a peak of more than a million simultaneous viewers and also one that was using P2P technology. Despite the fact that there are thousands of legitimate uses for peer-to-peer technology, most businesses are not keen on using it because of the negative associated with it. One of the areas where P2P can really make a difference is with video streaming, either live or through sites like YouTube.

There is a new first in the porn industry. A Hong Kong filmmaker aims to lure audiences back to the cinema with what what he says is the world's first 3D erotic movie, a newspaper reported. Stephen Shiu Jnr, chairman of One Dollar Production, said he would use special effects to make the love scenes in his 30 million Hong Kong dollar ($5.9 million) 3D Sex and Zen as realistic as possible. "The 3D erotica will probably be the world's first," he told the Sunday Morning Post.



Sunday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 25-January-2009  12:58:53 (GMT +10) - by Agg

People in WA will have a chance to see a partial solar eclipse tomorrow, thanks mpot. Sunglasses only cut out UV radiation, not the invisible infrared radiation that causes the damage. You should not look at the Sun through sunglasses, binoculars or a camera lens.

The Federal Government has apparently decided to not share the recent national Broadband Network report. Fair enough, it's only $4.7B taxpayer dollars. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the report, due to reach the government yesterday, had been submitted but shot down requests from the Opposition to reveal its contents.

When the new President of the USA took over, there was some online housekeeping required. A new robots.txt for the whitehouse.gov site and someone else updating the Twitter account.

Tech-Report looked at this SATA RAM disk that fits into a drive bay. The original i-RAM's total capacity was limited to 4GB of DDR SDRAM, so it's not particularly useful by today's standards. However, a company called ACard has done one better with the ANS-9010 RAM disk, which has eight DDR2 DIMM slots and support for up to 8GB of memory per slot.

Quan-Time spotted this article about free content boosting sales. Despite the entertainment industry’s constant cries about how bad they’re doing, it works. As we wrote yesterday, Monty Python’s DVDs climbed to No. 2 on Amazon’s Movies & TV bestsellers list, with increased sales of 23,000 percent.

Video games are apparently bad for us again. Everything we found associated with video games came out negative... [But] I don't want parents to go out and yank all video games. It's like TV. We have to choose what's good and bad and practice moderation.

Game AI may be another task handed over to your GPU soon, along with physics etc. ‘Our recent research into AI suggests that it’s not uncommon for gaming AI to spend more than 90 per cent of its time resolving these two simple questions,’ says Huddy. He also added that these two queries are ‘almost perfect for GPU implementation,’ because they ‘make excellent use of the GPU’s inherently parallel architecture and are typically not memory-bound.’ Discussion here.



Sunday Midday (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 25-January-2009  11:52:54 (GMT +10) - by DiGiTaL MoNkEY

PopularMechanics takes a look at the 5 Most Powerful Telescopes, and 5 That Will Define the Future of Astronomy. Today, huge lenses like those in the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona and the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit probe the deepest reaches of the universe. Here are the five most powerful telescopes out today, and five more that will define the future of astronomy.

Tom's Hardware analyse how much power does your graphics card need? A stable power source is important if you want to avoid full-load crashes of the operating system, a.k.a. the dreaded “blue screen.” If you don’t have enough juice, then the PC or the power supply overheats, in the worst case, with a loud bang. The most important questions are: how many watts should the power supply have, does it deliver enough amps, and which plugs or adapters are necessary for the supply?

Xbit Labs compare are variety of video cards for a great High-Definition PC Experience. The recently released new graphics cards generations – ATI Radeon HD 4000 and Nvidia GeForce 9 – promise to further improve high-definition video playback quality. But is it really so? Let’s find out if these solutions really improve the HD playback quality and can decode two video streams simultaneously with enabled picture-in-picture mode.

Tom's Hardware Taiwan have posted the first series of benchmarks using AMD’s Phenom II processor with DDR3 memory. The test-bench comprised of a AMD Phenom II X4 910, the company's first flagship quad-core AM3 processor. The X4 910 features a default clock speed of 2.60 GHz. The same chip was tested in two settings: default clock-speeds, and overclocked to 3.12 GHz (240 x 13.0 @ default vCore). You can find the translated version here. Discussion on the forum.

TechGage share their Hands-On Impressions on Nvidia’s ION platform. There's been a fair amount of attention hovering around NVIDIA's ION this month, and for good reason. It's small, offers decent performance, and can deliver huge peripheral connectivity. We were able to spend some time with the ION earlier this month, putting it through various tests, such as gaming, HD playback and even Photoshop.

AnandTech visited PC Power & Cooling’s headquarters. If you're a PC enthusiast and care about power supplies, you'll definitely be familiar with the name PC Power & Cooling. The company has been around a long time now and is responsible for many innovations in the power supply industry, particularly in the USA.

CoreTemp a compact, no fuss, small footprint program to monitor CPU temperatures has been updated to 0.99.4. Grab the version you need off their homepage.

For those of you who haven't yet grabbed a copy of the Windows 7 beta, Microsoft have decided to extend the beta download period to February 10th. Here is a link to the Windows 7 website for those interested. Or Join the big Windows 7 Discussion on the forum.



Saturday Midday (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 24-January-2009  14:04:50 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Today is a very important birthday: the Apple Macintosh is 25. 24 January 2009, is the 25th anniversary of the Macintosh. On that fateful day in 1984 Apple released a little toaster of a personal computer that went on to become the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface. The embedded video above (YouTube) is Apple’s famous “1984″ television commercial directed by film maker Ridley Scott.

So lets look back on the 5 best and worst Apple products. Over the short history of personal computing, no machine has inspired so much love and so much loathing, so many fanatical fans and so many frothing detractors. And so many opinions. So very many opinions. No doubt, you have your own. And I have mine. Here, I give you the five best and the five worst Macs of all time.

Vista SP2 has been delayed. It looks like Microsoft has delayed the release of their release candidate and RTM builds by a month. Replacing the original release candidate build is something they call a "release candidate escrow build". An escrow build means that "code development has ceased as developers and beta testers hunt for recall-class bugs. The escrow code is considered the release-to-manufacturing code".

Britannica is copying Wikipedia. The Encyclopaedia Britannica has unveiled a plan to let readers help keep the reference work up to date. Under the plan, readers and contributing experts will help expand and maintain entries online. Experts will also be enrolled in a reward scheme and given help to promote their command of a subject.

Apple could sue iPhone mimics. Mr. Cook responds with a veiled threat, stating, "We don't want to refer to any specific companies, so that was a general statement. We like competition because it makes us better, but we will not stand for companies infringing on our IP." If it weren't for the issues surrounding Palm's new phone, perhaps the comments could be considered ambiguous. However, Palm's new phone features a multi-touch interface eerily similar to the iPhone's, the first smart phone outside the iPhone to implement this.

Why not hold a low-tech LAN party? What do nerds do for fun? A few weeks back, I wrote some tips on how to throw a successful LAN party, a favorite activity for my friends and me. However, in recent months, my get-togethers have taken on a decidedly more old-school focus, and in the process reignited a childhood passion of mine: board gaming.

Today's timewaster is Grill A Bastard. It seems no matter who's in power, they think they can get away with saying one thing then doing another. At Bastardwatch, we're fired up to expose their every backflip. Now you can give the bastards a grilling too.



Happy Birthday Agg (9 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 24-January-2009  09:07:59 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Its that time of the year again. Our benevolent overlord, Agg, is celebrating another birthday! Many happy returns!

For anyone wanting to leave birthday wishes, there's a thread in the pub.




Saturday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 24-January-2009  00:21:16 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

Co-founder and former CEO of SunMicrosystems, Scott McNealy has been asked to write a paper on the benefits to the US government of using open source. So, where might President Obama apply open source? If you look through his technology agenda (which makes no mention of open source), one section that pops out falls under the topic of Electronic Healthcare Records (EHRs). Feel free to discuss this topic here. Thanks HyRax1.

Here's a trip down nostalgia lane. You're about to read an article from December 1983 issue of Byte magazine, of the very first version of Microsoft Windows. With the introduction of Microsoft Windows, however, the company that brought us MS-DOS promises a mouse-and-window show running off two 320K-byte floppy disks and 192K bytes of RAM. (More RAM is required, of course, with each additional application.).......Feeling old? :)

Sony has announced today that it is likely to post an annual operating loss of nearly $2.9 billion. “The massive economic upheaval being experienced across the world is sparing no one in the consumer electronics world,” the Sony chief executive, Howard Stringer, said at a Tokyo news conference, according to the Times.

Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered a way to control graphene's nature. "Graphene is a one-atom thin sheet of carbon." Today, the interconnects in a CPU or any other electronic device using a semiconductor are made from copper. Scientists are looking at ways to use new material for these interconnects using substances that are faster and produce less heat. One of the new materials with the most potential is called graphene.

HP is set to release a new Mini 1100 series netbook which will come in 4 different flavours. Today specifications for the new Mini 1100 series netbooks have turned up, which could mean the netbooks are set to debut very soon. There are specifications for four models on the HP website including an 1131CL, 1135NR, 1140NR, and the 1141NR.

The other day Sony spokesperson Kaz Hirai said that Sony's PlayStation 3 "made it the clear, official industry leader in console development", however, Microsoft has fired back accusing Sony of being out of touch with the modern market. Today Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg hit back at Sony, saying that these sounded like comments coming from an old hardware company that has grown comfortable and complacent with its position in the market.

President Barack Obama has finally won the battle to keep his Blackberry 8830............sort of. According to ABC World News, he will be able to keep it only for personal use.
More Headlines:Gaming Headlines:Reviews:



Misc Pics (10 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 23-January-2009  12:49:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Bring on the long weekend.. and some rain would be great too.

         

         



Friday Morning Gargantu-Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 23-January-2009  03:37:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard and CPU:
Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P and DS4 LGA1366 boards on Bit-Tech.
Gigabyte EP45-DS3R LGA775 board on TBreak.
AMD Phenom II X4 940 CPU on IXBTLabs.
Asus M4A79 Deluxe AM2+ board on TrustedReviews.

Power Supply:
Antec TruePower Quattro 1000W on HWLogic.
FSP Group Booster X5 450W Dedicated Videocard PSU on Tweaknews.

Video Cards:
ASUS EAH4870 Matrix 512MB on LegitReviews.
BFG GTX-295 on Bjorn3D.
HIS 4870 IceQ4+ TURBO on DriverHeaven.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 on VR-Zone.
MSI N280GTX OC HydroGen on OC3D.
BFG GTX 295 OCX on NeoSeeker.
XFX GeForce GTX 260 (216) Black Edition on HotHardware.
Sapphire HD4670 on OCClub.

Portable and Prebuilt:
ASUS Eee PC S101 Netbook on InsideHW.
Dell Mini 9 laptop on DriverHeaven.
TomTom One 130 GPS on GPSTrends.
Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p prebuilt desktop on ITReviewed.
HP Mini 2140 notebook on HWZone.

Cases:
Cooler Master Sniper CM Storm on BenchmarkReviews.
Cooler Master ATCS 840 on LegionHW.
nMEDIAPC HTPC 2000B Media Center Case on ThinkComputers.
NZXT Whisper Full Tower EATX Case on Hi-TechReviews.
IKONIK Ra X10 Liquid on HWZone.
Hiper Osiris Black Mid Tower on ExtremeOC.
SilverStone Fortress FT01 on NinjaLane.

Cooling:
Cooler Master V8 CPU Cooler on Modders-Inc.
CoolIT Domino Advanced Liquid Cooling CPU Cooler on OCIA.
GELID Silent Spirit CPU Cooler on Tweaktown.

Audio / Visual:
Edifier MP300 Plus Portable Speakers on ITReviewed.
Logitech Pure-Fi Anytime iPod dock/clock on TBreak.
Samsung SyncMaster 2463UW monitor on OCOnline.
SageTV HD Theater media player on DigitalTrends.
Sony Blu-ray BDV-IS1000 on DigitalTrends.
Klipsch Image X5 Noise Isolating Earphones on TrustedReviews.
LG 37LG6000 37in LCD TV on TrustedReviews.
Pioneer BDP-51FD Blu-ray Player on TrustedReviews.

Software:
Rise of the Argonauts PC game on YouGamers.
Windows 7 Up Close and Personal on HotHardware.
Visual Tour of Windows 7 Beta on Choice.

Misc:
Kingwin Big Drive RAID Enclosure on Virtual-Hideout.
Sony PRS-700 Reader Digital Book on DigitalTrends.



Friday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 23-January-2009  00:06:30 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

There seems to be a nasty worm infecting millions of computers around the world. US software protection firm F-Secure says a computer worm known as "Conficker" or "Downadup" had infected more than nine million computers by Tuesday and was spreading at a rate of one million machines daily.

Wikipedia beware! Here comes Britannica 2.0. In a move to take on Wikipedia, the Encyclopedia Britannica is inviting the hoi polloi to edit, enhance and contribute to its online version. New features enabling the inclusion of this user-generated content will be rolled out on the encyclopedia's website over the next 24 hours, Britannica's president, Jorge Cauz, said in an interview today.

The recent release of Windows 7 beta has been receiving many glowing reports, however, there have also been a number of negative comments made about Windows 7 UI becoming too much like Mac OS X UI. Ars Technica has decided to investigate such claims and find out what all the fuss is about. On a superficial level, the similarity is obvious; both Dock and Taskbar are rows of large icons used for application launching and switching. Closer examination, however, reveals that there's a long way to go before anyone should worry that Microsoft is slavishly following Apple. The Windows UI isn't turning into the Mac OS X UI—not yet, at least.

According to Microsoft, Windows 7 looks to be the last to natively run at 32 bits. Windows 7 is expected to be the last to natively run at 32-bits. The next major Windows revision after it will be 64-bit native, running 32-bit applications through the use of a compatibility layer. Windows Server 2008 R2, the server version of Windows 7, is already exclusively 64-bit.

Electronic Art's CEO John Riccitiello has again come out and said that his company wants to make more innovative and quality titles. EA's CEO John Riccitiello has re-iterated that he is trying to lead the company away from its reputation of making cheap and cheerful cash-ins and repetitive sports games and more towards innovative, quality titles.

Seagate is set to release yet another fix for its faulty Barracuda drives after their last firmware not only failed to fix the dead hard drives but also bricked unaffected drives. Hard drive maker Seagate has promised to issue yet another fix for its faulty Barracuda drives, or to be more precise, Barracuda drives which were bricked by its previous fix.

It seems that Windows Vista service pack 2 might be delayed by up to a month. A report has come in that Microsoft's second Service Pack for Vista may be delayed by up to a month or so. It's been six weeks since it reached beta status and although a release candidate was originally scheduled for February, this apparently now won't see light of day before sometime in March.

Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has received the final report from the panel of experts on the $4.7 billion NBN. The panel had been deliberating since the 26 November tender deadline. It has considered the bids themselves but also advice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on the regulatory side of submissions
More Headlines:Gaming Headlines:



Thursday Night (2 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 22-January-2009  22:02:58 (GMT +10) - by Agg

P0lyM0rpH sent in a worrying story about Sun employees being denied business visas to Australia. Flights have had to be cancelled, and are now either full or horrendously expensive. So the harm has been done (for whatever the reason may be) and Sun / MySQL won’t be represented at linux.conf.au at the level originally intended.

LegitReviews have a 6-way Intel Core i7 CPU Cooler Roundup posted. Join us as we see how coolers from ASUS, Cooler Master, Intel, Noctua, Thermalright, and Vigor Gaming stack up to one another.

Tweaktown set about building an AMD-powered HTPC that can do Blu-Ray HD Audio. So, we contacted our friends at AMD to see if they would hook us up with a processor to use in our new HTPC build. They obliged rather nicely with not only one, but four of their latest processors to try out - ranging from dual-core all the way up to quad-core - we'll pick one today based on a range of tests.

TCMag checked out ambient occlusion lighting, a feature that arrived with a recent GeForce driver. Also coming with a rather high number jump - from 180.70/87/88 to 185.20, the driver features support for every GeForce desktop card from the 6 series up and adds a new tab in the Nvidia Control Panel that enables Ambient Occlusion, a lighting model that's supposed to bring more realism to 3D games.

Phoronix consider Intel Atom 2GB Memory Performance. Most netbooks currently on the market offer 512MB or 1GB of system memory and only a single DDR2 SO-DIMM slot. However, with most of the netbooks a 2GB memory module could be easily installed, but what performance benefits does that yield for an Intel Atom powered device?

From BFM: If you’ve got some legacy third-party and/or custom Windows apps you’ve been unable to get to run on Vista, you’ll soon have access to a new tool that may help: Microsoft’s Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V).

Soon you might have a remote-controlled security robot keeping intruders out, or catching them in a net. Please put down your weapon. You have fifteen seconds to comply..

Here's a cool Atari table retro unboxing from von Stalheim. The next time you use your shiny new Wacom tablet and Adobe Photoshop CS4, think back to a time before time - a time before blends, morphs, heal brushes, and 10-megapixel images. A time like 1984, which, for computer graphics, was darker than the Dark Ages.

Metku have an article on lapping your CPU. Usually this copper plate is more or less crooked when the processor leaves the factory and this leads to a bad contact between the CPU and the cooler. Good to see not that much has changed in nearly 10 years. :)

Tonight's timewaster is The Bailout Game, from slipkord.



KB PC (29 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 22-January-2009  16:55:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

At the risk of overloading the news page with pictures today, here's some interesting ones from MoNk{LAH}. Seems to be some kind of self-contained PC, possibly for point-of-sale, given the card reader (could be for secure login too, I guess). Anyway, there's no info attached to the pics so I don't know the full details, but it gave me a real "everything old is new again" feeling. Who else looks at this and is reminded of the Amiga 500 / Atari ST / C64 / Sinclair Spectrum days? :)

   

   

   



Geek Recipes (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 22-January-2009  12:50:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's some yummy recent threads from our Geek Recipes forum. Mmm, must be time for lunch!


Barbecue Ribs
by username_taken

Several potato recipes
by Amphibius

Portuguese Tarts
by Loop Goose


Salmon with Udon Noodles
by scon

Vietnamese Pastries
by NIP007

Fleischwurst im Shlafrock
by Joehax


Triple Cooked Chips
by Bastard Child

Butter Chicken
by Bambi 1319

Easy Chilli
by spankyofoz



Early Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 21-January-2009  23:58:17 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

Cases and PSUs:
Thermaltake V9 on PureOverclock.
Chieftec AEGIS Mid Tower on Overclockers Club.
BFG Tech MX 680W modular PSU on OverClock Intelligence Agency.
Silverstone Strider ST600F PSU on Pro-Clockers.

Motherboards:
Gigabyte EX58-UD5 motherboard on Neoseeker.
Asus Rampage Extreme motherboard on t-break.
ECS X58B-A Black Series motherboard on Bjorn3D.
ASRock N7AD-SLI Socket 775 nForce 740 SLI motherboard on ThinkComputers.

Input:
NZXT Avatar gaming mouse on Guru3D.
OCZ Alchemy Elixir keyboard on Viperlair.
Logitech VX Nano cordless laser mouse on The TechZone.

Games:
Fallout 3 (PC) on TheTechLounge.
Depths of Peril (PC) on Gamepyre.
Lord of the Rings: Conquest (PC) on bit-tech.

Audio / Visual:
Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital on techPowerUp.
Optoma Pico PK101 Pocket Projector on TrustedReviews.
ASUS My Cinema-U3100Mini HDTV Tuner on Benchmark Reviews.
ATI TV Wonder Combo PCI Express Card on Motherboards.org.
QNAP NVR-1012 Network Surveillance System on TweakNews.
Hercules XPS 2.150 Multimedia Speaker System on TweakTown.



Photography Gallery (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 21-January-2009  21:41:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Some recent photos from our Photography Gallery forum:















Wednesday Afternoon #2 (3 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 21-January-2009  17:59:31 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Reax spotted another computer worm doing the rounds. US software protection firm F-Secure says a computer worm known as "Conficker" or "Downadup" had infected more than nine million computers and was spreading at a rate of one million machines daily.

Bit-Tech checked out MSI's Click BIOS. There are some ideas that completely baffle us and are best left untouched or removed by MSI, but generally we just can't wait until it's ported across the rest of its range to boards we really want to buy or already use because the potential is immense!

CPU3D interviewed Peter from Lian-Li, While GON interviewed Hermann from NetDevil Studios and took a tour of their studio. Games On Net headed to Colorado to visit NetDevil Studios, hard at work on both LEGO Universe and space MMO Jumpgate Evolution.

InsideHW have a DDR2 memory comparison. We have decided to perform comparison test of memory modules that are certified at 533MHz or more precise at DDR2-1066 standard. We provided for this test several Dual Channel kits with 2x1GB capacity.

TechSpot have a guide to dual-booting Windows 7 and Vista or XP. However, because this is only a beta release most people simply aren't willing to part with their established installations of Windows Vista or XP. With that mind, we're going to look at one easy way of dual booting Windows 7 Beta with either Vista or XP in three painless steps.



Wednesday Afternoon (3 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 21-January-2009  15:50:30 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Timbot spotted this cool scrabble keyboard which is also kinda steampunky. This keyboard was commissioned by a couple of friends of mine from back east (NJ) who are avid Scrabble players. Most of the keys are made from real Scrabble tiles that were all hand-beveled (truly an exercise in patience/masochism!) and built onto a USB, clicky, mechanical-switch keyboard.

Next from the "Whacky Chinese Internet Policy" department, we have online gamers having to register their real names in order that they can be monitored for signs of gaming addiction, thanks Dopefish. The government of China already treats addiction to Internet use as a medical disorder, so this would seem to be the next logical step from there—especially considering the country's restrictive stance on online gaming for its students.

Also on ArsTechnica, a judge has decided that illegal downloads don't equate to lost sales. Judge James P. Jones gave his opinion on United States of America v. Dove, a criminal copyright case, ruling that each illegal download does not necessarily equate to a lost sale, and that the companies affected by P2P piracy cannot make their restitution claims based on this assumption.

XbitLabs looked at 4GB DDR3 kits in LGA775 systems. Most users believe that it doesn’t make sense to use DDR3 SDRAM in LGA775 platforms. However, this conclusion is based on the facts from the times when 2GB memory kits and Intel’s 3rd series chipsets were dominating the market. Today we are going to check out 4GB kits in a contemporary platform based on Intel P45 chipset.

Sniper sent in this Cadillac-inspired design, quite aptly named the WTF. For the 100th anniversary of Cadillac I designed a car built to last another 100 years on the same fuel source.

Mykl sent in this 1TB SSD from PureSilicon. Four of these drives can fit in the same space as one 3.5" drive, and pureSilicon claims its speed "approaches" the SATA II max of 300 MB/s. Unfortunately, it's targeted at servers and other large dull users like the military, rather than a sweet new consumer laptop. Discussion here.



Wednesday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 21-January-2009  15:06:09 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cooling:
CoolIT Domino A.L.C. CPU Cooler on Techgage.
CoolIT Systems Domino A.L.C. CPU Cooler on ExtremeMHz.

Storage:
32 GB Patriot Warp v2 Solid State Drive on Metku.
AXP 2.5/3.5 SATA HDD to eSATA/USB 2.0 Combo Dock Station on RBMods.
G.Skill Titan 256GB SSD on Bit-Tech.
Intel X25-M SATA 80GB MLC SSD on BenchmarkReviews.

Video Cards:
ZOTAC GeForce GTX285 and GeForce GTX295 on Futurelooks.
ASUS ENGTX285 TOP GeForce GTX 285 on BenchmarkReviews.
HIS ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB IceQ4+ Turbo on Bit-Tech.
HIS IceQ4 4850 on XSReviews.
Leadtek GeForce GTX 285 1024 MB on TechPowerUp.
Zotac GTX 260² on OC3D.

Cases:
Antec 1200 - Ultimate Gaming Case on Hi-TechReviews.
Arctic Cooling Silentium T3 ECO 80 on Guru3D.
Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower on Modders-Inc.
GlacialTech Altair A381 Home Theater Case on OCModShop.
GMC R-4 'BULLDOZER' on DriverHeaven.
Rosewill Conqueror Case on HWSecrets.



Sponsor Specials (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 21-January-2009  13:17:06 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Now that everyone is back up to speed after the break, our Sponsor Specials forum is nice and busy again. Check it out for deals on video cards, media players, notebooks, monitors, data recovery, office chairs and a huge range of PC components, as offered by our sponsors. Check 'em out!


Presidential Inauguration (3 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 21-January-2009  01:48:37 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the USA's 44th President in a little over an hour from now. So, if you're interested in politics, keep track of things via various sources, including the official site. Of course our Current Events forum is abuzz, with this thread probably the best source of info and comments.


OCAU Pix - Free Image Hosting (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 20-January-2009  17:29:30 (GMT +10) - by Agg

You may have noticed already, but we now have a free image hosting service for people with OCAU Forum accounts. You can use the QuickLink ocau.com/pix to get there quickly. Anyway, use your forum login, upload pictures, receive forum code to put them into threads. Easy! There's a multiple upload feature and even a "rehosting" feature to grab pictures from elsewhere on the net. You can organise them into galleries if you like. If you tick the "public" box, they will be browseable on this page.

Thanks to matthudson for his hard work coding this new feature! There's a discussion thread here.



Tuesday Afternoon Reviews (3 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 20-January-2009  16:20:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Case and PSU:
Thermaltake Toughpower 1000W PSU on OCCLub.
Thermaltake Spedo Advance case on Pro-Clockers.
Thermaltake DH-101 VF7001BNS Case on Motherboards.org.
Rosewill Wind Ryder Midtower PC Case on ThinkComputers.
FSB Zen 400 PSU on PureOC.
Inwin Commander 1200W PSU on JonnyGuru.

Cooling:
Zalman CNPS9900 LED Intel Core i7 Compatible Heatsink on FrostyTech.
Thermaltake BigTyp 14Pro CPU cooler on OCClub.
Spire TherMax Pro CPU Cooler on Tweaktown.
Evercool Transformer 6 (EC-HPI-12025) CPU cooler on OCOnline.

Storage and Memory:
RAID Performance w/ four Patriot Warp 2 SSDs on Tweaktown.
OCZ SLI-Ready DDR3-2000 2GB Dual Channel Memory Kit on OCIA.

Portable:
Sony Pocket VAIO mini portable on HWZone.
HP iPAQ Data Messenger Smartphone on TrustedReviews.
Dell Latitude E4200 12.1in Ultra-Portable on TrustedReviews.

Audio / Visual:
Samsung LE40A558 40in LCD TV on TrustedReviews.
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T500 Digital Camera on EverythingUSB.

Misc:
TRENDnet TEW-624UB and TEW-639GR wireless adapter and router on PCShopTalk.
Tom Clancy's HAWX PC Game on GamingHeaven.



AMD Competition (29 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 20-January-2009  13:06:12 (GMT +10) - by Agg

AMD are celebrating the launch of the new Phenom II CPU and their DRAGON platform with a competition site opened to the public in Australia. With ATI a dominant force in the desktop graphics market at the moment, the new AMD Phenom 2 CPU is set to make a splash with gamers and overclockers alike.

AMD have been kind enough to provide registered OCAU users the chance to win an XBOX 360 console by just entering the competition here or clicking through the banner you may see occasionally on OCAU. OCAU members MUST INCLUDE "OCAU" (and if it fits, their account/forum name) together with their last name in the "Last Name" entry box on the site. For example: James OCAUAggRolfe. In future the form will be modified to allow that info to be entered more easily.

There are five XBOX 360 consoles to be won in total, with at least one guaranteed for an OCAU member! The competition closes at the end of January and is open to everyone!



Sufferin' Seagates (16 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 20-January-2009  02:25:08 (GMT +10) - by Agg

There's a pretty serious storm brewing, with lots of people angry with Seagate over drives "bricking" themselves. Seagate is offering a firmware upgrade that it says will fix the issue. They're saying the data is still on the drives, and are apparently even offering a free data recovery service to get the data back if your drive dies. More info on The Inq, The Reg and even Seagate's Forums.

I've seen several places linking this URL as having an official explanation and fix from Seagate, but that just gives me an empty page at the moment. Tech-Report tried out the firmware fix and report on their experiences.

Anyway, there's a discussion thread here in our Storage & Backup forum, so keep on top of things in there. Thanks to Karlston for much of the info in this post!



Tuesday Morning (1 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 20-January-2009  00:02:51 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

Gen-i, a Telecom New Zealand subsidiary is calling on the Australian Federal Government to force Telstra and Optus to separate their retail and wholesale operations. "The Australian Telecoms market is dominated by Telstra and Optus, who effectively compete between themselves for the vast majority of the business market," Gen-i Australia's general manager Phil Varney told ZDNet.com.au

A man from Wisconsin, USA is facing a prison term and a hefty fine for allegedly making threats against President-Elect Barack Obama on an internet forum. "Threats against the President-Elect will be taken very seriously," said U.S. Attorney Lampton. "Use of internet chat rooms to express those threats is as much a crime as uttering the words. Threats of this nature will be pursued swiftly and vigorously."

And speaking of President-Elect Barack Obama, apparently he refuses to surrender his blackberry. Having said that the mobile device dilemma may have inadvertently been solved on Friday, as Obama's Blackberry tumbled from his belt as he got out of his limousine and onto his plane in Washington. A Secret Service agent hurried to pick up the pieces, gathering the Blackberry and battery off the frigid tarmac.

Ars Technica says that 37% of P2P users will ignore disconnection threats from their ISP's for illegally downloading music. The success of "graduated response" programs in the US, UK, France, New Zealand, and elsewhere around the world may depend, in large part, on just how quickly file-sharers will buckle. If most will quit after a simple warning, the campaign to enlist ISPs (and back down on the mass legal threats) may be a huge success.

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon is facing extradition and 70 years in a maximum security jail for hacking into US government computers in 2001/2002, searching for information about UFOs. Computer hacker Gary McKinnon should know within four weeks whether his attempts to fight extradition to the US have any chance of success. Mr McKinnon was joined by his supporters and advisers in London to repeat their call for a UK trial rather than extradition.

There is speculation that Apple Inc Chief Executive Steve Jobs recent medical leave of absence may be due to recurring pancreatic cancer for which he was treated back in 2004. Doctors who have not treated Jobs say they can only speculate without hard information, but they said the tumor he was treated for in 2004 could have spread to another organ or resurfaced in the pancreas, requiring surgery or other treatment.

More Headlines:Gaming Headlines:



Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 19-January-2009  21:25:45 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Thanks to some server trickery we should be able to handle even more traffic now.. although we seemed to cope fine during a recent record break.

Intel and AMD Postpone 100% DDR3 Transition.. in Overclocking & Hardware.
Docsis 3.0: Pipedream for Australia? in Networking, Telephony and Internet.
The "Help Davo run his network" Thread in Business & Enteprise Computing.
First SATA 6GB/s Drives to Debut in Q2 2009 in Storage & Backup.
Is PhysX in vantage seen as cheating still? in Video Cards & Monitors.
Valve's take on piracy in Games.
Google Australia eyes resellers in General Software.
Windows 7 vs Windows Vista vs Windows XP in Windows Operating Systems.
Linux Unified Kernel (LUK): Windows Apps and Drivers on Linux in Other Operating Systems.
The benefit of multiple workspaces in Other Operating Systems.
Is there a failsafe waterblock? in Extreme Cooling.
Bush defends presidency in final news conference in Current Events.
Obama's inaugaration and Bush's legacy in Current Events.
New rain water tank project build log in Lifestyle.
Nokia N97 thread - 16:9 3.5inch, slide QWERTY keyboard in Mobile Phones.
Ten extinct species pinpointed for resurrection in Science.
Webmaster Earns $10 Million/Year Working Just One Hour Per Day in Career, Education and Finance.
The jobs most at risk or to win in 2009 in Career, Education and Finance.
2014: the past year in review in The Pub.
I visit OCAU more than Google! in The Pub.
Aussie leading bidder for a San Diego student's virginity in The Pub.



OCAU / TheOverclocker OC Event (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 19-January-2009  16:51:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

On 26th February 2009 at Beyond Gaming (525 George Street, Sydney) Gigabyte, OCAU and The Overclocker will be holding the Australian qualifiers for Gigabyte’s Open Overclocking Pan-Asia Championships in Thailand in mid-March. More than just a competition, it’s an opportunity for all Australian overclockers to meet up.

Win stuff! Free beer! More info here.



Forum Projects (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 19-January-2009  13:09:43 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's some interesting things from the forums:


Jolly Swagman is working on
bolt-through mods for coolers

windwithme reviewed MSI's P45-8D
Memory Lover DDR2/DDR3 board

while AMD2400 shows us the
MSI P43 Neo F budget board


dinos22 has been playing with
LN2 + GB X58-UD5 + Corsair Doms


eva2000 has been pushing the limits
on DFI's X58 board, at 230MHz


and then goes on to air-cool
an i7 920 to 4769MHz



Monday Morning Reviews (5 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 19-January-2009  00:41:38 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Storage:
G.Skill Titan 256 GB SSD on Bjorn3D.
Thecus N4100PRO Network Attached Storage on APHNetworks.

Audio Visual:
Apple iPod Touch on RBMods.
Samsung SyncMaster T240 24" LCD Monitor on TweakNews.

Input Etc:
Saitek Cyborg Series Keyboard and Mouse on ARM3D.
CyberSnipa SWAT Mouse on BurnOutPC.

Audio / Visual:
Logitech Squeezebox Boom wireless audio player on InsideHW.
4670 Crossfire - The secret to budget gaming? on OC3D.



Saturday Evening (11 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 17-January-2009  19:32:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Brains spotted this article about Macs being smashed to pieces. Who cares why, just grab your hammer! Contacted for comment, Apple Australia Marketing Director Rob Small claimed that Apple does not smash perfectly good Macs and put them in bins. "We only destroy stock that's either beyond economic repair or is been deemed not fit for sale to a customer again," Small added.

Tweaktown looked at SSD performance in Win 7 BETA and Vista SP1. Keep in mind this is just a first look; Microsoft may still and probably will provide further performance optimizations for SSDs under the final shipping version of W7 and this is merely a look at the performance difference so far.

Deepspring sent in a couple of cool PC mod projects, this Retro radio one and an Incredible Hulk one. Instead of being a modded case, it's more like the guts of a computer that got caught in an action sequence.

The first Australian Google Android phone has been delayed indefinitely. In a statement released this afternoon, the company said the delay was "due to future interoperability issues."

TheWedgie noticed this Microsoft DreamSpark site, which seems to be a way for students to get free software from Microsoft. DreamSpark is simple, it's all about giving students Microsoft professional-level developer and design tools at no charge so you can chase your dreams and create the next big breakthrough in technology - or just get a head start on your career.



Saturday Afternoon Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 17-January-2009  15:52:13 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Case & PSU:
Cooler Master HAF 932 tower on InsideHW.
Antec P1000 Computer Case Prototype on BenchmarkReviews.
Antec Signature Series 850W PSU on PCPerspective.

Motherboards and CPU:
Biostar TPower N750 nForce 750a AM2 board on PCStats.
ECS Elitegroup GeForce 6100PM-M2 V2.0 AM2+ board on OCModShop.
Intel Core i7 940 LGA1366 CPU on TrustedReviews.
AMD Phenom II Dragon Platform on I4U.

Cooling:
Cooler Master V10 Heatsink on Tweaktown.
Thermalright AXP-140 CPU Heatsink on OCOnline.
Zalman CNPS9900 LED CPU Cooler on TechPowerUp.
Akasa Blue Aurora AK-966BL Heatsink on Frostytech.
SilenX IXG-80HA2 on OCClub.
AVC Black Samurai heatsink on FrostyTech.

Video Cards:
Inno3D Geforce GTX 285 Overclock on CPU3D.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 and 295 on Tech-Report.
Asus EN GTX285 1GB on OC3D.
GeForce GTX 285 review | 2 and 3-way SLI on Guru3D.
GeForce GTX 285 1GB on PCPerspective.
Asus ENGTX285 TOP on OCClub.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 Unveiled on HotHardware.
Inno3D GeForce GTX 285 Overclock on Tweaktown.

Prebuilt, Mini and Portable:
Shuttle X27-D Atom dual-core barebones SFF on Bit-Tech.
Magellan Maestro 5310 GPS on GPSTrends.
Fujitsu LifeBook N7010 notebook on DigitalTrends.

Storage:
HP MediaSmart EX487 home server on DigitalTrends.
OCZ Throttle 32GB eSATA Flash Drive on LegitReviews.

Audio / Visual:
Hannspree HT09 28in Full HD TV on TrustedReviews.
Logitech Z Cinema Home Theater Speakers on TheTechZone.
Sennheiser IE8 In-Ear Headphones on TrustedReviews.
Sony Ericsson W902 Walkman on ITReviewed.

Printers:
Toshiba TEC B-EP2DL Portable Thermal Label Printer on ITReviewed.
Canon Pixima MP980 All-In-One Printer on TechReviewSource.



Saturday Midday (8 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 17-January-2009  12:20:21 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Microsoft's EU troubles have resurfaced. The European Union's new complaint against Microsoft really takes one back. Like, a decade or so. Its objection--that bundling a browser into the operating system violates antitrust law--is the same one that U.S. regulators raised in 1996. The newest allegations stem from a 2007 complaint by Norway's Opera that Microsoft was hurting competition by including Internet Explorer in Windows and by not better adhering to Web standards.

Apple investors are looking at legal options over Jobs' health. After watching billions of dollars evaporate on news that Steve Jobs will take a medical leave of absence - just a week after the cancer survivor advised people to relax because his health problems were easily treated - some Apple shareholders are likely thinking about lawsuits. Legal experts say the strength of those lawsuits would hinge on who at Apple knew what, and when.

Intel are delaying the launch of their Lynnfield chips. Intel has recently decided to postpone its next-generation mainstream CPU Lynnfield along with the P55 chipset to the end of August or the beginning of September this year, and may postpone them to an even later time depending on the market situation, according to sources at motherboard makers.

Screenshots of the new MS Office have been leaked. What will the next version of Microsoft Office look like? Leaked screenshots of an alpha version recently released to testers suggest that, in short, ribbon menus rule. However, the Office 14 ribbon menus seem to have been influenced by the ribbon menu used in some of Windows 7's accessories, rather than being simply a rehash of Office 2007's version.

Ubuntu apparently causes school drop-outs. After receiving her new Dell notebook, a young female student at Madison Area Technical College (MATC) in Wisconsin realized it contained Ubuntu for an operating system (a version of Linux), and not Windows. Unable to load her Verizon High-Speed Internet CD and the subsequent inability to access the Internet, coupled with no Microsoft Word (which is a MATC requirement), she dropped out of school for two semesters.

There's a new coke machine on the block. If you're lucky enough to head to one of the 190-plus (and growing!) malls owned by the Simon Property Group sometime in the not too distant future, you just might have the pleasure of getting your cold, satisfying beverage from one of the new-fashioned touch screen Coke machines from Sapient. The screen is pretty much the entire front of the machine, and the interface is simple (as you'd expect), but pretty cool nonetheless -- select your pop bottle, spin it around, take a look at the ingredients, and vend -- quasi-Minority Report-style.

Finally, here's the Star Wars Trilogy, as told by someone who has never seen it.It's Friday afternoon, so here's a little something to distract you from that horrible thing called work. It's a video retelling of the original Star Wars films by a girl who hasn't actually seen any of the them in their entirety, but has picked up on snippets here and there. The end result, as I'm sure you will agree, is hilarious.



Saturday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 17-January-2009  04:19:48 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 on HWZone.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 Dual GPU on TechSpot.
Sapphire HD 4550 512MB on OCClub.
Sapphire HD 4850 X2 on NeoSeeker.
Palit Revolution 700 (Radeon HD 4870 X2) on Bit-Tech.
Zotac GTX285 AMP! Edition on T-break.
HIS Ice4 TurboX Radeon HD4850 on Tweaknews.
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 285 on Tweaktown.
Asus ENGTX285 TOP (Geforce GTX 285) on CPU3D.

Cases:
NOX Coolbay HX on XSReviews.
Thermaltake Spedo Advance Package on APHNetworks.
Cooler Master ATCS 840 on Virtual-Hideout.
Cooler Master Black Label Limited Edition Cosmos on Tweaktown.
NZXT Whisper on DriverHeaven.
Thermaltake V9 Gaming Case on Bjorn3D.

Storage:
OCZ Gold Series 8GB SDHC Memory Card on OCIA.
Thecus N3200 Pro Raid 5 Three Bay NAS on Tweaknews.
Thermaltake BlacX 2.5"/3.5" HDD Docking Station on Hi-TechReviews.

Software:
Mirrors Edge PC game on GamingHeaven.
Dead Space PC game on ITReviewed.
Digital Combat Simulator: Black Shark flight sim on IGN.

Cooling:
OCZ Gladiator (Max) CPU Cooler on CPU3D.
Glacialtech UFO V51 CPU Cooler on PCShopTalk.
Lamptron Fan Controller FC-2 on PCMHz.
CoolIT Domino ALC Water Cooler on HWSecrets.
EK Water Blocks FC-4870 on PureOC.
Swiftech H20-220 Apex Ultima Water-Cooling Kit on MadShrimps.



Misc Pics (13 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 16-January-2009  14:29:46 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Another week behind us..

         

         



AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition and Radeon 4670 (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 16-January-2009  04:17:27 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Dirtyd has been playing with the new Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition and a Radeon 4670. Plenty of benchmarks and even some dry ice overclocking:


Click for the review!



Friday Morning (5 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 16-January-2009  00:10:44 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

Just when things were looking up on the health front for Apple's CEO Steve Jobs, it appears that his health-related issues are more complex than he originally thought. Jobs already has a reputation for keeping his private matters just that, so his quick 180-degree turn is likely a sign that things are serious. Expectedly, Apple stocks (AAPL) are taking a beating in after-hours trading. Shares closed at $85.33 today, but at time of writing are down $5.52 or 6.47 percent.

Dell has lost a lawsuit for misleading customers. A lawsuit that originally commenced last year, which claimed that the way Dell handled its customer financing and other services was very poor and misleading, has come to a close. Thirty-four state attorneys have reached a $3.35 million dollar multi-state settlement with the workings of the big “D”.

Texan firm Lonestar Inventions is suing AMD for breaching patent number 5208725 relating to High Capacitance Structure in a Semiconductor Device. For those who require further elaboration, Lonestar is basically claiming the AMD chipsets and graphics cards inside Nintendo's Wii, including the ATI 215-0669049 graphics processor and the Radeon HD 4870, infringes on its patent.

EA has cut loose Brisbane's Pandemic studio as part of their cost reduction plans. Several of our sources are telling us that the Pandemic studio in Brisbane has been let go by Electronic Arts as part of their cost reduction and evaluation moves previously announced. Our sources suggest the decision to break ties with the studio was a cost cutting move and nothing more.

At this year’s CES expo Sony has unveiled their newest VIAO, a P series notebook and some lucky bugger has managed to get their hands on the retail package and posted some 20+ "Sony Vaio P Unboxing... Do You Think I'm Sexy?" photos.

Shuttle has released a new SFF system, the Shuttle X27-D which is based on Intel's Atom 330 dual-core processor. Where previous SFFs have been a hard sell for Shuttle, the X27-D hits the mark very well with a fantastic looking case, a better set of features and a more flexible build than the rest of the nettop competition.

Laser hard drives are in the making. In the case of optical magnetization reversal, one of the most obvious applications is super fast magnetic storage. This future type of magnetic/optical hybrid will not only potentially be thousands of times faster than any existing magnetic storage technology, it could also remove the need for the rotating disk (platter) used by every hard drive since the original IBM 305 RAMAC in the mid 1950s

More Headlines:



Thursday Evening (3 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 15-January-2009  19:59:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Rainwulf has updated his Project Monolith thread with more, better, photos. Worth checking out if you somehow missed the storm this project has been causing. :)

Nick wrote a guide to get XP-like Quick Launch in Windows 7. It's not entirely obvious how to get the Windows 7 taskbar to appear like XP's with the Quick Launch bar, so I thought I'd post a little tutorial on how to do it.

MyKP are a new ISP with no download caps, much to everyone's surprise. Called the “myKP Hero Platform”, it will go live on January 26, Australia Day, with interested parties able to visit the myKP website to “pre-register for an information pack”. Discussion here.

The American NSA has apparently approved a mobile phone for the President-to-be. Both PDA-phones owe their existence to a Defense Department project called SME-PED, meaning Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device. Because the SME-PED was explicitly designed to act as a classified-information-friendly replacement for a BlackBerry, it should be an easy switch for a President Obama.

Sniper spotted an interesting little exercise on the cost of SMS's. If you divide 140 (the total number of bytes available to you) by 20 (the cost per message), you find that you are paying 1 cent for every 7 bytes of data. This leaves you with a cost of $1,497.97 for the 1024Kbytes contained in a single megabyte. iPod users: It would cost you $5,991.88 to transfer - not even to buy - a single song via SMS.

It's time for another kid learns to drive by playing GTA story, it seems. The child was able to drive the car six miles before crashing into a utility pole planted about a mile and a half away from his destination. Police said that during his drive, the child must have navigated “at least two 90-degree turns, passed several cars and ran off the rural two-lane road several times."

Despite a software glitch, motorists booked on New Year's Day will apparently still have to face charges. Forms handed to drink drivers after they were tested early on New Year's Day came up with the date of January 1, 1909 instead of 2009 because of the software error.

Here's some scary photos from China's electronic waste village. The city of Guiyu is home to 5,500 businesses devoted to processing discarded electronics, known as e-waste. According to local websites, the region dismantles 1.5 million pounds of junked computers, cell phones and other devices a year.

Today's timewaster is Globulos, which was very popular on OCAU a few years ago. They seem to have a few more free games now.

Finally, these pics from Allen.. could really use one of these in the AggCave some days. :)

   
click to enlarge



Thursday Morning Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 15-January-2009  04:14:34 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cases:
Cooler Master Sniper on Bit-Tech.
Lian Li PC-888 on HWSecrets.
Silverstone Temkin TJ10 on PureOC.
Antec Skeleton workbench case on OCOnline.

Power Supply:
FSP fanless 400W on DriverHeaven.
Silverstone Strider 700W on Bjorn3D.

Audio / Visual:
3D Vision for GeForce Benchmark Performance Impact on BenchmarkReviews.
NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision on Bit-Tech.
NVIDIA Stereoscopic 3D Vision Gaming on Motherboards.org.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR camera on DigitalTrends.
Samsung YP-Q1 MP3 Player on Tweaktown.
ASUS Xonar Essence STX Sound Card on Tweaktown.
BenQ M2400HD 24in LCD Monitor on TrustedReviews.
SIM2 Grand Cinema C3X 1080 DLP Projector on TrustedReviews.

Portable:
ASUS P565 smartphone on HWZone.
Toshiba Tecra R10-10S notebook on InsideHW.
Dell Inspiron 1525 Notebook on Phoronix.

Motherboard and CPU:
Intel Core i7 920 Processor on iXBT.
Overclocking the Phenom II on HWZone.
Foxconn X58 Quantum Force BloodRage LGA1366 board on MadShrimps.
Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 Intel P45 Express LGA775 board on PCStats.

Misc:
EnGenius ESR-9710 Wireless N Gigabit Router on HWZone.
Logitech WiLife Security System on TechWareLabs.
TrendNet TEW-637AP Wireless Easy-N-Upgrader AP on TheTechZone.
Kingston HyperX DC DDR3-1800 memory on Bjorn3D.



Press Releases (2 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 14-January-2009  14:23:50 (GMT +10) - by Agg

AMD released the Dragon platform and Phenom II X4 CPUs recently, as reported earlier. For those after more info, we have a couple of PDF's: Phenom II Fast Facts (110KB) and AMD Dragon Press Overview (4MB).

GECUBE warn about counterfeit video cards: GECUBE, the world-leading graphics card maker, stated that it recently received a large number of customer reports of purchasing GECUBE HD4000 series products but finding non-GECUBE produced graphics cards inside the box . These have turned out to be counterfeits and a large number of these have now ended up on the market. More info here. Here's a pic (included with the email but oddly not on the press release page) to help you ID them:


click to enlarge

OCZ introduced new Apex Series Solid State Drives. This cost-efficient SSD offers a reliable upgrade from traditional hard disc storage while maintaining a price point that is truly within the reach of a wide range of consumers. More info here.

Silicon Power have a new 8GB 150X SDHC Class 6 memory card. The new product embedded NAND solutions used single-level cell (SLC) NAND is suited for professional photographers when trying continuous shooting and video recording. SDHC is the new generation of SD cards (Version 2.0) that supports FAT32 and is perfect for those wanting High Definition digital photos and high quality video recording.

Thecus have new N7700 and N8800 NAS products. With RAID 0, 1, and 5, data mirroring and redundancy minimize effect on electronic files when problems occurs with hard drive disks. To ensure excellent fault-tolerance with the lowest overhead, Thecus® N7700 and N8800 provide extensive data security with RAID 6 and RAID 10.

Thermaltake have a new SpinQ CPU cooler (warning, annoying loud flash music). SpinQ is able to support the latest Intel® Core™ i7 processor (LGA 1366). It features a cylindrical heatsink with 50 aluminum spiral fins and 6 copper heatpipes to achieve the best possible cooling performance.

Thermaltake also have a Survey with prizes which closes on the 18th of Jan. So we are asking for your valuable opinions to help us achieve that goal and get a chance to win one of many great prizes at the same time. So here we go, the survey should not take up more than 2-5 minutes of your time!



Wednesday Morning Reviews (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 14-January-2009  03:03:55 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Input Etc:
Metadot's Das Keyboard Professional on TechReport.
Logitech Cordless Desktop MX5500 on TheTechZone.
Microsoft Desktop 8000 on Tbreak.

Video Cards:
Palit GeForce 9800 GTX+ Video Card NE/98TX+XT352 on BenchmarkReviews.
XFX 9800GTX + Black on XSReviews.

Software:
Mirror's Edge PC game on Bit-Tech.
Mirror's Edge PC game on ITReviewed.
Acronis True Image Home 2009 backup software on ITReviewed.

Cooling:
Sunbeam and NorthQ CPU Coolers on DriverHeaven.
CoolIT Domino A.L.C. watercooling on Guru3D.
Coolage Frozen Orb Z924 HDC Heatsink on FrostyTech.
Nexus FLC-3000 Universal CPU Cooler on Tweaktown.
Asus Triton 81 Skt1366 CPU Cooler on OC3D.
GELID Wing9-Wing12 UV Blue Case Fans on Modders-Inc.

Power Supply:
Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R on DriverHeaven.
Tuniq Potency 750W on OCrCafe.
Silverstone Fanless ST45NF 450W on JonnyGuru.

Storage:
Thecus N7700 NAS on StorageReviews.
iStarUSA T-5 SS Tooless HDD Reader on COD.
G.Skill Titan SATA II 2.5" SSD 128GB on LegionHW.
Thecus N3200 NAS on TheTechZone.
Thecus N3200 NAS on Motherboards.org.



CES Continued (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 14-January-2009  01:47:41 (GMT +10) - by Agg

More CES coverage:

Video Game Console Accessories on FutureLooks.
Day 3 on DriverHeaven.
NVIDIA Ion Small Form Factor PC Platform on HotHardware and PC Perspective.
Day 3 and Day 4 on OCClub.
Cellphone Introductions and Gadgets Galore on HWSecrets.
Show Floor Coverage on TheTechZone.
Booth babes, OCZ Technology and BFG Phobos on ThinkComputers.
General coverage and Cars of CES on Pro-Clockers.



Wednesday Morning (3 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 14-January-2009  00:01:19 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

If you're a pr0n lover then be glad you don't live in China. According to China's state-run news agency Xinhua, the authorities have launched a war against online porn by shutting down 91 sites and that's just the beginning. The Chinese government has repeatedly condemned Internet pornography for "perverting China's young minds," which has led to its newest initiative to "purify the Internet." ... "Authorities have vowed to beef up crackdown efforts in the following days and urged law-breakers to voluntarily turn themselves in to local public security departments," noted Xinhua.

And while we're on the subject of porn, CES 2009 wasn't the only show in town with booth babes. Right across the hall from CES, the 2009 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo was held and as you would've guessed by now there was no shortage of booth babes there as the boys from TweakTown have found out. This year’s CES was a bomb on several fronts. When the economy went sour the first things that got cut were the fun little extras that used to add to the shows appeal; fun things like having seven parties to choose from every night of the week, lavish hand outs from vendors and of course booth babes. Luckily for us, there is another convention going on just across the hall from a small portion of CES.

Agg might revoke my news posting rights after this 3rd "sex" related news story but as you may know, sex and technology is a match made in heaven....so they say, LOL. Anyway, at the above mentioned expo there were several new products unveiled with some needing a USB cable and the internet :). RealTouch devices connect to computers with USB cables and synchronise with adult movies streamed online so the inner workings replicate what a fellow might be feeling were he to be the man in the film.

M-Rated Lara Croft is a possibility if we are to believe ex Tomb Raider: Underworld creative director Eric Lindstorm. Laid-off “Tomb Raider: Underworld” creative director Eric Lindstrom is apparently answering fan questions on a “Tomb Raider” forums and reveals just how close we may be to getting an M-rated Lara Croft.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority is taking three companies, Mobilegate Ltd, Winning Bid Pty Ltd and International Machinery Parts Ltd to court for allegedly spamming Australian mobile users with SMS messages. ACMA said that anyone sending unsolicited SMS messages promoting goods or services or trying to gain money dishonestly from mobile users could face fines of $1.1 million per day for corporations and $220,000 for individuals.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is reportedly hiring white hat hackers. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has started looking for a penetration testing firm to find security weaknesses in its web and IT infrastructure. The news follows a similar move by ASIC in October, when the regulator started looking for counter-surveillance professionals to test its security, including some ICT systems.

If you're one of those people who would be more than happy to do away with your computer mouse in favour a notebook style touchpad then these two keyboards are for you. These two keyboards from the input kings at Adesso combine the functionality of a desktop keyboard with the scrolling power of a laptop touch-pad. Both keyboards feature a built-in Cirque two-button touch-pad meant to take the place of your mouse and clean up your desktop.

According to a story on Fudzilla, both Microsoft and Sony are looking to make additional price cuts to their gaming consoles in order to remain competitive and to capture more market share. According to our sources, Sony will likely hold off on a major price cut of the PlayStation 3 till the June time frame. With PS3 software sales growing, the company may not feel that cutting the price any sooner than necessary would be a good thing at this point because of the poor initial yields and the longer ramp-up to get die shrinks, as well as other cost reductions. If our sources are correct, expect to see a $299 PlayStation 3 arrive in April. Once Sony makes its move into the $299 range, we expect Microsoft to respond with a price cut to $249 on their Pro system bundle.

An American teenager has sent a staggering 14,528 text messages in 1 month. An American teenager sent almost 500 text messages a day last month, leaving her father with a phone bill of 440 pages. Reina Hardesty, 13, sent 14,528 text messages in December - about 470 text messages a day, at an average of a message every two minutes if she was awake for 15 hours each day, the New York Post said. Her father, Greg, said he was shocked to receive a 440 page phone bill last month. "First, I laughed. I thought: 'That's insane, that's impossible'," Mr Hardesty told the Post.

Gizmodo says that perhaps it's about time that Microsoft thought about revamping the famous Windows BSOD. Isn't it about time to fail a little bit more gracefully? Or at the very least, in a way that actually makes sense to end-users? The error throws up the driver that caused it (way at the bottom of the error) before automatically rebooting, but actually identifying it via which type of component it is—sound, video, USB, hard drive—would be useful for people who just want to know what they did to cause it.

If you're waiting for Microsoft's next Xbox (Xbox720?) then you might be waiting for a long time if this story is anything to go by. Don't look for Microsoft's Xbox "Next" anytime soon, says company President Robbie Bach. According to Bloomberg, Bach says Microsoft's planning to stick by the Xbox 360 longer than the original Xbox because "it's getting harder to persuade consumers to upgrade."



Tuesday Night (3 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 13-January-2009  20:56:17 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

Tech ARP have posted an update to their Installing DirectX 9 Can & Will Kill DirectX 10 editorial. So, we have yet again confirmed that installing DirectX 9 can and will kill DirectX 10. If you ever have a problem playing any DirectX 10 game, don't forget to check if you had earlier installed a DirectX 9 game. If you did, that could be the problem.

If you can't decide between buying a PS3 or an Xbox 360, check out the Playstation 3 vs. XBOX 360 - Two Years Later comparison from HCW Tech Blog. If you expect me to tell you which console is the right one for you to buy, or which one "has better graphics" think again. Only you can know that. My goal is to provide you with enough information that you should be able to know clearly which one is better for you.

Phoronix News looks at EXT4 support within Ubuntu. With the EXT4 file-system having been stabilized with the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, the Ubuntu developers are preparing to adopt this evolutionary Linux file-system update. EXT4 will not replace EXT3 as the default file-system until at least Ubuntu 9.10, but as of yesterday, Ubuntu 9.04 now has install-time support for EXT4.

Dell have agreed to pay $US1.5 million into a settlement fund after they were alleged to have mislead US consumers on financing, warranties and rebates. "More than the money, this agreement provides profoundly important business practice reforms," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in a statement. "No more bait-and-switch financing -- offers touting zero-interest that become surprise high-interest charges or astounding late penalties."

Looking for a fully submersible, dishwasher safe, and antimicrobial wireless keyboard? Look no further. The new Silver Surf family of consumer products is manufactured with the same medical grade, infection control technologies used in hospitals worldwide, states Seal Shield CEO, Brad Whitchurch. … They even claim that the keyboard will even work under water, which shows that the products are completely waterproof.



Interesting Forum Threads (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 13-January-2009  13:36:28 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Lots going on, as always:

EVGA announce crazy new X58 motherboard, breaks world records in Intel Hardware.
AMD's "Yukon" ultra thin notebook platform in AMD Hardware.
AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Overclocking! in AMD Hardware.
Macworld Expo 2009: iTunes Drops DRM, Adds New 17-Inch MacBook Pro in Apple Hardware & Software.
Western Digital Launches 2TB Drive This Week? Fact or Fud? in Storage.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 and Wine = SUCCESS in Other Operating Systems.
Serious discussion! Vista/Win7 Improvement in Windows Operating Systems.
Do you think PC gaming will slowly die? in Games.
CISSP Thread in Business & Enterprise Computing.
End users who refuse to shutdown their Laptops! in Business & Enterprise Computing.
What is your favourite genre of photography? in Photography,
6 month pinhole exposure in Photography.
My friend just got arrested for taking a photograph in Photography.
The importance of megapixels in Photography.
Palm Pre Smartphone - Touch Screen, Wireless Charging, Keyboard, 3MP + More! in Mobile Phones.
They got rid of... in Geek Food.
Indian IT fraud scandal could hit home in Current Events.
Productivity Commission inquiry into parallel importation of books in Current Events.
Mystery Roar from Faraway Space Detected in Science.
Hubble mystery light puzzles astronomers in Science.
What car would you own from your birth year? in Motoring.
14,528 easy steps to arthritis of the thumbs in The Pub.
Public Service Announcement in The Pub.



Tuesday Morning (3 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 13-January-2009  09:43:21 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

Google have plans to launch the Chrome browser for Mac and Linux users around middle of 2009. Brian Rakowski, Chrome's product manager, said the company wants to release Chrome for Mac and Linux before the first half of 2009 is up. "That's what we've been hoping for," he said in an interview. "Those two efforts proceeding in parallel. They're at the same level of progress."

Techgage have a first look at NVIDIA's GeForce Vision Technology and what it will offer the users. NVIDIA's GeForce Vision technology claims to be able to bridge the last gap between current gaming technology and the perception of an immersive 3D environment -- your 2D monitor. But can it bridge the perception gap in the marketplace and overcome the view that stereoscopic 3D technologies are a cheap gimmick?

Anandtech has posted their in depth review of the GeForce GTX 295. Now that we have some hardware in our hands and NVIDIA has formally launched the GeForce GTX 295, we are very interested in putting it to the test. NVIDIA's bid to reclaim the halo is quite an interesting one. If you'll remember from our earlier article on the hardware, the GTX 295 is a dual GPU card that features two chips that combine aspects of the GTX 280 and the GTX 260. The expectation should be that this card will fall between GTX 280 SLI and GTX 260 core 216 SLI.

LG has signed a deal with Apple to supply them with LCD panels for the next five years. South Korea's LG Display said it had signed a deal to supply LCD panels to Apple for five years. The world's second-biggest maker of LCD screens did not disclose the total size of the deal but said in a filing to the Korea Exchange that it would receive a $500 million advance from Apple this month.

According to an article posted on IHT, Ubuntu OS is a very popular today. More than 10 million people are estimated to run Ubuntu today, and they represent a threat to Microsoft's hegemony in developed countries and perhaps even more so in those regions catching up to the technology revolution. "If we're successful, we would fundamentally change the operating system market," Shuttleworth said during a break at the gathering, the Ubuntu Developer Summit. "Microsoft would need to adapt, and I don't think that would be unhealthy."

Western Digital is set to launch later this week a 2TB Caviar Green WD20EADS HDD. The Caviar Green 2000GB WD20EADS drive features 32MB of cache, an 8.9ms seek time and it runs either at 7200 or 5400RMP, which allows it to save a few inches of Brazilian rain forest.



Forum Projects (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 13-January-2009  03:31:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Some interesting projects in the forums:


rainwulf shows us how he made
all those waterblocks

mAJORD reviewed Gigabyte's
GA-MA78G-DS3HP budget AM2+


windwithme checked out Foxconn's
Quantum Force BloodRage X58

while skinnee looked at the
XSPC RX120 radiator



Monday Afternoon (9 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 12-January-2009  15:04:01 (GMT +10) - by Agg

XbitLabs have nine predictions for 2009 in the world of PCs. In 2009 we seem to be going to bid adieu to Windows XP and get very stylish personal computers, we will see the rise of two polar worlds: ultra-cheap PCs and higher-end multimedia systems and also witness a number of other things that will define the PC world going forward.

InsideHW compared the AMD Phenom II X4 940 with AMD Phenom X4 9950 BE and Intel Core 2 Q9550. Probably K10 would be better product if it had larger L2 and L3 cache memory, with better and larger Branch Target Buffers, with different cache policies that are favoring intensive operations with cache memory, but in that case Phenom, that was manufactured in 65nm process, wouldn’t give adequate results.

GoN cover the changes made to Silent Hill: Homecoming to allow it to be classified and hence sold in Australia. Several depictions of violence have been edited or removed altogether from the game.

CPU3D interviewed CoolerMaster, while JohnnyGuru interviewed someone from BFG Technologies. BFG Technologies has been in a few headlines lately with the unveiling of their complete gaming and multimedia PCs, called Phobos. The Phobos is targeted at the "Graduated Gamer" as they called it, that is looking for the high performance gaming system without any of the hassles of building and maintaining it.

Justin sent in some articles about Telstra: holding back broadband and staving off competition from the NBN. But he implied that Telstra won't offer DOCSIS 3.0 unless forced to by a competitor's actions.



CES Coverage Roundup (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 11-January-2009  18:17:09 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

CES is almost over, so lets have a look at some of the coverage on other sites.

CES Preview on Futurelooks
Pre-CES tidbits on Tweaktown
Digital Experience Gadgets on Futurelooks
Digital Experience on Think Computers
Full coverage on Techwarelabs
Full Coverage on bit-tech.net
Full coverage on Digital Trends
Video run-down on PC Perspective
Full Coverage on Overclockers Club
Day 1 on Driver Heaven
Day 2 on Driver Heaven
Asus on Techgage
Asus eee Keyboard on Engadget
Asus eee Keyboard on Hardware Secrets
MSI X320 on Futurelooks
Digital Cameras & Camcoders on Hardware Secrets
Show stoppers on Think Computers
Thermaltake Xpressar on PC Perspective
NVIDIA Ion Platform on PC Perspective
Corsair Peltier Memory Cooler on PC Perspective
BFG Phobos on PC Perspective
Psyko Audio Labs on Legit Reviews
PCRides Dodge Charger SRT-8 PC on Legit Reviews
Swarovski Crystal Bluetooth Handset on Legit Reviews
Lunch At Pieros on Think Computers
Booth Babes on I4U



Sunday Afternoon Reviews #3 (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 11-January-2009  17:54:00 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Motherboard and CPU:
X58 Motherboard Round-Up January 09 on DriverHeaven.
AMD Phenom II X4 940 & 920 Processors on ExtremeOC.
Jetway X-BLUE P43 LGA775 board on PCShopTalk.
XFX nForce 750i SLI LGA775 board on Motherboards.org.
AMD Phenom II X4 940 CPU on PCPerspective.
EVGA X58 SLI Classified LGA1366 board on VR-Zone.
MSI DKA790GX Platinum AM3 board on TechReport.
ASRock N7AD-SLI LGA775 board on TrustedReviews.
AMD Phenom II CPU on HWZone.

Cases:
GMC K2 Noblesse Ebony R2 Toast and R3 Corona on Motherboards.org.
Coolermaster CM Storm SNIPER on CPU3D.
Thermaltake Spedo Advance Package (heh, speedo package) on OCOnline.
NZXT Guardian 921 midtower on Modders-Inc.
Lian Li PC-888 Exotic Aluminum PC Case on TechWareLabs.
Cooler Master Storm Sniper on HWZone.

Misc:
Brando 17 in 1 Retractable USB Tool Kit on HWBistro.
Phoenix HyperSpace Linux-based BIOS on Phoronix.



Sunday Afternoon Reviews #2 (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 11-January-2009  17:45:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Audio / Visual:
Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player on DigitalTrends.
Dolphin Waterproof MP3 Player on InsideHW.
Tecon Model 55 Tube Amp For PC on MadShrimps.
Azden SGM-X Shotgun Microphone on PCShopTalk.
Tritton AX51 True 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset on Modders-Inc.
Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR6 TV on TechReviewSource.
Logic3 i-Station 25 Speaker Dock on TrustedReviews.
Denon DVD-1800BD Blu-ray Player on TrustedReviews.

Portable:
TomTom Go 540 Live GPS on ITReviewed.
TeleNav Shotgun GPS on DigitalTrends.
TomTom 720 GPS on GPSTrends.
Logitech Comfort Lapdesk on DVHardware.

Memory:
Patriot Viper PC3-12800 6GB Tri-Channel Memory on Virtual-Hideout.
Crucial 6GB DDR3-1333 Tri-Channel on PureOC.

Storage:
Thermaltake VI-ON Actively Cooled SATA and USB 2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure on PCShopTalk.
I-Star T5F-SS Hot-Swap Hard Drive Bay on OCModShop.
IoSafe Solo 1500F degree Fire/Flood Proof External Hard Drive Enclosure on PCStats.



Sunday Afternoon Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 11-January-2009  17:00:36 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Video Cards:
Sapphire HD4870 TOXIC 1GB on DriverHeaven.
Sapphire HD4870 1GB Toxic on OCClub.
nVIDIA GTX260 vs. ATI HD 4870 on InsideHW.
BFG GTX 295 on NeoSeeker.
EVGA GeForce GTX 295 SLI on LegitReviews.
NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 295 Overclocked on Tweaktown.
NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 295 In Quad SLI on Tweaktown.
nVidia GeForce GTX 295 on TrustedReviews.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 on HWZone.

Games:
Saints Row 2 PC game on GamingHeaven.
Combat Wings: Battle of Britain PC game on GamingHeaven.
World of Goo PC/Wii game on TrustedReviews.

Cooling:
Thermalright TRUE Copper Heatsink on Virtual-Hideout.
Akasa Nero AK-967 Heatsink on FrostyTech.
Corsair TEC-Based Cooling Solution for Memory on HWSecrets.
Sunbeamtech Core Contact Freezer on PCShopTalk.
Evercool Serpent Northbridge Chip Cooler on RBmods.
Evercool Formula 2 VGA Cooler VC-RHE on HWZone.



Sunday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 11-January-2009  08:28:20 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the availability of the Windows 7 beta, but if you follow this guide you should be able to get it just fine. Ever since the Windows 7 public beta went live yesterday, Microsoft servers have been buckling under the demand. The much coveted ISO files and CD keys have had somewhat sporadic availability, but as always can be had if you know where to look. Luckily for you, we’ve kicked over every stone to bring you everything you’ll need to get started.

But if you can't or don't want to get the beta, here are some screenshots. In his January 7, 2009, keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the availability of a beta version of Windows 7. We downloaded the beta and took a bunch of screenshots to see what the new operating system looks like.

Microsoft is planning a quiet patch Tuesday. Microsoft plans to ship a solitary security bulletin next Tuesday with fixes for a serious security problem in its flagship Windows operating system. The bulletin will carry a “critical” rating, which means that exploitation of the vulnerability could allow the propagation of an Internet worm without user action.

Yahoo continues its search for a new CEO. After Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang announced he would step down once the struggling Internet company found a suitable replacement, executives began looking for a new replacement. The company reportedly has a small list of candidates it's considering, with Yahoo President Susan Decker and former Autodesk Executive Chairwoman Carol Bartz at the top of the list. Bartz is either a backup candidate or front runner for the job, and Yahoo insiders who wish to remain anonymous said the board is leaning more towards an outsider to take over the company.

Text messages have been used to recover a stolen car. Alan Heuss was sitting in his running BMW in Columbus on Wednesday when an armed man opened a passenger door, stuck a gun in his face, and made off with his stuff. After filing a police report, Heuss was meeting with some friends to drown his sorrows when one suggested that they try to contact the thieves by texting Heuss' stolen cell phone. "He said, 'I'm going to text these guys, I'm going to blow some smoke their way,'" Heuss told the station. "He said, 'I'm going to tell them I've got a bunch of hot chicks, as if I'm texting you, and that we've got some drugs, too.'"

Apple seem to be all set to attend CES next year. The blogosphere has been passionately arguing both for and against an Apple appearance at CES, which is held in Las Vegas rather than Macworld Expo's San Francisco. Sources close to the company have indicated to AppleInsider that the move is a done deal, a remarkable turn of events given that CES has long been dominated by Microsoft's product announcements issued in keynotes delivered by Bill Gates and now by CEO Steve Ballmer.

Greenpeace have released their latest Green Electronics Survey. The current report sees Nokia in the lead, followed by Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, Samsung and Fujitsu-Siemens. Trailing the pack are Apple, Philips, Lenovo, Microsoft and Nintendo. Nintendo is dead last and scores “zero on most criteria except chemicals management and energy,” Greenpeace said. On a scale from 1 to 10, Nokia scores 6.9, while Nintendo is at 0.8. Microsoft is criticized for poor recycling and energy use (2.9 points overall), while Apple has made some progress in 2008 and now scores 4.3 points, since the company is now reporting product its carbon footprint and new iPods are free of both PVC and BFRs.



Server Issues (2 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 10-January-2009  12:17:36 (GMT +10) - by Agg

We had a hiccup with one of the servers this morning (or more accurately, the link between the two servers), which meant the forums were behaving very oddly. That's fixed now, so enjoy.


Saturday Morning (2 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 10-January-2009  08:42:17 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Windows 7 has crashed Microsoft's servers. Have you been anticipating the public launch of Windows 7 beta? You're far from alone. At the Microsoft CES keynote two days ago, Steve Ballmer announced the upcoming OS would be made available in beta form to the general populace today, but the high demand has temporarily knocked out both the Windows 7 download page and Microsoft's homepage, TGDaily reports.

Have you seen Dell's new laptop? Today Dell officially confirmed that they will be releasing a new ultrathin laptop called the Adamo. The Adamo is a sleek laptop with an aluminum chassis, with a strikingly similar appearance the HP Voodoo Envy 133. Dell has not revealed any final specifications, and we are unable to discuss what we saw in the current version, but we did get a chance to handle and use the current Adamo prototype.

Google has released Chrome 2.0 alpha. The unpolished Chrome 2.0 rocked up in the early hours of today and comes loaded with the latest WebKit release that adds support for various CSS functions and speed improvements. Spell checking can now be enabled or disabled in a text field with a simple click of the mouse. More language support has been added for the function too. The browser also comes with the form autocomplete feature which remains missing in action in Chrome 1.0.

The 1UP Network has been purchased. Sure, the rumor has been kicking around for awhile now. Times are hard for the publishing industry, it’s hardly surprising that Ziff-Davis would look into selling off its videogame division. Sure enough, they have. Media giant Hearst (publishers of several magazines and the owners of UGO) has picked up the 1Up website network. Things quickly went downhill from there.

Google Street View has been used to find a missing child. A nine-year-old girl, allegedly kidnapped by her grandmother, has been found using a mobile phone signal and Google Street View. A police officer and a firefighter in Athol, Massachusetts, joined forces after authorities were alerted that Natalie Maltais had been taken. Officers used GPS in the girl's mobile phone to find her approximate location. They fed the co-ordinates into Google Street View, pinpointing a hotel where the child was subsequently found.

You may soon be able to create your own 3D movies. At CES, two firms have been showing off ways for home users to make and share their own 3D films. One is a webcam with two lenses that mimics human sight and turns the images it captures into 3D footage. Another firm is producing software that it hopes will make it far easier for home users to show 3D movies on many different types of screen.

The future in telephones has arrived. Hey, cube dwellers -- call your manager over and give him / her a look at this, because starting today, conference calling will never be the same. From what we can tell, this is the world's first Atom-powered telephone, and also the first telephone we've seen in years that we would joyously park in our own living rooms.



Misc Pics (29 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 9-January-2009  15:47:54 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Friday again!

         

         



PlusCorp Update (6 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 9-January-2009  13:47:11 (GMT +10) - by Agg

You might remember about a year ago that PlusCorp closed down and were bought by Ace Technology in Sydney. Well, more recently the business has been sold on and now forms part of Capitol Computer in Sydney. Capitol Computer, Located on George Street in the Sydney CBD was established in 2000 providing all your IT needs right in the heart of Sydney.

Nigel, who was part of PlusCorp from the very beginning, has moved on to other projects. However some staff are still involved, including Robert who did a lot of the behind the scenes work. Capitol and PlusCorp are still keen to be involved with OCAU, so keep an eye on our Sponsor Specials forum for goodies from them and our other advertisers.



Friday Midday (2 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 9-January-2009  12:14:34 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

The Windows 7 beta has become official. Steve Ballmer, always an entertaining speaker, graced the Consumer Electronics Show 2009 in Las Vegas with a keynote speech on the night before the show's official launch. While not as animated as in some of his speeches (there was no hollering involved), his enthusiastic presentation did not disappoint and included a number of big announcements. Perhaps the largest was the (official launch of the Windows 7 beta to MSDN and TechNet subscribers.

Which means brand new annoyances for Windows users. As a flip-side to Ed Bott’s “Six Vista annoyances fixed in Windows 7” I thought I’d play Devil’s Advocate and offer up what I think are a selection of potentially new annoyances that Windows 7 introduces. My take on the Taskbar and Start Menu is that it’s going to be one of those things that people either love or hate. Like any major change in the user interface it is bound to attract automatic criticism, but given that it is undoubtedly flawed.

You don't need fancy glasses to get 3D on an iPhone. At Macworld 2009, I've seen some cool stuff, but Wazabee's 3DeeShell for the iPhone wins my show pick for most unexpected cool product. The pitch sounds cheesy; it's an iPhone case that lets you view stuff in 3D, no glasses required. This is why it isn't cheesy: it works. The 3DeeShell consists of an iPhone case (and it's actually a nice case) with a removable screen. The screen, when viewed at the right angle (and I found it very easy to get on the right angle) will show movies, pictures or games that support its 3D processing technology in 3D.

Retailers are being told to stop using the term netbook. Remember when Psion came out and said they had a trademark on the word Netbook and that everyone should stop using it? Well they actually meant it. What a bunch of douchebags! According to an email sent from Retravision head office this morning, the retailer "MUST stop using the definition 'NETBOOK'" (their caps). Not only that, but they have to remove all references to the word from "all collateral, web, presentations etc"

For added security, destroy your hard drive after reading. The only way to stop fraudsters stealing information from old computer hard drives is by destroying them completely, a study has found. Which? Computing magazine recovered 22,000 "deleted" files from eight computers purchased on eBay. Freely available software can be used to recover files that users think they have permanently deleted. While Which? recommends smashing hard drives with a hammer, experts say for most consumers that's a step too far.

Obama is set to appear in a Spiderman comic. "To celebrate the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama, Marvel is proud to present an all-new story teaming up one of the world's most recognisable political figures with the world's greatest superhero," Marvel said in a statement posted on its website. Marvel decided to publish the Obama meets Spidey comic, which goes on sale next week, after learning the soon-to-be president of the United States is a long-time fan of the web-spinning superhero.

Finally, check out these cool Lego sculptures. Honestly though, this is another one of those cases where you say to yourself “what the hell are these guys spending so much time creating these major works with Legos?” I guess it’s not my place to ask why these guys never get laid. But it is my place to know that the sculptures they are creating are pretty interesting to look at.



NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285, GTX 295 and 3D Vision (2 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 9-January-2009  04:19:22 (GMT +10) - by Agg

NVIDIA have released the GeForce GTX 295 and GeForce GTX 285 graphics cards. The 285 is a single-GPU solution, while the 295 boasts two GPUs on the one card. With the power of two GeForce GTX 200 GPUs on a single card, the GeForce GTX 295 graphics card delivers unrivaled graphics performance in the hottest DirectX 10 games including Far Cry 2, Mirrors Edge, and Call of Duty 5: World at War.

Coverage on Bit-Tech, Bjorn3D, Guru3D, (and here), HotHardware, OCClub, Tweaktown (and here), PC Perspective and TechARP.

Discussion in this giant thread in our Video Cards forum.

NVIDIA also released 3D Vision. Forming the foundation for a new consumer 3D stereo ecosystem for gaming and home entertainment PCs, 3D Vision is a combination of high-tech wireless glasses, a high-power IR emitter and advanced software that automatically transforms hundreds of PC games into full stereoscopic 3D experiences.

Coverage on BenchmarkReviews, Bjorn3D, HotHardware, OCClub and PC Perspective.



AMD Dragon - Phenom II X4 (0 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 9-January-2009  03:52:32 (GMT +10) - by Agg

AMD have released the Dragon desktop platform which features the Phenom II X4 CPU. Dragon platform technology provides the power to do it all by combining AMD’s highest-performing CPU, the AMD Phenom II X4 processor, with award winning ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 Series graphics and AMD 7-Series chipsets. .. The heart of Dragon platform technology is the AMD Phenom II X4 processor featuring intelligent multi-core technology that automatically provides processing power where it’s needed most during multitasking among demanding applications. Offering frequencies up to 3.0 GHz with significant headroom for overclocking, AMD Phenom II CPUs give consumers the power to use their favorite productivity, HD gaming and multimedia applications without skipping a beat.

Coverage on Bit-Tech, Bjorn3D, DriverHeaven, Guru3D, HotHardware, LegionHW, LegitReviews, NeoSeeker, OC3D, OCClub, T-Break, Tech-Report, TechSpot, TrustedReviews, Tweaktown and XbitLabs.

Discussion in several threads in our AMD Hardware forum.



Project Monolith (4 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 8-January-2009  20:01:47 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Rainwulf has a detailed worklog of his seriously impressive scratch-built watercooled PC project. Start with an air-conditioning evaporator... and then run individual tubing to pretty much everything in the PC that makes heat:


Click for the thread!

I've submitted this to Digg here, feel free to Digg it. :)



Thursday Afternoon (2 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 8-January-2009  12:22:19 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

Logitech has just released their new G-Series of gaming peripherals including G19 keyboard, G35 surround sound headset, G9X laser mouse and G13 advanced game board. Logitech G Series gaming devices have been enjoying a great reputation among gamers. Now Logitech unveils a new set of G-series line to give extreme players complete control for PC gaming. Freel free to discuss the new products here.

GeForce GTX 295 Quad-SLI does up to 64xQ FSAA. The guys over at PCGamesHardware have released some particularly noteworthy information regarding GeForce GTX 295's anti-aliasing capabilities. According to the site's represented graph, the new cards, when used in dual pairs for Quad-SLI, are capable of rendering up to 64xQ full screen anti-aliasing.

Samsung has developed a 100 GB solid state drive for servers and claims that it's 10 times faster than the typical SAS hard drive. The SSD can process as much as 100 times the number of input/output per second per watt as a 2.5-inch, 15,000 RPM hard drive, making the new product optimal for applications where higher performance and lower power consumption is needed, Samsung said.

The Inquirer has posted spy shots of Nvidia 3D glasses. Because the NDA hasn't gone up, the company displaying these had to scratch the Nvidia logo off. The same goes for the glasses below, no logos, but they are the real thing.

Barely a week in to the new year and we again begin to see articles pop up here and there questioning the future of desktop computers. The age of the desktop PC appears to be over as its more portable cousin, the laptop, surges ahead with consumers clamoring for light-weight computers in funky designs for use at home, in cafes and on the train to work. Not a single desktop model figured on online shopping portal Amazon.com's top 10 selling PC and hardware list the weekend before Christmas, while seven laptop models made the list.

It has been confirmed that the mysterious bidder who bought the wireless spectrum belonging to Commander subsidiary Personal Broadband Australia (iBurst network) was Telstra. "Following a competitive tender process, Telstra was selected as the preferred bidder to acquire PBA's [Personal Broadband Australia] 5MHz of radio spectrum (1905MHz — 1910MHz) under licence up to 2017," a spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au.

Australian Taxation Office has issued a warning against fake tax emails doing the rounds. Australians are being warned to ignore a scam email claiming to be from the tax office and offering refunds. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued the warning, saying the email includes realistic-looking features — including the tax office logo — to make it look genuine. Bogus emails sent to people have included the words "Notification — Please read" or "Australian Taxation Office — Please Read This" in the subject heading.

SanDisk has developed new solid state drives specifically for use in netbooks. SanDisk's second generation pSSDs use a SATA interface instead of the older PATA interface for faster transfer speeds. They will also be priced competitively with competing 2.5" HDD offerings according to SanDisk.

More Headlines:



Thursday Morning (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 8-January-2009  09:44:25 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Microsoft is offering free Windows 7 upgrades. TechARP.com, a Malaysian Web site that correctly named the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) dates for several Windows editions last year, said that Microsoft will unveil a program for Windows 7 that is similar to Vista Express Upgrade, a 2006 marketing effort that provided free or discounted Vista license to buyers of Windows XP in the months leading up to Vista's early 2007 release.

Windows 7 64-bit has been leaked. It looks like the usual suspects are at it again, showing their baldfaced contempt for copyright law by disseminating a 64-bit version of the Windows 7 beta. When we saw the 32-bit version a couple weeks ago things looked pretty good, outperforming Vista and XP in "real world" tasks, so we're hoping that its older brother performs on the same level. There's a strong possibility that the public beta will be announced at tonight's keynote.

Microsoft has stopped automatic downloading of Internet Explorer 8. The company has released an IE8 Blocker Toolkit that will stop users installing IE8 via its Automatic Update service before compatibility testing has been finished. Microsoft's IE8 Blocker Toolkit will prevent Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 users from getting IE8 as a "high priority" and those on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 getting IE 8 as an "important update."

4chan has struck again, this time a live feed from Macworld. At 9:24 AM the stream issued an alarming announcement that “Steve Jobs just died”. Moments later this was corrected, with a statement that the MacRumors team didn’t know how it had gotten into the feed. There was quiet for a few minutes. And then things took a turn for the worst, as members of what appears to be the 4chan image-board began flooding the feed with bizarre comments.

Here's an interesting guide on how to create an eeeMac. Apple does not make a small enough computer for my needs, so I've used the resources on the net to adapt an eee pc to my needs. I've set up this blog to document what I've done to this little box as much of what I have found is scattered around the net. This is a goal to put it all in one place.

Apparently playing Tetris helps to reduce PTSD. Volunteers were exposed to distressing images, with some given the game to play 30 minutes later, the PLoS One journal reported. Players had fewer "flashbacks", perhaps because it helped disrupt the laying down of memories, said the scientists. It is hoped the study could aid the development of new strategies for minimising the impact of trauma.

Can thinking make you fat? With about half of the United States’ workforce classified as “white collar”, a new study out of Canada is relevant food for thought-- but don’t think about it too much! The study, which examined calories consumed after participants completed various intellectually challenging activities, determined that test subjects ate more after finishing more strenuous intellectual activities than when they finished intellectual activities that were less demanding.



Wednesday Night Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 7-January-2009  23:58:30 (GMT +10) - by aftahours

Display:
Epson EH-DM2 LCD Projector on TrustedReviews
Viewsonic VX2260WM 22-inch Full HD monitor on Bit-Tech
Panasonic Viera TH-42PZ800 42in Plasma TV on TrustedReviews
Asus VK246H LCD Monitor on RBMods
Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR6 LCD TV on Digital Trends

Notebooks/Portable:
HP HDX16-1005EA 16in Blu-ray Notebook on TrustedReviews
MSI Wind U100 Netbook on HotHardware.com
AMD Athlon Neo on Bit-tech

Storage:
Cavalry Pelican 2.5 in 32GB Solid State Drive on OCC
Western Digital MyBook Studio 2 on ASE Labs
Mtron MOBI 3500 SLC SSD MSD-SATA3535-064 on Benchmark Reviews

Videocard:
MSI Radeon HD 4830 512MB OC Edition Graphics Card on TweakTown
HIS Radeon 4870 ICEQ4+ TURBO 1024MB on Guru3D
Sapphire Toxic HD4870 1GB DDR5 on Overclockers Online
Leadtek WinFast PX9800GTX on TweakTown
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB on Techgage.com

Cooling:
NorthQ Siberian Tiger II Water Cooler Driverheaven
Koolance VID-487 GPU Water Block on Bjorn3d
Zalman CNPS9900 LED CPU Cooler on Bigbruin.com
Vigor Monsoon III LT Dual 120mm CPU Cooler on TweakTown
Thermaltake MaxOrb EX CPU Cooler on Modders Inc
Raidmax Wind Storm on OCC
Cooler Master Hyper Z600 Black Label Heatsink on Frostytech
ThermoLab Baram CPU Cooler on Bigbruin.com
Coolink GFXChilla VGA Heatsink on OCModShop
CoolIT Domino A.L.C. on Pro-clockers
Cooler Master Aquagate Max on InsideHW

Motherboard:
Gigabyte EX58-UD4P Intel X58 motherboard on Techspot
Gigabyte EX58-UD5 X58 Motherboard on OC3D
ECS P45T-AD3 on t-break
ECS A780GM-A AMD 780G Motherboard on PCStats

Memory:
Corsair Dominator 1600MHz 6GB Triple-Channel Memory Kit Legit Reviews
G.Skill DDR3 PC3-10666 CL7 6GB on Legion Hardware
Kingston Triple Channel 1333MHz 6GB Memory Kit on Tweaktown.com

Software/Games:
Call Of Duty: World At War on ITreviewed
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (PC) on Gaming Nexus
GTR Revolution (PC) on Gaming Heaven
Stormrise on IGN

Case:
NZXT Whisper on techPowerUp
XClio 1000 Enclosure on Virtual-Hideout
Cooler Master Stacker 832 SE on Bjorn3D
NZXT Tempest Computer Case on OCModShop
In Win Matrix Tiny Tower Micro ATX Case on Tweaknews.net
Antec Twelve Hundred Full Tower Case on Bjorn3D

Audio:
Razer Moray Noise Isolating Earbud Headphones on Tweaknews.net
SurroundBar Instant Home Theater on Gaming Nexus

PSU:
IN WIN Commander 1200W Power Supply on OCC
Seasonic M12D 850W power supply on Bit-Tech

Misc:
SANYO Xacti VPC-HD1010 HD Camcorder on Hardware Zone
Steelseries 7G Keyboard on Driverheaven
Samsung Omnia on Digital Trends



Forum Projects (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 7-January-2009  16:41:11 (GMT +10) - by Rezin

Here are some neat projects from the Modding and Worklogs and PCDB Entry Discussion forums. Some have already been on the news page, but have since had quite a few updates made to them.


Salad Fingers updates his
liquid cooled Lian Li

192.168.0.1 adds some white
LEDs to his HAF932 case mod

oldnewby made some impressive
progress with Cygnus X1


radeon_freak's CM690
interior respray


Gadget_'s solution to an RRoD


zaz96 adds a plexiglass
window to his Cosmos S



Wednesday Afternoon #2 (2 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 7-January-2009  14:38:56 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Apple's share price has taken a tumble. Here's a shocker -- Apple shares slid 0.7 percent (as of this writing) after Phil Schiller concluded the company's last official keyonte address at Macworld Expo. Robert Francello, head of equity trading for Apex Capital hedge fund in San Francisco, blamed "...no true blockbusters" for the market's reaction.

Meanwhile Microsoft continues to attack the 'Apple Tax'. Microsoft Corp. yesterday again pushed its claim that consumers pay an "Apple tax" when they buy Mac hardware rather than PCs running the Windows operating system. Microsoft again pitted Mac prices against similarly configured Windows PCs from the likes of Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. Not surprisingly, Microsoft's comparisons put Apple's hardware at a disadvantage, with the "tax" ranging from 16%, or $100, for the entry-level Mac Mini to 25%, or $300, for the lowest-priced iMac desktop.

Chinese portals are set to block pornography. Leading Chinese Internet portals said Tuesday they would do what they could to stamp out pornography in line with a new government crackdown, but said it would be hard to carry out in practice. The nature of the Internet makes it difficult to stop obscene material from showing up in their search engine results, they said, a day after officials threatened to close down sites that failed to wipe out online vice.

Seagate are now shipping a 1TB HDD with only two platters. One-Terabyte drives are no longer unusual, but until now, drive vendors have needed three or more platters to hit the magic 1TB goal. Not any more. Seagate is now shipping the first 1TB hard disk to get the job done with just two platters: the Barracuda 7200.12. It jams 320 Gigabits of storage per square inch into each platter to achieve its 500GB per platter capacity. It uses a 3Gbps SATA interface and a 32MB cache to move your data around.

Wii Fit is being used as part of physiotherapy in hospitals. The Seacroft medical professionals are among the first in the country to use the Wii Fit game and balance board for rehabilitation purposes. Senior physiotherapist Lynn Hirst stated that many times patients have trouble "getting their weight through the prosthetic limb." The Wii Fit allows patients to see where their body weight is being placed aiding the process.

Apparently you can get hearing damage from playing golf. The latest generation of titanium drivers can apparently produce an ear-shattering "sonic boom" when the club strikes the ball. Impressive, yes, but also sufficient to induce temporary or even permanent cochlear damage, according to the study. Doctors even go so far as to recommend avid golfers consider wearing ear plugs.

The Japanese have re-invented the nappy. Engineers all over the world have focused their vast brainpower to overcome one major obstacle—space pooping. The Japanese think they have a solution with their fancy new wearable toilet.



Wednesday Afternoon (1 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 7-January-2009  14:27:33 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I have to be careful making disparaging comments about New Zealand, in case my wife hears. But they're about to implement a copyright law which sounds like insanity. Slashdot have a nice summary of it, thanks mike-ss. Next month, New Zealand is scheduled to implement Section 92 of the Copyright Amendment Act. The controversial act provides 'Guilt Upon Accusation,' which means that if a file-sharer is simply accused of copyright infringement he/she will be punished with summary Internet disconnection.

Amusingly enough, a the NZ Herald has an article about aXXo, the famous movie ripper. Though the mainstream media ignored it, this was a landmark moment for millions of filesharers worldwide: the 1,000th movie uploaded by aXXo, the internet's most popular and enduring pirate. If you already know his name, chances are you've been doing something illegal.

Lian Li have an unusual new case inspired by the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. However, it’s not just a pretty face, with room for a full ATX motherboard, four hot-swap hard disk drive bays, three 120mm speed controlled cooling fans and pre-stealthed drive bays. In fact the insides are deceptively compact for what is, externally , quite a large chassis. Those little twiddly bits on the top look perfect for accidently smashing off when you put it under your desk.

The journal Nature has used a 3D PDF diagram for the first time, thanks Karl. The 3D pdf format, which can be displayed by any computer with up-to-date Adobe Reader software installed, was used to present a "dendrogram" illustrating the role of gravitation in the formation of stars within mighty interstellar gas clouds.

Here's some PSU reviews: OCZ Fatal1ty 700W, Xigmatek 500W, Hiper Type R II 680W, Aerocool 650W and ToPower 1200W.

By the way, there's an unofficial new OCAU Podcast episode, refreshingly free of Sciby and me. :)



Macworld Expo 2009 (0 Comments) (link)
 Wednesday, 7-January-2009  11:52:01 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

As some of you may know, MacWorld Expo 2009 is currently happening and here are the latest reports from the floor thanks to Ars Technica. You can discuss all things Macworld Expo 2009 here.Also, TheOnion report on a new Macbook Wheel, which has already attracted some attention in our forums. :)


Photography Gallery (0 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 6-January-2009  22:02:36 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Some recent photos from our Photography Gallery forum:



















Tuesday Afternoon #2 (2 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 6-January-2009  14:34:07 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

Adobe teams up with Intel to push flash onto next-gen Blu-Ray players Adobe and Intel turned heads in the TV and internet industry today when they announced a new partnership to bring Adobe's Flash to TVs using Intel's Media Processor CE 3100, a chip geared for next-generation entertainment centers. Adobe is looking for new platforms to extend its Flash product already dominant on the internet, and has already been reported to be moving to bring Flash to Blackberries and other smart phones. And while some companies like Apple insist Flash is insignificant, if it is Adobe certainly hasn't gotten the memo.

Crucial has announced their new line of Tri-Channel Ballistix DDR3 Memory Kits. "Ballistix memory is known for its extreme performance and our new three channel kits are an excellent fit for the new Core i7 platforms. By utilising Intel's latest XMP specifications, we are delivering a product that will allow consumers to easily configure their memory for excellent performance," said Jeremy Mortenson, senior product marketing manager at Lexar Media.

Nvidia's 40nm GT212 will have 384 stream processor count and 96 texture mapping units. According to a recent report from Hardware-Infos, the specifications of Nvidia's coming flagship 40nm GT212 architecture have been identified and revealed from unnamed sources near Nvidia, as usual. To start matters off, GT212 is the successor to 55nm GT200b which is currently rolling into production. In comparison, the upcoming architecture is essentially following two similar footsteps of 65nm G92 last March - a die shrink to a smaller fabrication process and a decrease in memory interface width.

Xbox 360 users are set to get a mouse and keyboard thanks to a special mod. Xbox 360 users who've been praying for mouse and keyboard support on their pets can finally stop, as their prayers have been answered. The solution is XIM’s new mod that will finally introduce mouse and keyboard support. XIM 2 is a special mod premade for your Xbox 360 and it will most definitely make playing fps games much more fun, and offer much more precise aiming.

33 Twitter accounts have been hacked, with some of the affected accounts, belonging to prominent Twitterers such as US President-Elect Barack Obama, Britney Spears, and Fox News anchor Bill O'Riley. "This morning we discovered 33 Twitter accounts had been 'hacked', including prominent Twitterers like Rick Sanchez and Barack Obama," US-based Twitter confirmed in a statement on its company blog. "We immediately locked down the accounts and investigated the issue.

Telstra employees are set to go on strike this weekend over union-negotiated employment agreement. Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union national president Ed Husic told ZDNet.com.au today that the union was currently working out how many people were back on the job, to see whether it made sense to start action again this weekend with overtime bans.

More Headlines...
Fraps closing in on 3.0
GPU-Z gets updated to 0.3.1
New nVidia GPU to have 1.8 Billion Transistors
Asus and XFX GTX 285 and 295 listed
Financial crisis a boon to money management websites
Palm to release Nova-powered phone
Fujitsu breaks off engagement to WD
GTX 295 to cost over €450
MSI Launches Super Thin X-Slim 320 13.4" Notebook
World’s First Fashionable Sunglass-Style Video Eyewear with “See-Thru” Quantum Optics
Microsoft earned $1.5B from "Vista Capable" PCs



Tuesday Afternoon (2 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 6-January-2009  13:19:05 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

We alerted to this story some days ago but it's now official. Independent researchers Jacob Appelbaum and Alexander Sotirov, as well as computer scientists from the Centrum Wiskunde&Informatica, the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, the Eindhoven University of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley have successfully used 200 PS3's to break of one of the MD5 algorithms used in issuing security certificates for websites. Security certificates are used to confirm that a website is legitimate and not an attempt to mislead the visitor. Once the team broke though the algorithm, they were able to hack into the RapidSSL.com website. After this, the team was able to produce false security certificates that had identical MD5 hash values as legitimate certificates.

APPLE CEO, Steve Jobs has revealed that his doctors have finally found the reason behind his rapid decline in health throughout 2008. Apparently he is suffering from hormone imbalance which robs his body of necessary proteins to stay healthy. It is thought that Jobs has been pressured into coming clean about his health after Apple announced that the enigmatic front man would not be presenting a keynote at this month's Macworld exhibition. His non-attendance at what is usually the biggest Apple event of the year, and where new products are generally announced, has caused much speculation in the tech press about the health of the man credited with saving Apple.

A 17-year-old World of Warcraft player from Ohio, US allegedly told a game moderator that if he didn't get his way he would kill himself. The Blizzard representative called 911, and police and medics were dispatched to the teen's house. The teen told the police that he was frustrated by the game and the threat had been a joke "to try to get what [he] wanted." The police were not amused, and charged the teen with a first-degree misdemeanor.

LG is set to introduce TV sets that can screen Netflix movies directly from the internet. Netflix subscribers who buy one of these devices can hook it up to their TVs to watch movies that can be downloaded from the Internet instantly, as part of their monthly rental plan.

German security researcher Tobias Engel has demonstrated that it is possible to perform a denial-of-service attack, dubbed Curse of Silence, on Nokia Series 60 phones by sending a malformed email message via SMS. An advisory made public by Engel gave details of the attack. After receiving a message from a sender with an email address of greater than 32 characters, Nokia S60 2.6, 2.8, 3.0 and 3.1 devices are not able to receive any more SMS or MMS messages. S60 2.6 and 3.0 devices lock up after one message, while 2.8 and 3.1 devices seize up after 11 messages.

The ongoing military conflict between Israel and Hamas is not just limited to ground and air battles but also the internet. Israel's PR machine is gung-ho for Web 2.0, it seems; the country's armed forces (the IDF) have launched a YouTube channel filled with bomb camera footage, surveillance video, and daily video updates, most designed to show that mosques can harbor weapons caches and elementary schools can be used by mortar teams.

WMP12 beta could corrupt your MP3s. The problem only happens under the following circumstances: the first few seconds of an MP3 file will be cut if the header of the mp3 file is larger than 16 kilobytes and if metadata is written to the file. The corruption will occur either when the user edits the metadata from inside WMP12 or Explorer, or if WMP12 is set to automatically fill in missing metadata using the online service.



Interesting Forum Threads (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 5-January-2009  21:27:15 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Very busy in the forums all day today - I guess the holiday quiet time is over!

901 vs S10 vs Mini 9 in Portable and Small Form Factor.
Server Rack installation/setup in Business & Enterprise Computing.
Simple Linux Fileserver for XP Users - Gotchas? in Business & Enterprise Computing.
Small Business Server -> Dual Xeon Quad or Single i7 in Business & Enterprise Computing.
Name your Ghosting/ Imaging software in Storage & Backup.
Post your RAID speed in Storage & Backup.
3x1GB Micron D9GTR @DDR3-2076Mhz 8-8-8-21 in Memory.
Corsair DDR3-2133C9DF dual channel @DDR3-2200Mhz 1.965v in Memory.
Corsair's Upcoming "Dominator GT" Tri-Channel Kit Does Nearly 35GB/s in Memory.
Relating Voltage waveforms to Current in Electronics.
What is the really bright star tonight? in Science.
QLD $50 Energy Saving Initiative in Lifestyle.
Hosting your own music online - copyright issues in Musicians.
Collection Of Road Safety Videos Very Powerful in Motoring.
NSW Police consider impounding speeding P platers vehicles in Motoring.
The Quit Smoking thread in Sport, Fitness and Health.
Advice for losing pot belly in Sport, Fitness and Health.
US - China space race coming? in Current Events.
Fightback over new liquor laws in Current Events.
The female clothing phenomenon in The Pub.
Office rebels without a cause? in The Pub.



Monday Evening (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 5-January-2009  20:57:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg

It turns out to be a bad idea to shout at your hard drives. This screenshot is from Analytics on the 7410. The issue is not with the 7410, it's with disk drives in general. The disk latency here is also not suffered by the client applications, as this is ZFS asynchronously flushing write data to disk. Still, it was great to see how easily Analytics could identify this latency, and interesting to see what the cause was. There's a video, too. Discussion here.

I'm not sure if we've linked this yet, but here's an interesting use for annotations in YouTube videos: to create a choose your own adventure style video story.

It seems the UK have their own plans to filter the internet. Now, let's look at Burnham's target—the Internet. It's just like movies, TV, and video games, right? Some content, some access points, and a bunch of unsuspecting consumers who need ratings help. Not quite.

They seem to also be hacking people's PC's without a warrant, thanks dhwwwops. The hacking is known as “remote searching”. It allows police or MI5 officers who may be hundreds of miles away to examine covertly the hard drive of someone’s PC at his home, office or hotel room.

BenchmarkReviews continue their heatsink roundup. From my experience, 2008 has been a very good year for CPU coolers. We've tested the OCZ Vendetta 2 to perform as well or better than coolers twice its price, and we've discovered that the Thermaltake V14 Pro can deliver top cooling performance while looking good.



Monday Afternoon (2 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 5-January-2009  17:22:13 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

The NSW police are getting a virtual shooting range. THE NSW Police Force will spend about $2 million on a virtual reality shooting range as senior officers blame a lack of training for recruits being frightened of firearms. The police academy at Goulburn has "only six lanes" available for live fire, according to a tender request for the new training simulator. In the past, recruits have used public shooting ranges to supplement their training. "The capacity of this [Goulburn] facility has been exceeded due to an increasing number of recruits," the tender document states.

MD5 is no longer secure. Security researchers demonstrated the first known application of a years-old theoretical attack against the MD5 hashing algorithm used by companies like Verisign and Thawte to issue SSL certificates. SSL certificates use hash codes generated by a variety of algorithms, including MD5, to verify their issuer’s identity. The hash code is an important feature of public-key cryptography, which SSL is based upon, as it is essential to protecting the secret, private code that CAs use to sign SSL certificates.

Flash and Safari have failed a privacy test. Third party plug-ins like Adobe Flash do a poor job of cleaning traces of your browser sessions, rendering private-browsing features somewhat useless, according to a new study by researcher Katherine McKinley. McKinley, a researcher at iSec Partners, created a tool for testing the functionality of clearing private data after a browser session and browsing in private mode and found that some browsers — most notably Apple’s Safari for Windows — do a poor job of wiping traces of a browser session.

A trojan is combating piracy. A new trojan popped up at several torrent sites a few weeks ago, one that blocks access to The Pirate Bay and Mininova, while informing its victims that “downloading is wrong.” The trojan edits the hosts file on Windows machines, and redirects the BitTorrent sites to localhost, making them impossible to load. The trojan in question (Troj/Qhost-AC) identified by anti-virus company Sophos, is a rather unusual one. It doesn’t seem to install spyware or traditional malware, but instead blocks access to the two most popular BitTorrent sites.

Audi have created the first 100% LED car. Of course we all know efficient LEDs will eventually find their way into every automobile, but the Audi R8 V12 takes the prize for being the first commercial vehicle to sport LEDs in everything. Headlights, running lights, turn signals—you name it there's an LED shining bright inside. And not just shining, but "smartly" shining and adapting to the driver's needs. "We're striving to create intelligent headlights and taillights which think and anticipate in the interest of enhancing a driver's safety and comfort."

Nanotechnology is being used to create better pictures. Researchers in Scotland have been given nearly half a million pounds to try to improve digital camera images. The team, lead by scientists at the University of Glasgow, are developing small nanostructures that would be used on light detecting image sensors. These new hi-tech chips would be used in camera equipment to produce sharper and more colourful images. The project is being funded by a £489,234 grant from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council.

Have you seen the latest in portable consoles? Some Xbox 360 mods are the product of serious craftsmanship, some are rather silly, and some -- like this Suzuki automobile console / Xbox 360 game console hybrid -- really give one pause. This isn't the sort of thing that one spends moments / hours / weeks on, after which he reflects for a moment ("Aren't I rather clever?"), and then hides it safely in the closet (or sells it on eBay). No, this is an automobile.

Finally, this lego creation from the land of crazy. Lego Middle Earth brewery? Check. Lego beer, check. Drunk Lego knights and peasants, check (me included). Glowing Lego ogres, check. Half naked Lego pole dancer that actually moves her booty around? ASFFGGAGADGAFGDH!!!



Forum Projects (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 5-January-2009  12:54:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Some interesting projects in the forums:


dinos22 played around with an
AMD Phenom2 at -186C with LN2

kayl meanwhile has an i7 920
under one of his Frozen SS units


aircooling for eva2000, but still
an i7 920 at 4610MHz isn't slow

while windwithme checked out
the DFI LANParty DK P45-T2RS Turbo



Monday Reviews (0 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 5-January-2009  11:52:02 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

Cooling:
Cooler Master Aquagate Max on Bjorn3D
OCZ Gladiator Max on PureOC
Coolit Domino A.L.C. Water Cooler on Legit Reviews
Noctua NH-C12P Premium CPU Cooler on ThinkComputers
lNonaoxia Nano Fans on Bjorn3D

Case:
NZXT Tempest on Motherboards
SilverStone Fortress FT01 on Hardware Secrets
Cooler Master ATCS 840 on InsideHW
NZXT Guardian 921 on techPowerUp

Mixed Bag:
Magellan Maestro 4350 on TechReviewSource
PromoLocker Custom VH USB Drive on VH
Hawking HWRN1A Hi-Gain Wireless-300N Router on RBMODS
Cowon O2 Personal Media Player on Trusted Reviews
ASUS Eee PC 1002HA on Hardware Secrets
Glacial Altair A381 on Bjorn3D
Samsung 1Tb EcoGreen hard drive on Dan's Data
D-Link DNS-323 on Overclockers Club
ECS Black Series P45T-A vs. Biostar TPower I45 on TweakPC
Western Digital Scorpio Black on Madshrimps
Toshiba NB100 on InsideHW
AMD Shanghai Opteron CPUs On Linux on Phoronix



Project Charlie Wood (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 4-January-2009  16:48:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg

I've been watching this one for a while and it seems to be finished now: archibaw's "Charlie Wood" custom wooden case:


Click for the PCDB entry!

There's a detailed worklog thread here.



Sunday Midday (3 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 4-January-2009  11:34:54 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Who would have thought that 'space faking' could ever be a problem? THE growing trend of online "space faking", where users masquerade as other people, has reignited concerns about the safety and security of social networking sites. While space faking is not a crime, federal Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus said such activity could be a precursor to identity theft. "This sort of activity can be innocent but you only have to take it a few steps forward to commit an identity crime," he said. "Clever people may be able to use fake identities to gather clues about your identity and then go on to commit a crime.

Psystar is claiming that Apple never copyrighted Mac OS X. So, what is this nonsense about Apple failing to copyright OS X? That’s what Psystar – the fly-by-night illegal Mac clone maker that Apple has sued for copyright infringement for rebundling OS X software with its computers – is claiming in the latest gambit to avoid getting shot out of the water in U.S. District Court. Psystar also made additional antitrust allegations, claiming that Apple inserts secret code to disable non-Apple hardware running OS X.

Apple continues to gain ground in the OS market. Microsoft's share of the operating system market is dropping, while Apple computers and handhelds have topped 10 percent for the first time, according to a new report on Internet-connected computers. Apple's share is just over 10 percent, if one combines the market share for both Macs and iPhones. Macs account for 9.63 percent of computers online. (Windows Mobile devices are included in the 88.7 percent figure.)

2008 was a really bad year for the music industry. Music fans have gone digital in a big way. It used to be that a music collection spanned numerous CD cases. Today, even the largest music collections can be stored on a single MP3 player. With the massive growth in digital music sales, the music industry is seeing profits drop significantly. Reuters reports that statistics released this week by Nielsen SoundScan show that 2008 was the worst year for music sales since 1991 when the firm began monitoring the category. The numbers show that total album sales fell 14% over the year with 428.4 million units sold during the 52 weeks ending on December 28.

But the music industry is fighting back. The music industry has taken some extreme measures to counter piracy, but it hasn’t found the silver bullet yet. The key is to come up with a service that will fulfill the needs of music lovers, and one that would even be embraced by the most hardcore pirate. With Spotify, this might just become possible. Spotify is a music service that gives users access to a huge library of music, through a lightweight application that looks like a mashup of the best parts of iTunes and Last.fm. Music is streamed, partly supported by P2P technology, but it plays instantly, like we’ve never seen before.

With another new year just past us, lets look back and laugh at Y2K. Another New Year has come and gone. This is the last year of the first decade of the 21st Century. It also means that we’ve had 9 years of computing since the Y2K bug was supposed reduce all technology to a smoldering puddle and leave the entire planet living like the Amish. I found a video that recaps some of the Panic In The Streets mentality that lead up to New Years Day 2000. Although nothing came of it, there was legitimate fear - most of it based on ignorance, technological fear, and religious fervor.

Virgin Galactic has found itself a spaceport. Virgin Galactic has signed with the state of New Mexico to build the nation's first rocketplane spaceport for flinging wealthy customers out of Earth's atmosphere. The suborbital-tourism firm owned by British billionaire Richard Branson inked the 20-year lease agreement this week to establish its HQ at the planned state-funded facility, dubbed Spaceport America. Construction of the $198m spaceport is expected to begin as early as April, thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration granting a launch license to the New Mexico Spaceport Authority just days before the pact with Virgin Galactic.

The Mars Rovers are 5 years old. The US space agency's (Nasa) Mars rovers are celebrating a remarkable five years on the Red Planet. The first robot, named Spirit, landed on 3 January, 2004, followed by its twin, Opportunity, 21 days later. It was hoped the robots would work for at least three months; but their longevity in the freezing Martian conditions has surprised everyone. The rovers' data has revealed much about the history of water at Mars' equator billions of years ago.



Saturday Evening (5 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 3-January-2009  17:03:08 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

Windows 7 build 7000 has apparently slaughtered both Windows XP and Vista in real word performance tests. The results are definitely positive for Windows 7, but don't walk away with the idea that installing Windows 7 on your current PC will make it fly. This is beta code; things will definitely change by the final release. The changes will be probably for the better, mind you, but it's still possible that Microsoft might need to make tradeoffs somewhere along the way.

Oversupply and the global financial crisis have had a severe impact on the Flash Memory industry and the outlook isn’t about to get any better. Taipei-based DRAMeXchange has lowered its outlook for 2009 NAND Flash bit growth from 108.2 percent to 81 percent. The market intelligence company cites weakened demand for flash memory as the source, stemming from a decrease in forecast demand for flash memory-based consumer devices in 2009.

According to a story on The Inquirer, Nvidia is allegedly trying to sell old products under a new name. A FEW MONTHS AGO, we told you that Nvidia had a plan to flog its parts that people normally wouldn't buy at a premium. How? By renaming them to catch the stupid unaware. Thanks to reader Ray, we have the first evidence of this, so these retreads will likely be 'out' at CES. The official proof comes in a PDF from the German retailer Mediamarkt, here. As you can see, they are listing a GeForce G100, GT120, and GT130. We guess the green goblin didn't have the guts to say 8800GS, er... 9600GSO and 9500GT anymore. Luckily Nvidia didn't forget the first rule of marketing: if your products suck, spin.

Rumour time. Apparently Microsoft is about to cut 17 percent or 15,000 from its workforce worldwide. The latest to report on the possibility of layoffs at the software giant is the blog Fudzilla, which puts the number of job cuts at 15,000, or nearly 17 percent of Microsoft's worldwide operations. The January 15 date is a week before Microsoft's second-quarter earnings report, scheduled for January 22.

Wikipedia passes $6 million donation goal. Mere days after Wikipedia put up its new and improved plea for donations, the company has already met its goal of raising $6 million. The campaign, headed up by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, asked users to dig deep into their pockets and couch cushions to help the Wikimedia Foundation keep the site running.

US music sales are up by 10.5 percent. The music industry finished 2008 with positive sales growth numbers overall, but the grim CD death march continues apace. Overall unit purchases of music in the US increased by 10.5 percent year-over-year since 2007, according to new data released by Nielsen SoundScan, Nielsen BDS, and Nielsen RingScan, but the growth is coming completely from downloads—and from vinyl.

IPv4 address stockpile figures show that in 2008 we have seen nearly 200million new IP addresses served, meaning that we are getting ever so closers to the full capacity (currently at 75%) of IPv4 addresses. Currently there are only 0.027% of IPv6 address in use. We started 2008 with 1,122.85 million unused addresses left and we ended it with 925.58 million. So the world used up 197.27 million IPv4 addresses in 2008, increasing use of the total address space from 69.7 percent a year ago to 75.3 percent now.

Whilst Sony's PS3 new virtual Home service isn't a huge hit with the gaming community, Ernst & Young is apparently spear-heading an initiative to test out Sony's social community service for live digital meetings. Why meet in a virtual space? The tests are being conducted as part of a green-minded project being pushed by Dr. Nipan Maniar and Manish Malik from the UK's Portsmouth University. The intent of the project is to reduce costs and the carbon footprint of in-person meetings for big, international companies.

Apple has filed a patent application for an iPhone Glove. Apple's patent application 20090000010 (hat tip to AppleInsider), filed on June 28, 2007 and published January 1, 2009, describes "a glove system for operating an electronic device." Apple describes a glove that has both an inner liner and an outer shell, and the shell "may include at least one aperture through which the inner liner may extend to operate the input mechanism of an electronic device." In other words, Apple's working on some kind of fancy system for exposing one's fingertips through a glove to create the electrical feedback that the iPhone's capacitive touchscreen needs to operate.



Saturday Misc Pics (11 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 3-January-2009  10:44:52 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Its a little late, sorry about that.




Saturday Morning (7 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 3-January-2009  00:46:51 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

GeForce GTX 285 has hit the store shelves in Hong Kong. This will come as quite a surprise to many, as Gigabyte's first GeForce GTX 285 card has hit the retail market as of January 2nd, at least in Hong Kong. The pricing from two separate shops are HK$3399 and HK$3200, which roughly equates to €296 and €314, or $439 USD and $412 USD. We have a dedicated thread on all things GTX295 and GTX285 here

Nvidia has also released the GeForce 185.20 beta drivers for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 build 7000. It has only been a few hours since XFastest have released the new GeForce 185.20 beta drivers, including a new release of Nvidia's PhysX engine 8.11.18. Yet what's particularly noteworthy is that these new drivers contain an Ambient Occlusion setting that can be set to Low, Medium, High and Off.
Discuss the drivers here

G.Skill International Co. Ltd has unveiled their new Perfect Storm series of triple channel DDR3 2000HMz CL7-8-7 performance memory. The “Perfect Storm” series is new from G.SKILL and is equipped with a powerful air-cooling fan to provide outstanding temperature performance, creating the ultimate G.SKILL product that infuses incredible reliability, stability, and extreme performance for all enthusiasts.

Anandtech is looking at a new Intel X58 motherboard from Foxconn called; Blood Rage. Much of the initial crowd "pop" reaction to Foxconn's Blood Rage is related to pictures of the motherboard that have been on the forum based cha-cha-cha circuit for several months now. We'll be the first to tell you, good looks do not necessarily make a great motherboard. But we have to admit, a passing glance at the Blood Rage is compelling enough to create the desire of at least taking a deeper look into what makes this thing tick.

Another news post and another LG announcement. At this rate LG won't have anything new left to announce at CES2009 next week, lol. But anyway, LG will officially demo worlds thinnest LED-backlit LH95 LCD TV. The TV is supposedly only 24.8mm (.98 inches) thick, which would indeed give LG the coveted title. Of course, style over substance is something to be booed when it comes to expensive HDTVs, but the LH95 does not disappoint. With a 4ms response time, 240 Hz Trumotion panel and a staggering 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, the thinnest set on the block will be easy on the eyes in more ways than one.

Already having the highest capacity hard drive on the market, Seagate has plans to release a new 2TB hard drive. Kicking off a new series of drives, the Barracuda 7200.12 500GB HDD is codenamed ST3500410AS and features a 16MB buffer with 3.0 Gbps SATA interface. Its singular platter not only makes it more economical/cheaper to manufacture, but technically it should run with lower access times as well. But the particularly exciting thing about this drive is that it shouldn't be too long now before we see mention from the company about a quad platter version coming; equating to a whopping 2TB capacity.



Friday Afternoon (8 Comments) (link)
 Friday, 2-January-2009  17:55:23 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Engadget are looking into their crystal ball. So, that happened. Twenty-o-eight was a wild one, full of adventure, heartbreak and technology, and now that we're staring down another year of magical phones and netbooks, rumors and half-truths, it's time for the collective wisdom of Engadgetdamus (you and us) to lay down some predictions for 2009 and down a bit of two-week-old eggnog -- not necessarily in that order.

Meanwhile, Gizmodo are wondering where the hell our extra FTA digital channels are. Yesterday may have been the first day of 2009, but it was also the first day the Australian free-to-air TV networks could legally begin broadcasting a second digital SD channel. But here we are, 1.5 days into the new year, and none of the FTA networks have actually made good on their chance to launch a second channel and according to the Australian, aren't likely to for several more months.

Microsoft's tale of woe continues with IE's market share down 10. Microsoft Corp.'s browser lost 1.6 percentage points of its market share last month, ending December with a 68.2% share, down from November's 69.8%. Since the end of October, IE has lost 3.1 percentage points, nearly half of its total 2008 losses. IE ended the year down 7.9 percentage points, a 10.4% decline in its share since December 2007.

Apple will soon turn 25. On January 24, 1984, the Macintosh came into the world, starting the second major revolution in the personal computer industry. Steve Jobs and team took some lessons from Xerox PARC and created the first user-friendly, mass market computer. By today's standards, it wasn't that user-friendly (some will remember disk-swapping with the original Mac, which had 128KB of RAM and a 400KB 3.5-inch floppy disk drive), but compared with Microsoft's DOS operating system, it was a major technical innovation.

Do you know how to play adult hide-and-seek? Geocaching is "a high-tech treasure hunt for adults" - at least, that is the most succinct explanation enthusiasts can offer. A striking mix of the latest network technologies, unregulated gaming and muddy-boots bushwalking, it's an activity that didn't exist nine years ago. Now there are about 1 million cachers who participate worldwide, an estimated 13,000 of them in Australia. More get hooked all the time.

Here is an interesting speaker mod. There's certainly plenty of reasons not to turn a pair of iPods into some portable speakers -- difficulty, inevitably poor sound quality, pains of regret -- but we're guessing that the sight of the creation above will prompt at least a few folks to start scavenging for parts. Apparently taking some lessons learned from previous Altoids tin speaker mods, Jordan Horwich crafted these for a total cost of $100, which includes the cost of some front and back iPod panels and some rather extravagant shipping rates.

Here's something to make your head hurt other than a hangover. I have played this video again and again, trying to figure out what's going on here. I can't. My brain is fried. Yoshimoto Cube has fried my brain and it's not even 2009 yet. According to the description, the Yoshimoto Cube transforms into two stellated rhombic dodecahedrons. Which is a fancy way to say "the Yoshimoto Cube transforms your brain into pineapple jelly".

Finally, another little brainteaser. Let's say, hypothetically speaking, you met someone who told you they had two children, and one of them is a girl. What are the odds that person has a boy and a girl? Most people answer 50%. Unfortunately, this isn't correct.



Thursday Evening (2 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 1-January-2009  21:11:53 (GMT +10) - by matthudson

Computerworld have posted a guide on how to secure Vista. While Windows Vista may be Microsoft Corp.'s most secure operating system ever, it's far from completely secure. In its fresh-from-the-box configuration, Vista still leaves a chance for your personal data to leak out to the Web through Windows Firewall or for some nefarious bot to tweak your browser settings without your knowledge. But by making a few judicious changes using the security tools within Windows Vista -- and in some cases by adding a few pieces of free software -- you can lock down your operating system like a pro.

Apparently the Chinese spend most of their leisure time online. A survey of more than 27,000 web users in 16 countries has shown that the Chinese spend the largest fraction of their leisure time online. However, UK housewives spend even more than China's average - 47%. Germans are the most likely to meet someone in real life that they first met online; more than three quarters have done so. The study also found that the UK is the least trusting of information in its newspapers among the 16 countries.

Google has photographed a secret Porsche test in streetview. Google's all-seeing roaming cameras have captured images of a clandestine high-altitude road test featuring a fleet of new Porsches.The images were unearthed by the Garage 419 blog on the Google Maps Street View feature, near the end of Mount Evans Road, Idaho Spring, Colorado. The Porsche have been identified as Caymans, Boxsters, a 911 Turbo and Targa. The image set shows men throwing tarps over the cars in an attempt to conceal them from the oncoming Google Street View car.

Engadget have posted a list of their top 2008 articles. Well, the year has come and gone, and with it, our 365 -- or in this case, 366 -- days of posting. We've seen some pretty amazing stuff, gotten to play with a stack of awesome gear, and watched the site grow by leaps and bounds (we just had our biggest day ever in October). We thought we'd cap the year off with a look back at the posts that got the most heat.

Meanwhile Tweaktown have done their Blu-ray awards for 2008. I trust that everyone is enjoying the revamped Digital Lounge, where I have been reviewing Blu-ray movies and hosting the Blu-ray release schedule since the start of the year. I thought it would be an apt time to take a look at the best of the best, the Blu-ray releases for 2008 which have stood above the rest. So join me in rounding up the winners (and runners up) in the first annual TweakTown Blu-ray awards!

Cnet is looking to the future. I thought it was time to unveil this year's 2009 predictions. There's no telling if what I think will happen will come true or not, but I thought I'd fill you in on five of my predictions for the New Year. Will they come true? Who knows? But one thing is certain: 2009 will be an exciting year for tech.

Finally, pirates are actually paying for software. Opentracker, the BitTorrent tracker software utilized by The Pirate Bay, is released under a beerware license, meaning that anyone who uses it and meets the developer should buy him or her a beer. To fulfill the license, the German Pirate Party donated 50 liters of beer to the main developer at the Chaos Communcation Congress.



Welcome to 2009 (1 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 1-January-2009  20:58:18 (GMT +10) - by BlaYde

2008 was a busy year for solid state drives and 2009 is shaping up in much the same way. So what can we expect to see? According to tom's hardware, Intel along with other manufacturers are looking at ramping up SSD's capacities fast. There's no doubt that SSD drives are improving day to day. One major area that SSD manufacturers are focusing on is drive capacity. Mainstream SSD drives tend to be limited to 80 GB or less for affordability. There are drives that have larger capacities, but the cost is significantly higher than a similar HDD, which is what is keeping SSD drives out of the hands of many at this point.

And speaking of SSD's, A-Data has just launched an XPG Dual SSD 3.5-inch RAID enclosure. For those of you sporting two or more solid-state-storage devices (and who isn’t?), A-Data has released a new RAID-themed enclosure that could help you boost your speeds and eliminate that ugly stack of drives that’s sitting inside your PC. The company’s new XPG Dual SSD 3.5-inch RAID enclosure combines two 2.5-inch SSDs into a single, 3.5-inch form-factor drive cage. You can run each drive independently from the other, or you can have the enclosure slaps your two drives together in one of seven different RAID modes: JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, Span, SAFE33, SAFE50, or GUI.

Acer had the first notebook running Intel’s latest mobile chip, the cheap quad core Q9000. Is Apple about to go down the same road with a 17-inch MacBook Pro running on the Q9000? The rumour doing the rounds at the moment is that Apple could be about ready to launch a 17-inch MacBook Pro running on the Q9000. Apple refreshed the MacBook line a couple of months back and the fact that there was a white space where there should have been a brand spanking new 17-inch MacBook Pro was a little overshadowed by the fancy new aluminium unibody design of the MacBook and the glass trackpad

The rumours about Steve Job's rapidly declining health just won't go away. According to a previously reliable source, Apple misrepresented the reasons behind Macworld and Jobs' keynote cancellation. Allegedly, the real cause is his rapidly declining health. In fact, it may be even worse than we imagined:

It seems that some internet security experts out of Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States might have worked out how to mimic the digital identity and authority assigned to RapidSSL. According to the Washington Post, E-commerce and banking sites use these certificates in combination with secure sockets layer (SSL) technology. However, RapidSSL uses a flawed cryptographic method, called MD5. All the boffins used a collection of techniques including building a supercomputer of 200 PlayStation 3s to reproduce a virtual clone of the digital signature RapidSSL uses to sign SSL certificates.

Ars Technica has posted an interesting article on legal firms setting up practices devoted to video games. Recently, some big-name firms have started setting up large teams of lawyers specializing in video games, dealing with topics ranging from litigation to intellectual property to mergers. It's not surprising, honestly, as there's plenty of money to be made by representing developers and publishers in court.

Cancer and other diseases beware! Gold Nanoparticles are coming to get you. Gold has fast become one of the most promising materials for building devices on a nanoscale level thanks to a number of favourable properties. Among the applications of gold nanodevices is the use of gold particles to deliver drugs. Gold nanoparticles range from small nanoclusters up to larger, more complex nanostructures.

Next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will see a live demonstration of the new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 specification. Symwave plans to showcase the new spec at the Consumer Electronics Show, which runs Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas. The semiconductor company said in a statement that the demonstration would highlight "streaming data to and from external storage devices at speeds previously unattainable." The demo is being done in collaboration with test, cable, component, and hard-drive manufacturers.

Few days ago we heard about the leak of Windows 7 beta 1 on to several bit-torrent sites. We then heard that Microsoft was very "unhappy" about the leak, to put it mildly. Today we hear that the leak might have been intentional and the source is none other than Microsoft. Microsoft's Windows 7 beta 1 was not officially intended for release until January. However, the release somehow hit torrent sites this week. Many, including commenters here at DailyTech, suspected the "leak" was really a clever ruse by Microsoft to drum up tech community excitement for its upcoming release.

In the second quarter of this year AMD will launch the Athlon X4 605e at 2.5GHz with 2MB cache that will fit the 65W TDP. If you are after an AMD quad core that will fit the 45W thermal envelope, we have some good news for you. In early Q2 the company will launch the Athlon X4 605e at 2.5GHz with 2MB cache that will fit the 65W TDP. This CPU is based on Propus, K10.5 without L3 cache and of course in AM3.

Microsoft's 30GB Zune players have been hit with an Y2K9 bug. Apparently, around 2:00 AM today, the Zune models either reset, or were already off. Upon when turning on, the thing loads up and... freezes with a full loading bar (as pictured above). I thought my brother was the only one with it, but then it happened to my Zune. Then I checked out the forums and it seems everyone with a 30GB HDD model has had this happen to them

Dell's president of global operations, Mike Cannon and marketing chief Mark Jarvis are reportedly stepping down,as the company undergoes major reorganization thanks to the economic downturn. Dell Inc's president and chief marketing officer are leaving the company as part of reorganization at the No. 2 PC maker, which is facing weak demand during the economic downturn.



Geek Recipes (0 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 1-January-2009  16:19:29 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Here's some yummy recent threads from our Geek Recipes forum:


Smoked Turducken with Pork
by username_taken

Buffalo wings
by Adro85

Cherry Ripe Cheese Cake
by Bionic


Xmas Biscuits
by fallen_dragon

Confit of Duck
by username_taken



Holy-Cow-It's-2009 Hungover Reviews (5 Comments) (link)
 Thursday, 1-January-2009  10:08:09 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Cases:
Cooler Master ATCS 840 on LegitReviews.
In Win Matrix on BurnOutPC.
nMedia 1000B Home Theater on OCModShop.

Power Supplies:
FSP Group Power Mod 700W on Virtual-Hideout.
Corsair TX850W on CPU3D.

Audio / Visual:
Epson WorkForce 600 Multifunction Printer on FutureLooks.
ASUS Xonar D1 PCI Audio Card on BigBruin.
AirLive WL-2000CAM IP Camera on TechPowerUp.
Optoma GameTime GT7000 DLP Projector on TrustedReviews.
Philips Essence 42PES0001 42in LCD TV on TrustedReviews.

Motherboards:
Mid-Range Motherboard Roundup on iXBT.
Foxconn A7VA AM2+ board on iXBT.
Gigabyte EX58-Extreme LGA1366 board on Motherboards.org.
DFI LP JR 790GX-M2RS with Phenom II X4 940 and Phenom 9550 on OCWorkbench.
DFI LanParty UT P45-T3RS on CPU3D.
Gigabyte GA-EP45T-Extreme LGA775 board on XbitLabs.

Cooling:
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 LP Low Profile Heatsink on Frostytech.
Thermaltake SpinQ Heatpipe CPU Cooler on Tweaknews.

Storage:
Thecus N4100PRO Four-Drive NAS Server on Tweaktown.
In Win NA USB/ESATA HDD Enclosure on Tweaknews.

Memory:
Kingston HyperX TC DDR3 1600 on Bjorn3D.
Mushkin HP3 12800 3x2GB on OCClub.
G.Skill PI Black PC3-12800 (1600MHz) CL8 6GB on Tweaktown.

Video Cards:
HIS HD 4830 IceQ 4 512MB GDDR3 on BonaFideReviews.
Zotac Nitro Overclocking Unit for video cards on DriverHeaven.
ATI Radeon HD 4550 on XbitLabs.

Misc:
Enermax Aurora KB007US Aluminum Keyboard on PCStats.
Belkin's Powerline AV Network Adapters on Bit-Tech.
Garmin Nuvi 200w GPS on GPSTrends.
Garmin nüvi 860 Sat-Nav on TrustedReviews.
Endless Ideas BeBook eBook Reader on TrustedReviews.
MSI Wind Netbook on TechWareLabs.



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