ATI Radeon HD 5850
(link) Wednesday, 30-September-2009 20:56:19 (GMT +10) - by Agg
AMD have unveiled their ATI Radeon HD 5850. As you might guess from the name, this is the little brother of the recently announced 5870. The Radeon HD 5850 GPU is based on the same ASIC as the ATI Radeon HD 5870. All AMD has done is to disable some streaming processor units and texture units. However, most uniquely, the Radeon HD 5850 retains the same 32 ROPs found in the ATI Radeon HD 5870. This means it should be a powerhouse in antialiasing and post processing performance for the price.
Kingston SSD vs WD VelociRaptor
(link) Wednesday, 30-September-2009 04:35:28 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Pondering your next storage move? Dirtyd compares the similarly-priced options of a small fast SSD or a large fast HDD. Kingston's 64GB SSDNow V+ and Western Digital's 300GB VelociRaptor go head to head:
SETI is 50 years old. The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, is 50 years old this month. We look at 10 memorable events in the search for life on other planets.
Jason sent word of an AntiVirus Comparison Report. AV-Comparatives is known for the thorough tests it does on security software. Following its May 2009 retrospective/proactive report, the company has released its August 2009 on-demand comparative. Sixteen products, last updated on August 10, were set on the same highest detection settings (except for Sophos and F-Secure) and put to the test.
Carl spotted this very childish video that I hated myself for giggling all the way through, about a Windows 7 launch party. Are there people who can relate to - let alone enjoy - this video? And has there even been a more vibrant and tangible demonstration of the difference between Apple and Microsoft? Anyway. Seriously, what were MS thinking? Is anyone actually having one of these parties?
SGI have another personal supercomputer, with 80 cores and 1TB of RAM. Octane III is office-ready with a pedestal, one-by-two-foot form factor, whisper-quiet operations, easy-to-use features, low maintenance requirements and support for standard office power outlets. More here.
It seems like Bletchley Park is safe for now, with another big heritage money award. Some of Britain's best brains spent the war cracking enemy codes at Bletchley Park, with many historians agreeing that their efforts shortened the war by two years. The codebreakers' success allowed the Allies to know in advance what German forces were planning.
NewScientist report that gamers are more aggressive to strangers than friends. Victorious gamers enjoy a surge of testosterone - but only if their vanquished foe is a stranger. When male gamers beat friends in a shoot-em-up video game, levels of the potent sex hormone plummeted. Seems kinda obvious.
There's more about the National Broadband Network and the difficulty involved. "You have to physically go to 10 million premises and bring a cable there, either (by) digging it or via (power) poles and then obviously it's not just having the cable, you have to have the installation in the house."
Microsoft have some multi-core OS improvements planned. Interestingly, it uses some open source BSD third-part libraries, which are "covered by various BSD-like open source licenses." This has led to speculation that the new OS may be free and open source, not terms you typically would associate with Microsoft.
A few people sent word that the Pirate Party is opening an Australian branch and will contest the next federal election. The Pirate Party, which evolved from cultural and legal skirmishes with authorities in Sweden and Germany, last week updated the Australian website it registered last year and advertised for a president, treasurer, secretary and supporting positions.
They're rolling out the National Broadband Network in Tasmania and Sniper spotted this cool trench-digging machine being used. No picks and shovels here - this is the $1.2 million machine imported to dig the trenches for the Tasmania's National Broadband Network (NBN).
Google have added nearly 2000 back-issues of LIFE magazine to their online Google Books service. It's the perfect complement to Google Images' astonishing LIFE photo archive, and as useful a reference work on several eventful decades of American history as we’re going to get in one place.
Speaking of history, VooDoo spotted this video of two cars crashing into each other, with an age difference of 50 years, to demonstrate advances in vehicle safety. 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air Vs. 2009 Chevrolet Malibu. This test was for IIHS's 50th year anniversary in the safety research business!
Intel have a new heatsink for Core i9. The company’s 32nm six-core Gulftown monster that several refer to as "Core i9" has undergone a heatsink redesign, moving from the top-mounted placement of the fan on the fins to a vertical design which carries hot airflow out the back of the chassis.
Dave spotted this guide to NVIDIA SLI on all motherboards. Despite the small current list, this modification allow to run SLI on ANY chipset, and not just Intel or NVIDIA. Technically SLI can be enabled even on a Motherboard with an AMD Chipset. Of course, board must have two or more PCI-Express slots for graphic cards.
Reax spotted an article on the Herald Sun about Left 4 Dead 2 being banned. Not much more info there, but interestingly, a little poll where readers can vote for whether or not R18+ games should be allowed. Unsurprisingly, it's currently 92.59% in favour of allowing them. But Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hulls says he believes Australia is now "out of step" with the world. "It seems inconsistent that in Australia adults are allowed to view adult-only films which have been classified R18+ by the Classification Board, but not computer games with equivalent high-level content," he said. Games.on.net have their response in comic form, thanks Bennett.
From Bradley: I want to recruit you to my lending team, Overclockers Australia, on Kiva, a non-profit website that allows you to lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur across the globe. You choose who to lend to - whether a baker in Afghanistan, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, a restaurateur in Cambodia, or a tailor in Iraq - and as they repay the loan, you get your money back. Sounds interesting, more info here.
BenchmarkReviews compared a few professional keyboards. But if you're a serious typist - a professional who thinks that a keyboard's primary duty is to enable fast and accurate typing, and not to glow prettily or adjust your speaker volume or display the number of missiles left in your launcher, then you might be interested in a professional mechanical keyboard. Benchmark Reviews looks at a wide selection of available high quality keyboards to see which might be the best for you.
Domain registrar Bottle Domains has been chastised by the Victorian Supreme Court for lax security of customer info. AuDA said Bottle's failure to notify it at the time of the earlier incidents breached its obligations and was grounds for termination of its registrar agreement, which would mean Bottle would no longer be able to sell domain names or continue trading as a domain name registrar.
The presence of water on the Moon has been confirmed. The moon remains drier than any desert on Earth, but the water is said to exist on the moon in very small quantities. One ton of the top layer of the lunar surface would hold about 32 ounces of water, researchers said.
If you downloaded Razer drivers recently, you might want to scan for viruses. More info on Bit-Tech here. Trend Micro's analysis of the website has shown that at least eight separate driver packages offered by Razer's support site came with the unwanted bonus, and the company claims that only "7 out of 41 [anti-virus] vendors offered generic detection" of this particular worm - meaning it's potentially difficult for an end-user to know that they've been infected. More info here, thanks Barista.
Dan has an interesting article about alternate history. This is how technology often develops. If someone sees a demand, they're usually not the only one to see it. The precise sequence in which people come up with inventions, though, can sometimes make a very big difference. Take trains, for instance.
Sniper spotted this Intel page about their Light Peak technology. Light Peak is the code-name for a new high-speed optical cable technology designed to connect your electronic devices to each other. Light Peak delivers high bandwidth starting at 10Gb/s with the potential ability to scale to 100Gb/s over the next decade. At 10Gb/s, you could transfer a full-length Blu-Ray movie in less than 30 seconds.
Also interesting is this flat speaker technology. TVs can be transformed into speakers with a new flat film that produces high-quality sound. The see-through technology, pioneered by Emo Labs, can be "stuck on" to a TV screen and play stereo sound.
Clinton noticed an Android developer who has incurred Google's wrath. Everyone’s favorite Android hacker appears to have angered someone at Google. We just received word that Cyanogen has received a cease and desist letter from Google. More info here.
Phoenix have a speedy bios in the works. Enter Phoenix's new Instant Boot BIOS. It cuts down the post time to roughly one second. Phoenix's Chief Scientist Steve Jones explained that the new BIOS uses UEFI technology (a new kind of BIOS platform) to power on several system devices simultaneously and to run only those processes which are absolutely necessary to hand control over to the OS.
Anandtech have more info on the Lucid Hydra multi-GPU technology. At least on paper, Lucid's technology has the potential to completely eliminate all of the multi-GPU silliness we've been dealing with for the past several years. Today, Lucid is announcing the final set of hardware that will be shipping within the next ~30 days.
JD spotted this Microsoft tablet prototype. Courier is a real device, and we've heard that it's in the "late prototype" stage of development. It's not a tablet, it's a booklet. The dual 7-inch (or so) screens are multitouch, and designed for writing, flicking and drawing with a stylus, in addition to fingers.
Check out this project to squeeze 8 consoles and a projector into an R2D2 body. To get rid of the mess of wires from his many videogame consoles, PopSci reader Brian De Vitis decided to repurpose his R2-D2-shaped cooler.
Meanwhile there's a video here of Intel's upcoming Larabee doing real-time ray tracing during Sean Maloney's keynote.
Today's timewaster is this physics game Tower Box. I got to about level 13 before giving up, some people in IRC last night got to over 15. The later levels have crosswinds. :)
Intel Core i7 Mobile
(link) Thursday, 24-September-2009 12:22:54 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Intel has announced Core i7 Mobile CPUs. Through the Intel Core i7 mobile processor, Intel brings Nehalem?s transformative technology to notebooks. The Intel Core i7 Mobile Processor and Intel Core i7 Mobile Processor Extreme Edition unleash the power of a desktop in a laptop.
ATI Radeon 5800 Series
(link) Wednesday, 23-September-2009 22:28:21 (GMT +10) - by Agg
As expected, AMD launched the ATI Radeon 5800 series of graphics cards today. Prepare to experience a riveting high-definition gaming experience with ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series graphics processors.(1) Expand your visual real estate across up to three displays and get lost in the action with revolutionary ATI Eyefinity Technology.(2) Using ATI Stream technology, accelerate even the most demanding applications and do more than ever with your PC.(3) The first to deliver full support for Microsoft DirectX 11, these GPUs enable rich, realistic visuals and explosive HD gaming performance so you can dominate the competition.
Intel's Developer Forum is underway, with coverage on HotHardware, PCPerspective and LegitReviews. Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini was the main speaker for this mornings keynote and spoke about the state of Intel and the direction that the company was headed.
Lucid's Hydra is a load-balancing multi-GPU technology, with coverage on Tech Report and PC Perspective. Thanks to the Hydra 200, Lucid claims you'll be able to run virtually any combination of graphics processors with near-linear performance scaling. Game compatibility is supposed to be better than native CrossFire and SLI schemes, as well.
PCPerspective also have some AMD Eyefinity Demonstration videos on Batman, Left 4 Dead, Far Cry 2 etc. I know that a lot of you are very eager to get all the information you can about AMD's upcoming graphics card as well as the AMD Eyefinity multi-monitor gaming technology. Well as I was sitting here this evening, I decided to share some of the videos I had been creating for our upcoming review since they are no longer under NDA.
Virage87 spotted this guy building a Hummer from scraps. A madman Ford nut is hand-building an incredible Hummer H1 replica on the bones of a junker Ford F-150. The full scope of this fabrication fest can only be appreciated in the huge gallery below.
Engadget report on a dual HDMI mini-ITX board from VIA. VIA's looking to deliver dual-HDMI and more in its next integrated Mini-ITX solution, the VB8003, which also packs DVI and VGA ports, as well as an LVDS output, meaning it could control five displays at once (though with only four discrete signals).
It must be time for the regular future sex robots story again. "At first, sex with robots might be considered geeky, but once you have a story like 'I had sex with a robot and it was great!' appear in a magazine like Cosmo, I'd expect many people to jump on the bandwagon," artificial intelligence researcher David Levy, who completed his PhD on the subject of human-robot relationships, told LiveScience. Until it bluescreens and tears your willy off.
As if that's not worrying enough, robots can apparently learn to lie, too. Each can produce a blue light that others can detect with cameras and that can give away the position of the food because of the flashing robots congregating nearby. In short, the blue light carries information, and after a few generations, the robots quickly evolved the ability to conceal that information and deceive one another.
From Viljar: Google Voice is a service that gives you one number for all your phones, voicemail that is easy as email, and many enhanced calling features like call blocking and screening, voicemail transcripts, call conferencing, international calls, and more.
If you want to post a picture in the forums, or anywhere else on the net, remember we have free image hosting for OCAU members now. It's also interesting to see what public images other people have uploaded. :)
Here's some big numbers from Pix, btw:
14,275 images hosted
812,990 image views
12,854,407,129 pixels hosted
855,285,739,928 pixels served
4.45 GB hosted
398.37 GB served
Holy smoke Batman! The end of the world is nigh. I do suggest if you live in any of the affected areas you consider wearing a mask and stay indoors as much as possible.
Dan has more letters. Secure HDD erasing, vacuuming your computer, battery cycling and mulitple UPSes
There's a new SATA connector coming to the market. The Serial ATA International Organization has announced the development of a new low-profile SATA connector dubbed mini-SATA.
Conficker is still out there and causing trouble. The brightest minds in technology and government are finding it "almost impossible" to defeat the Conficker worm, which has infected more than 5 million computers and, experts say, could be used to knock down the internet in entire countries. One of the places I work got conficker in their network, nasty little worm.
Bing has made inroads into Google's search share. Its latest figures show Microsoft's share of the search market has grown from 8.9% in July to 9.3% in August. The news saw Microsoft's shares rise while Google's dipped slightly.
Linus Torvalds has called Linux bloated and huge. "I mean, sometimes it's a bit sad that we are definitely not the streamlined, small, hyper-efficient kernel that I envisioned 15 years ago...The kernel is huge and bloated, and our icache footprint is scary. I mean, there is no question about that. And whenever we add a new feature, it only gets worse."
UK anti-piracy plans cost more than the losses by the music industry. If the BPI’s 'losses' figures are to be believed (and we have to go along with the ridiculous premise of 1 download = 1 lost sale in order to do so), saving GBP200m worth of business will end up costing ISPs almost double that amount.
Today's project is ferrofluid. Ferrofluids are made up of tiny magnetic fragments of iron suspended in oil (often kerosene) with a surfactant to prevent clumping (usually oleic acid). The fluid is relatively easy to make at home yet extremely expensive to buy on-line. How does $165 a liter sound? Pretty bad, right? Read on to learn how to make ferrofluids on the cheap.
Seagate have announced the first SATA 6Gb/s 2TB HDD. Press-release here, coverage on Anandtech, BenchmarkReviews and BigBruin. The Barracuda XT product, a four-platter drive featuring an areal density of 368 Gigabits per square inch, delivers the highest performance – burst speeds of up to 6 Gigabits per second – for all PC applications, maintains backward compatibility with the SATA 3Gb/second and SATA 1.5Gb/second interfaces, and uses the same cables and connectors as previous SATA generations to ease integration.
Telstra apparently have plans for their own set-top box. The device is part of a bid to shift Telstra's entertainment, news and sport content offered under the BigPond brand from people's computers to their televisions.
You can have James May's Lego House, if you can take it away. May says Legoland reneged on a deal to take it to their theme park in Windsor, Berkshire, after deciding it would be too expensive to move. Meanwhile, miffed Legoland managers criticised May for building the house without their help.
Here's a quite neat zoomable galaxy viewer. Through three giant images, the GIGAGALAXY ZOOM project reveals the full sky as it appears with the unaided eye from one of the darkest deserts on Earth, then zooms in on a rich region of the Milky Way using a hobby telescope, and finally uses the power of a professional telescope to reveal the details of an iconic nebula.
OCClub have some performance testing in Darkest of Days. What you can see based on the results in these graphs is that when the Physx effects are set to the lowest level, the performance from ATI's cards is almost identical to the competing Nvidia cards. However, the GTX 285 finally pulls away from the HD4890 at the top end. The point of showing these numbers is to show that yes, the game is playable with non Physx-enabled cards.
Gamasutra have an article about the mechanics of World of Warcraft. As an organization, World of Warcraft utilizes 20,000 computer systems, 1.3 petabytes of storage, and more than 4600 people. "Operating an online game is about more than just game development."
BenchmarkReviews interviewed Seagate about SSD and Enterprise Storage. In this article Benchmark Reviews Executive Editor Olin Coles submitted several industry-specific questions directly to storage expert David Szabados, the Senior PR Manager responsible for enterprise storage, security, and future emerging storage technologies at Seagate Technology.
(link) Tuesday, 22-September-2009 00:41:27 (GMT +10) - by Agg
It's been a while since I've done a demo roundup, so here's some recent ones:
AI War: Fleet Command v1.301: AI War is a 2D space RTS game, built using a 3D engine. You will often want to use this to zoom out and get a birds-eye view of the battlefield. Especially because the smaller ships move fast. This isn't your grandfather's molasses-filled space sim. Get it from Internode or FileFront.
Majesty 2 - The Fantasy Kingdom Sim: Here's a playable demo of Majesty 2 - The Fantasy Kingdom Sim, the real-time strategy sequel by 1C:Ino-Co. Get it from Internode or Fileplanet. Discussion here.
Need for Speed: Shift: delivers the true driver’s experience with a stunning cockpit view, deep career mode and amazing car roster. You will be thrust into the loud, intense, and athletic experience of racing a car from the driver's perspective through the combination of perception based G-forces, the hyper reality of the cockpit view, and the all-new brutally disorienting crash dynamic. Prove your skill on two tracks - London River and the world famous Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps using one of 4 unlocked cars. Collect enough stars while you race to unlock the ultimate in performance, the Pagani Zonda F. Grab it from Internode, Bigpond, AusGamers or EA. Discussion here.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2010: The demo will allow you to play with the club teams of Liverpool and Barcelona. The national teams of Germany, Spain, France and Italy are also available. The matches -- limited to 5 minutes -- will run in Exhibition Mode. Get it from Internode or AusGamers.
Twin Sector: Using the advantages of the powerful HAVOC-Engine, innumerable puzzles, challenges and enemies await the players in a hostile and threatening futuristic environment. Featuring more than 15 missions alongside a thrilling story line unfolding over the course of action, Twin Sector appeals to all core gamers worldwide. Get it from Internode or AusGamers. Discussion here.
World Racing Series: World Racing Series' aim is to create a PC multiplayer car racing simulator. Currently the software simulates two cars and two racing tracks. More will be added in the future. Get it from AusGamers.
Nick sends word of US$30 Win 7 for students. "Students in Australia can participate in this offer on October 22nd. In most markets, the offer ends on January 3rd, however in Australia the offer has been extended until March 31st."
COBOL is celebrating its 50th birthday. Excuse me while I go scream in horror at the memory of the small amount of COBOL programming I've done. Not many people know that COBOL, for a long time the most widely-used programming language, was largely created by Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, a female US Navy officer.
Microsoft have issued a fix for the SMB flaw reported recently. The one-click fix, which was added to a Microsoft security advisory, has been designed to provide users' machines with temporary respite from any remote code execution attacks targeting the known vulnerability, by disabling SMBv2 and then stopping and starting the Server service. Hrm, not really a full fix yet then.
TBreak have an article on breaking 20k in 3DMark Vantage. After hours of tuning to see what the optimum voltage setting would be with best clock speed so I don't throttle the GPU and bring down the scores, I managed to stick with 1.5v on the GPU running at 1050MHz and 1200MHz on memory.
To combat the problem of silent electric cars running people over because they can't be heard, Nissan is adding noise. The company consulted Japanese composers of film scores. What Tabata and his six-member team came up with is a high- pitched sound reminiscent of the flying cars in "Blade Runner," the 1982 film directed by Ridley Scott portraying his dystopian vision of 2019.
Arrr, it seems scant few moons since the last Talk like a Pirate Day but nay, it be upon us once again, snuck up from beyond the horizon like the Dread Pirate Roberts 'imself!
Thar be a new telescope, not all shiny brass like my old faithful, but of the radio kind, to be built in Western Australia. "The [ASKAP] in about six hours of operation will generate more data than has ever been collected by radio astronomy. Just in the first day it will have done as well as everyone else has done to date," Professor Quinn told iTnews. An EXABYTE of data per day?! Just thinkin' about it makes me stump ache.
When ye be out doin' your piratey thing of an evenin', resist the urge to check the book of faces at ye intended victim's house. Or you'll end up in leg irons, like this scurvy dog! Simple: the burglar left a trail, by way of checking his Facebook account before leaving the house with two diamond rings and forgetting to log out.
Google have plundered CMU's treasure trove and made off, not with dubloons, but with ReCAPTCHA. Google has acquired a Carnegie Mellon University spin-off that seeks to cut down on spam and fraud at Web sites while digitizing books.
From a distant land report Akihabaranews, of a tiny VESA-mountable PC that clips onto the back of yer monitor like a barnacle, thus saving your valuable desk space for maps and charts and countin' yer pieces of eight and wotnot. It's sold with an Atom N230 CPU, the NVIDIA ION (MCP7A) Chipset, 2GB of RAM, 250GB of HDD and Windows Vista.
That mangy dog Callan spotted a cardboard PC, which may well be all eco-friendly like, but hardly suited to the rigors of the poop deck! Not to mention a determined parrot could nibble it down to kitty litter in no time. More info hyaaarr.
If ye long for new seas to sail, DigitalTrends have 10 geek travel destinations to consider. Wine lovers have Napa Valley. Fashionistas have Paris. And Elvis diehards have Graceland. Devotees visit them to sample the finest, see the latest in the industry, and soak in the history of the greats. But where should geeks book their tickets to when it's time to get out of the cube and pursue their own niche interests abroad?
That's it from me, me old chumbuckets. Ye can chat with other peg-legged parrot-encrusted folk in this thread. Yarr!
Here's an interesting video from TweakTown, showing a prototype system from DFI. On a single motherboard they have a P45-based PC, as well as an ION system. Either can be turned on or off independently, they share various devices and are connected by an internal GigE link. The theory is that you use the low-power ION system for your normal work and fire up the P45 for gaming etc.
It saddens me to report that OCAU member neon_87, Simon King, passed away in a car accident yesterday morning. I didn't know him personally but he was an active member, helped organise our Events Noticeboard and was well known on the LAN party scene. Only 22 years old, he'll be missed by many. There's a condolences thread here.
(link) Friday, 18-September-2009 16:05:23 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Regular contributor windwithme is back with another three reviews:
Mpot sends word of a Tasmania photography competition. The prize pool is valued at nearly AUD$9000, and includes several Canon 1000D DSLR cameras, a return journey on board Spirit of Tasmania for two adults, and a seven-night Tasmanian accommodation package. Tassie photos taken in the last 5 years are eligible.
From Rod: Just saw this: Bing Visual Search (may need to change your country to United States). It’s very nifty for when you know what something/someone looks like but not what it's called. For instance I could remember what Forrest Whittaker looked like but didn't know his name - selecting Popular Celebrities and then narrowing it down to male actors I scrolled through the list and found him.
OCZ have announced availability of their PCIe SSD Z-Drives. Z-Drive SSDs are shipping in two main flavors: the e84, which uses single-level-cell (SLC) flash memory, and the p84, which employs cheaper and more commonplace multi-level-cell (MLC) flash. Both models can be had with either 256GB or 512GB capacities, and you can get the p84 with a cool 1TB, too.
Timbot sent in this article looking inside a Zune HD. So many parts inside have similarities to the iPod Touch. The battery and headphone jacks share connection types like the Nano and Touch. Not that I need/want one, but are these things available in Australia yet?
Similarly, Chinese giant Lenovo have launched what they're hoping is an iPhone killer, thanks Joanna. The OPhone will run on an operating system developed by China Mobile and will work on the carrier's homegrown TD-SCDMA third-generation wireless technology platform.
Sniper noticed a new 650W PSU from Corsair, perhaps replacing the venerable and very popular 620W model. "The HX650W offers the same unmatched quality standards and 7 Year warranty, but at a power level more suitable for mid/high-spec PC builds, such as those based on Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 'Lynnfield' processors."
Tech Report have an updated system guide. Over the past few days, we've been scrambling to update our usual builds with the latest and greatest hardware, including (but not limited to) the new Core i5 and i7-800-series processors and matching P55 motherboards. AMD's new cheap quad-cores may reshuffle things again.
InsideHW have compared ATI and NVIDIA video cards when transcoding in MediaShow Espresso. Now, there is one application that can use both GPUs and do exactly the same job: CyberLink MediaShow Espresso. CyberLink promises ten times faster transcoding by using GPU processing power along with ability to transcode few files at once.
AMD have released their mainsteam quad-core CPU family, the Athlon II X4. At first the announcement of Athlon II X4s doesn't seem too interesting. Especially since they have been rumored for some time and it wasn't much of a stretch to imagine that AMD would get around to releasing quad-core Athlon II processors eventually. Not to mention the Athlon IIs are in many ways just Phenom IIs with the L3 cache removed, so there isn't a ton of brand new tech under the hood to ogle at. However, things get a lot more interesting when you hear the list price...
Left 4 Dead 2 - Banned in Australia
(link) Thursday, 17-September-2009 15:45:24 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Left 4 Dead is a hugely popular zombie shooter game. There's bad news for fans of it in Australia, because the highly-anticipated sequel has been refused classification, which means it can't be sold here. "The game contains violence that is high in impact and is therefore unsuitable for persons under 18 years to play," the report said. So why can't I, a 34yo adult, play it if I choose? There is no adult rating for video games in Australia. Any game that fails to meet the criteria for MA15+ is refused classification. Urgh.
Our Sponsor Specials Forum has been quite busy lately. In there our many sponsors have special offers and deals on modding gear, hard drives, fitness supplements, CPUs, motherboards, games, data recovery, network gear, web hosting and a range of other goodies. Worth a look!
Google Maps now has live traffic data for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, thanks scruff. Traffic information can then be viewed as 'live' snapshots or as historical data subsets collected over a period of 12-18 months, which gives aggregated traffic averages from any given time of day. "12 - 18 months is an ideal historic view of traffic conditions", said Game.
Gigabyte have an ITX case / monitor stand. Useful for DIY all-in-one type PC but surely a Shuttle style mini-box would take up less desk space. Space is at a premium in most offices, and that's where compact all-in-one PCs and nettops come into play. Gigabyte's new case will basically allow you to build your own nettop-all-in-one hybrid of sorts.
People in the Sydney CBD may be cut off by a cable cut for up to a week. Contractors working for Energy Australia cut through a bundle of 10,000 Telstra copper wires and some multiple-fibre optical cables near the corner of York and Erskine streets about 9.30pm (AEST) yesterday.
There's a new stable Chrome release, 3.0. This new release of Google Chrome is faster than ever, as we continue to provide a modern browser that starts up quickly from your desktop, and is fast to load web pages and web applications.
NBN Co has offered a rough sketch of the National Broadband Network architecture. "Where we see the network boundary at the moment - we see ourselves as providing a Layer 2 bit stream type service," Quigley said. "The service will have the functionality to cover voice, video and high speed Internet - only with the service provider, rather than NBN Co, providing these services."
Rupert Murdoch reckons people will be charged for mobile access to news soon. "Starting in a month or two, people who are getting The Wall Street Journal on their Blackberry are going to be paying two dollars a week," Murdoch said. "Same with the iPhone." Uhm, let's see how that works out for them.
Virtual Reality is being used to ease pain. Normally he'd be in great pain as his burned legs are made to bend and straighten during therapy but in his virtual world, Mr Robinson is too busy throwing snowballs at penguins and snowmen to notice much pain.
A few people sent in this funny video of video gamers being taken for a ride in Ken Block's real rally car. Ken Block and members of the public ride out Ken's latest high speed antics at the launch of Codemasters' Dirt 2 game. Some of them don't seem to be really enjoying it. :)
(link) Tuesday, 15-September-2009 20:14:22 (GMT +10) - by Agg
The story of the day would have to be Telstra being split by the Government. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the Telstra break-up reforms would address the telco's high level of integration with the aim of promoting greater competition and consumer benefits. Discussion here.
Meanwhile the ABS have released their Australian Internet Activity report for June 2009. The general trend towards higher download speeds continued, with 57% of subscribers now using a download speed of 1.5Mbps or greater, compared with 51% in December 2008. Gizmodo have posted their thoughts on the report.
Google have a new(?) news-scouring program called Google Fast Flip which looks interesting. Not much to say about it, just have a play and you'll figure it out.
Iroquois spotted a sneak preview of Intel's upcoming IDF. Intel will use its upcoming Intel Developer Forum to highlight several key developments in its product roadmap -- starting with smaller, more efficient chip designs and specialized applications for its Nehalem line.
Benheck's latest project is a laptop based on an Atari 800. I don't even remember the Atari 800 to be honest, and I'm old. Someone requested I build them an Atari 800 laptop, and I decided to go full out and not only beat my own C64, but make it perhaps my coolest project ever.
Australia's three largest telcos have agreed to stop confusing customers with misleading ads. In what Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Graeme Samuel has described as "a major breakthough", Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Hutchison have agreed to court-enforceable undertakings that they will make their advertising clearer to consumers.
LegionHW checked out performance clock-for-clock between Core i5, Core i7, Core 2 Quad and Phenom II X4. For something a little different today we are taking four quad-core series and comparing how they performance when operating at the same frequency. ... Not only will we be comparing them at 2.80GHz but also at 3.60GHz to give overclockers an idea of what they can expect.
Sam noticed this space photos on a budget project. Two MIT students have successfully photographed the earth from space on a strikingly low budget of $148. Perhaps more significantly, they managed to accomplish this feat using components available off-the-shelf to the average layperson, opening the doors for a new generation of amateur space enthusiasts. As pointed out in the comments, similar things have been done previously, but it's still a cool project.
HWZone have some info on AMD's upcoming mobile platforms. AMD's successful Puma notebooks are next in line for a refresh with the Tigris platform coming soon after Windows 7 debuts. Expect a mobile AMD 785G chipset, new 45nm Turion II processors and better power management. Also, the ultrathin Yukon platform gets an upgrade to Congo.
MadShrimps attack a Core i5 850 with LN2 and Phase-Change cooling. Intel's latest CPU is put to the test against their own Core 2/Quad and Core i7 series, as well as AMD's Phenom II. We wrap up the testing with an overclocking session using phase-change and LN2 Cooling. Does the Core i5 and S1156 i7 impress?
Would you believe I have a cut on my lip.. from a bread roll? Seriously.
Speaking of agonising, Timbot sent in this Don't Copy That 2 video. It's a couple of months old but I don't remember newsing it before. Anyway, it's terrible and has Klingons.
PCPerspective checked out some new portable platforms from AMD. Yesterday AMD introduced two new mobile platforms that they are hoping will help expand their presence in the mobile sector. These releases address the mainstream market as well as the ultra-thin (though not quite net book).
DriverHeaven compared Win 7 Gaming Performance with XP and Vista. Many people (and websites) still hail Windows XP as the OS of choice so today we will ascertain if you should be making the leap to Windows 7 when it is released next month.
The Hubble Space Telescope has been refurbished by a recent Shuttle mission and has sent back some fantastic new pictures. "This marks a new beginning for Hubble," said Ed Weiler, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The telescope was given an extreme makeover and now is significantly more powerful than ever, well-equipped to last into the next decade."
TechSpot compared a range of mainstream quad-core CPUs. With more powerful quad-core processors becoming mainstream, and with so many options currently available, we wanted to know which CPU provides users with the most value at under $300 (USD). That said, we won't just be evaluating the value of the individual processors, but also their accompanying platforms.
TechGage meanwhile are overclocking Intel's Core i5-750 & i7-870 CPUs. We found out earlier this week that Intel's Lynnfield-based processors are fast, but who said that cranking the clocks to make them even faster was a bad idea? In this article, we take both the Core i5-750 and i7-870 for an overclocking joyride, and the stable overclocks we were able to achieve is nothing short of impressive.
The IEEE have ratified 802.11n, the next generation wireless LAN standard. This new amendment to the IEEE 802.11 base standard is designed to help the data communications industry address the escalating demands placed on enterprise, home and public WLANs with the rise of higher-bandwidth file transfers and next-generation multimedia applications.
Sniper spotted this story about a plug-in OS X bootloader apparently not being what it seems. Quite simply, one need only connect the EFI-X module onto a motherboard's USB header, boot the system, set the module as the default booting device, and go. Have a retail Mac OS X Leopard disc handy? Insert, and boot. Install, reboot and you're running OS X on a PC (using compatible hardware of course) almost perfectly--and this is where the problems really began.
Phalanx sent in some surprising news about a topic that has always angered me: UK PM Gordon Brown has apologised for the treatment of Alan Turing. One of the greatest minds in history, who quite literally helped save the world during WWII and created the modern concept of computer science, he was arrested and sentenced to chemical castration, driving him to commit suicide two years later. His crime? Being gay. On Thursday, September 10, 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a lengthy apology to Alan Turing for the way he was treated in the post war era, following the creation of an online petition that received thousands of signatures.
From Will: Following on from the news post the other day about Beached Whale being picked up by the ABC, they've just released Episode 2 - "The Snail". Linky here.
A few people sent this in: A South African IT company has proved it is faster to transmit data via a carrier pigeon than to send it using the country's leading internet service provider. As the old saying goes, never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. I could certainly drive a 16GB USB stick from here to Sydney quicker than I could upload it.
An Apple update from IntelInside: Apple co-founder Steve Jobs received a standing ovation in San Francisco on Wednesday. Wearing his trademark long-sleeved black shirt, jeans and sneakers he announced "About five months ago I had a liver transplant, so I now have the liver of a mid-20s person who died in a car crash and was generous enough to donate their organs". He positively stated ""I'm vertical," he said. "I'm back at Apple, loving every day of it." He unveiled an updated Ipod Nano that "includes a video camera, an FM radio, a pedometer and a microphone and speaker." And said "Apple would be introducing 30,000 ringtones for sale through the iPhone store." Just hours before the event, Apple cut the prices of its iPod Touch, Nano, Shuffle and Classic models.
BFM spotted cooling using frickin' lasers. The concept of laser cooling is three decades old, but German researchers have finally leaped beyond previous failures to show that bombarding high-pressure gas with a laser can produce dramatic cooling.
AMD unveiled EyeFinity, a feature of their next-generation DX11 Radeon cards that allow a single GPU to drive up to 6 monitors - as a single huge display. In a system with 4 GPUs, you can create a mega display using 24 monitors. Life-size gaming! Here's a demo video from AMD:
Steam users might want to check this thread which has details of a possible security issue with Steam accounts. I just checked my account and I was vulnerable to the same issue. I log on to Steam at least every few days and have an up-to-date version of Steam. I had no idea that Steam made basic account security opt-in, rather than just put it into one of their regular software updates.
Interesting Forum Threads
(link) Thursday, 10-September-2009 14:21:40 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Here's a quick snapshot of what's going on in the forums. You can also find new interesting things you might have missed via the Who's Online page, the New Posts page and the Live forum view. Also something a lot of people don't know about is the Today's Posts link (find it on the Quick Links menu).
The charges against a QLD man for posting a baby-swinging video have been dropped, in a triumph of common sense. "This prosecution was discontinued ... after the matter was reviewed by the CDPP in accordance with the prosecution policy of the Commonwealth taking into account all the circumstances involved including the classification given to the material by the Classification Board," she said.
Kevin Rudd's website has apparently been attacked and taken down (although not "hacked" as described in the article). The hacker calls for Senator Conroy to resign and also posted a link which is purported to be a list of websites on the banned content list.
A couple of people sent in a security advisory about Vista and Windows 7 related to blue screens and SMB, but apparently there's no issue, or at least, it hasn't been confirmed yet. Microsoft is investigating new public reports of a possible vulnerability in Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) implementation. We are not aware of attacks that try to use the reported vulnerabilities or of customer impact at this time.
Here's a cool project to make a Big Daddy suit (from Bioshock). This build and the execution of wearing it was more of a group effort than anything I have ever tackled before. While I did the construction of the prop myself, I did have a number of people assisting me in handling the costume during the convention itself. Emily, Mandy and I won "Best Journeyman" as well as "Best Professional Design" at Dragon*Con for this suit as well as for their costumes.
Fancy a career as a blog spammer? An Australian digital agency is advertising for someone to take on a "supplied persona" and surreptitiously promote clients on blogs and chatrooms. I look forward to deleting your forum posts. :)
ArsTechnica claim to have some training materials from Microsoft that directly tackle Linux. While there are correct assertions in the slides, the majority of the statements are inaccurate, or are only accurate in the specific way they are worded.
PureOC have an overclocking value comparison. After carefully considering some of the comments, we decided to expand our examination and follow up with another Intel vs AMD article, one that instead focused on CPU performance and overclocking. Today we bring you that article, once again tackling another topic that sets off the passion: does AMD or Intel provide better overclocking value?"
MaximumPC have a guide to making a MAME arcade cabinet with your old PC bits. When you think about an arcade machine, what comes to mind? For most people, it’s the cabinet. From the classic standup cabinets like Centipede, with its loud sideart, to the behemoth six-player, two-screen X-Men machines, to the sit-down cocktail Galaga cabinets, every games was its own distinct experience. They were more than just video games, they were furniture.
Today is 9/9/9, thanks JC. You win nothing. ;) Besides, it's much more important to note that yesterday was Star Trek's birthday!
It's not the first time that this has happened, but it's worth a reminder: Facebook scammers are out to get your cash. Natasha Cann endured the Father's Day from hell on Sunday when hackers broke into her Facebook account and proceeded to scam her closest friends out of significant amounts of money.
Speaking of scams, beware fake renewal notices about domain names, trademarks, etc. I actually got a couple of these about 3 months ago and the main tipoff was that my wife also got some for her business at the same time. Turns out it wasn't really a renewal at all, just a "transfer to us" type scam, relying on office workers being too busy to notice and just paying every bill that arrives on their desk.
The iPhone now has a C64 emulator. Well, except it has been pulled from the iTunes store for now. Apple had worked with the developer to remove the BASIC interpreter from the initial version of C64 as it violated the SDK clause specifically prohibiting interpreted or executable code. So when Apple discovered that it was possible to enable it using the hack like we did, they had no choice but to remove it from the iPhone App Store.
Paul spotted a demo of touchless browsing. This time 'round the company's teamed up with Opera and presents us with a much more polished affair, not to mention a couple technical details. According to CEO Stian Aldrin, the device is based on ultrasound, tracks the hand itself (no reflector or sensor necessary), has a range of one foot, and has been designed to be either embedded in any electronic device (including a cellphone) or to connect to devices via USB.
PopularMechanics have a list of 10 awesome DIY projects, including a giant car-crushing hand. It is powered by a 90-hp Perkins 1104C-44T four-cylinder diesel engine and is controlled through a glove worn by the operator. At demonstrations, that operator is usually a random member of the audience.
PeXa noticed a story on Slashdot about the Church of Scientology proposing net censorship in Australia. Recommendation 2: Restriction on Anonymity on acts of Religious Vilification: 2.1 Websites created with primary purpose of inciting religious vilification shall be removed or their access to the Australian public restricted. 2.2 Creators of websites whose primary purpose is the incitement of religious vilification shall be prevented from concealing their identity.
Tomorrow USA time (I assume) the biggest game of monopoly launches, using Google Maps, thanks Mark. Own any street in the world. Build humble houses, crazy castles and stupendous skyscrapers to collect rent. Use MONOPOLY Chance Cards to sabotage your mates by building Hazards on their streets.
Canada is knee-deep in copyright reform at the moment, thanks OhSmeg. There are only six days left in the consultation and the thousands that have spoken out for fair copyright - the students, teachers, Internet users, software programmers, privacy advocates, librarians, and a growing number of creators - now find themselves under attack from two sides.
He also sent in some computing conspiracies over on PCPro. The US government knows that little green men exist - and it also knows that we'll never find them by listening for radio signals. So to keep us off the scent, it promotes futile SETI research. ... The fact that SETI research now receives no public money seems to derail the idea that the US government are using it to distract us from the real way to reach aliens.
Today's timewaster is Elements, from Damien. It's an online card game in the same vein as Magic the Gathering.
Today Intel has officially unveiled their new Core i7 870, 860 and Core i5 750 processors, designed to work on the LGA1156 platform. The Core i5 750 will be the first mainstream Intel processor built using the Nehalem architecture and priced under $300AUD.
If you find yourself stuck in a life-threatening situation, and you find your phone has a strong signal, the trick is to ring for help, not update your facebook status. The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) says it is worrying that two girls lost last night in a stormwater drain raised the alert on a social networking site rather than ringing 000.
You'll be greatly saddened to hear that Geocities is closing. If you do not download your files and images before October 26, 2009, you will no longer be able to access that data. After October 26, your GeoCities files will be deleted from our servers, and will not be recoverable. It's as if a million animated gifs cried out at once.. and then were silent.
LegitReviews have a guide to building a mini-ITX system using nVIDIA's ION. Building a mini-ITX computer system is a popular topic these days and for good reason. The form factor is very small, a wide selection of platforms is available and the component pricing is fairly decent. This build guide will quickly go through the steps of building a mini-ITX build from out of the box to completion. Lots of this kind of stuff in our Portable & SFF Forum at the moment.
One of the oldest computers in the UK (and presumably the world) is to be restored to working order. The computer, which was designed in 1949, first ran in 1951 and was designed to perform mathematical calculations; it lasted until 1973. When first built the 2.4m x 5m computer was state-of-the-art, although it was superseded by transistor-based systems.
That "I'm beached as, bro!" thing that was doing the rounds months ago seems to have spawned a TV show on the ABC. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I guess you can find out on ABC2 on Thursday, or ABC1 in late October, according to the website.
Koopz reminded me of this video which my Dad had actually told me to go looking for. Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who just won Ukraine's version of "America's Got Talent." She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and "sand painting" skills to interpret Germany's invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII. This was amazing, sobering, and deeply saddening all in the same moment.
Melbourne company 360desktop have a contest to design desktop wallpaper. The team will pick a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners from the top five downloaded OCAU wallpapers. The 1st prize winner will receive a $100AUD cash prize and a yearly Pro User account at 360desktop. 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive a yearly Pro-User account at the site.
Warcom are running an OCAU Thread of the Month competition. You can win Warcom vouchers by recommending a thread, or starting a thread, or just being useful/entertaining in a thread.
Also, there's DataRetriever's ongoing promo to win goodies by referring people to them. While the original promo will be continuing indefinitely, I've put together an assortment of prizes which you can win just for referring people to us - you get an entry simply for every customer who contacts us for a quote, some advice, or more info.
Andrew357 sends a reminder that he is raising money for Multiple Sclerosis by riding in the MS Sydney to the Gong bike ride again this year. This year, if I reach $3000 I will once again advertise OCAU on my legs and arms again, and if we reach $5000 I will shave and razor my head.
The GTA:SA Hot Coffee saga is finally over, it seems. ONE of the most bizarre chapters in video game history has finally ended with a $23 million settlement. The Grand Theft Auto "Hot Coffee" case came to a close this week as games company Take-Two Interactive struck a $US20 million out-of-court deal.
A Chinese company has DDoS'd their opposition, resulting in widespread outages and several arrests. While the national scale of the effects was unusual, such attacks are common among some small Internet businesses competing to draw customers in China, security researchers say.
NASA has released lots of high resolution Mars photos. Thousands of newly released images from more than 1,500 telescopic observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show a wide range of gullies, dunes, craters, geological layering and other features on the Red Planet.
The sales ban on MS Word has been overturned, somewhat unsurprisingly. However, Microsoft has successfully requested a stay against the ban, and has asked for its appeal to be heard as soon as possible because the ruling stood to inflict "irreparable harm" on the company's business by keeping "the centrepiece of its product line out of the market for months".
Bjorn3D have an article on SSD Optimisation & Longevity. With the inherent expense of SSD's recent concerns about longevity and optimization have surfaced. With 1 Million hours MTBF the drives have a pretty good lifespan but if you are interested in longevity and optimizing the drive for maximum performance here's a few tips and tricks you may want to experiment with.
Duffy pointed out an article on the high failure rate of Xbox 360's. In the first two years of ownership, SquareTrade found that 2.7 percent of Wii owners reported a system failure, compared with 23.7 percent of Xbox 360 owners and 10 percent of PS3 owners. Slightly more than half of all Xbox 360 failures were "red ring of death" related, while the remaining 11.7% were "other" failures.
They've brought out the big guns to tackle the Los Angeles fires - a 747-based fire extinguisher. Supertanker, a 747-100 modified by Evergreen Aviation of Oregon, can deliver more than 20,000 gallons of fire retardant with considerable accuracy using its unique pressurized delivery system. Although Supertanker can't snake through canyons like smaller aircraft, nothing can touch its payload or its ability to perform multiple controlled drops during a single flight.
Excited about Windows 7? Maybe you should hold a launch party at your house. Apply online to host a Windows 7 Launch Party. Choose a day from October 22-29 and if you're selected, you'll not only receive a special Signature Edition of Windows 7 Ultimate but your very own Windows 7 Party Pack. Which hopefully includes lots of beer.
James May of Top Gear fame is building a Lego house. This two-story Lego palace, which resides in the middle of a vineyard, sports a working bathroom, and is covered inside and out with bricks pieced together by 272 Legos. Over three million bricks were used to build the Lego pad, so doing some quick math here - that's over 816 million Lego pieces!
IEEE Spectrum has an article on agumented reality via contact lenses. Even a lens with a single pixel could aid people with impaired hearing or be incorporated as an indicator into computer games. With more colors and resolution, the repertoire could be expanded to include displaying text, translating speech into captions in real time, or offering visual cues from a navigation system.
Microsoft are discontinuing Encarta. On October 31, 2009, MSN Encarta Web sites worldwide will be discontinued, with the exception of Encarta Japan, which will be discontinued on December 31, 2009. Why? People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past. Yup.. we pretty much just use Wikipedia now. TestFreaks show how to keep it all at your fingertips now too.
It's nearly trial time for the guy from QLD who uploaded a baby-swinging video. Despite having no involvement in the creation of the three-minute clip, he was committed to a trial by jury in the District Court on July 8. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment for each of the two charges.
Jetstar are re-thinking their IT policies, including adding a BYO laptop requirement for employees, thanks Koopz. "In two years' time a laptop should be a condition of employment, and this includes bringing your own laptop," he said. "It's an HR issue, not an IT issue. "I don't want to care any more about the standard operating environment, or manage it, or care about the brand."
Robbers cleaned out an Apple store in 31 seconds flat, thanks Paul. Then, with precision timing, the five men enter the store and clean house like there's no tomorrow. Each one moved in a different direction, lifting Macbook Pros which can run upwards of $3,000. In all, they took 23 Macbook Pros, 14 iPhones and nine iPod Touches. Discussion here.
Rage noticed that the Internet Archive now contains films that are in the Public Domain, usually due to their age. This is paradise for fans of classic sci-fi/horror. Cat-Women of the Moon! Invasion of the Bee Girls! Grave of the Vampire!
I linked this in "Interesting Forum Threads" earlier but it's worth a closer look. A cheap online storage company called BackBlaze have developed their own cheap rack storage system. After looking at several overpriced commercial solutions, we decided to build our own custom Backblaze Storage Pods: 67 terabyte 4U servers for $7,867. It's an interesting read, with discussion here.
Timbot sent in this article showing how CPUs are made, with lots of CGI pictures showing each stage. This fraction of a ready wafer is being put to a first functionality test. In this stage test patterns are fed into every single chip and the response from the chip monitored and compared to "the right answer".
Telstra had a major international outage this morning. The outage - which occurred between 7.50am and 8.50am - affected all Telstra home and business ADSL broadband, cable and mobile internet customers nationwide, the company said. It is unclear if Telstra wholesale customers were also affected by the outage. Telstra said it had fixed the problem but was unaware of its cause.
HardOCP have an article on Wolfenstein Gameplay Performance and IQ. This incarnation of Wolfenstein is powered by id Tech 4, which used to be known as the Doom 3 engine, and has also powered such games as Quake 4, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and Prey. This generation of id Tech was first seen powering Doom 3, which was released on August 3rd of 2004. So, while the engine has certainly been updated and modified for Wolfenstein, the underlying technology is five years old.
Stephen Conroy has been urged to end the net censorship farce by the Opposition. The Federal Government's internet censorship trials have been repeatedly delayed over the past nine months, leading to claims from the Opposition that the Government is deliberately withholding the results to avoid embarrassment. Meanwhile you can Fax your MP easily, thanks VILJAR.
Perth may be enjoying some of the best wireless broadband in the country soon, say Seven Network. Seven said its wholly owned subsidiary Vividwireless planned to establish a fourth generation (4G) wireless broadband network in Perth by March next year.
A New Zealand woman has been compensated after being fired for sending ALL CAPS emails. A tribunal heard that she spread disharmony among her co-workers by sending missives with entire sentences in block capitals. She also behaved "provocatively" by highlighting key phrases in bold or red, her employer ProCare Health claimed. More info here.
From csimpson: Die-hard race fans might be interested to know that V8 Supercars are going to appear in the Forza Motorsport 3 racing game for Xbox 360. There's no info on whether any Australian tracks will be available, though. Images from the event here, new in-game screenshots here. IGN Oz also has coverage.
Tweaktown have video coverage of MSI's Master Overclocking Arena in Beijing. There were about 100 people in the group consisting of MSI staff, overclockers and media from all over the world. As far as the competition went, there were a total of 20 global overclocking teams (two competitors per team) from about 15 different countries.
WD has some new 2TB drives. High-performance hard drives by an industry leader in performance, WD Caviar Black and WD RE4 2 TB drives combine 7200 RPM spin speed, 64 MB cache, dual stage actuator technology, SATA 3 gigabits per second (Gb/s) interface, and an integrated dual processor to deliver ultimate performance in a maximum-capacity drive.
(link) Tuesday, 1-September-2009 20:59:44 (GMT +10) - by Agg
Canon have announced their EOS 7D digital SLR camera. It fits between the 50D and the 5Dmk2, offering 18Mpixels, 1.6x crop, full HD 1080p movie mode and a built-in Speedlite transmitter. There's a hands-on preview here on DPReview, and a discussion thread here.
Rezin spotted a guide to having bots fighting on your TF2 main menu. However, my research eventually blossomed into an amazing discovery that led to having bots battling it out whilst I scrolled through the server list. Trust me, this WILL impress you.
Elliot pointed out a new SSD article on Anandtech. It's a daunting, no, deflating task to write what I view as the third part in this trilogy of articles. JMicron is all but gone from the market for now, Indilinx came and improved (a lot) and TRIM is nearly upon us. Plus, we all know how trilogies turn out. Here's hoping that this one doesn't have Ewoks in it.
Telstra have given the media a peek into their Global Operations Centre in Melbourne, thanks Sam and mshagg. To get some idea of the magnitude of the scale of monitoring required in this massive facility: the Telstra network handles almost 5 billion PSTN calls per year, 9 billion SMS messages, 10 million Telstra mobile services and over one million wireless broadband customers. The center monitors the whole core NextIP network (the IP-based backbone of all of Telstra's networks), GSM, Next G, PSTN, ADSL and cable networks.
SMH have an article about the founder of Facebook and some of the bizarre goings-on behind the scenes. In 2004, aboard the yacht of a Sun Microsystems executive, the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and friends apparently dined on a koala.
Disney has apparently bought Marvel Entertainment for $US 4B, thanks YH. More than 5,000 iconic comic book characters will soon be in the hands of Disney, raising serious questions about the future of Marvel video game titles from Activision, Sega, and the upcoming MMO from Gazillion Entertainment.
There's a new major firmware update for the PS3 available, version 3.0. Official details from Sony here, and discussion here. First, you’ll notice some cosmetic changes to the design of the XMB (Xross Media Bar). We’ve enhanced the look and feel of the XMB so that it’s easier and even more intuitive to use. We’ve also added network improvements and personalization options to help enhance your PS3 experience.