Microsoft Security Updates for August 2008
Microsoft has issued a hefty 11 bulletins addressing 26 vulnerabilities in its August security release. The monthly security update includes six bulletins that address issues rated 'critical', the highest of Microsoft's security alert levels. Four of the critical bulletins addressed vulnerabilities in Office. Those patches included fixes for an ActiveX control in Office 2003 and older, flaws in Office filters, Powerpoint and Excel.
All four could be used by an attacker to remotely execute code. The company also fixed remote code vulnerabilities in the Image Color Management software for Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003. The remaining critical bulletin was an update to a previous patch for Internet Explorer 6 and 7. The five remaining vulnerabilities were all rated 'important'. Those included fixes for remote code flaws in Word and information disclosure risks in Outlook and Windows Messenger. Also fixed was an information disclosure flaw in the IPSec software for Windows Vista and Server, as well as a remote code execution vulnerability in the Windows Event System component for all versions of the operating system.
DRAM module makers start dumping inventory
With DRAM contract prices bidding farewell to a upward pricing trend that had been maintained since April, DRAM module makers have started dumping their inventory, which they have been building from the second quarter, according to industry sources.
According to InSpectrum, DRAM contract prices enjoyed a steady rise from April to the second half of May. Prices later remained flat through July. But in the first half of August, price of the benchmark 1Gb DDR2-800 posted a drop for the first time since the second half of March at a decline of 0.9%.
The research firm projected that DRAM contract prices should weaken in the first half of August because PC OEMs still house relatively high inventory levels and weak demand has discouraged their re-stocking incentive. The industry sources remarked that the inventory issue is spreading to DRAM module houses as well.
Some DRAM module houses started piling up their inventory late in the second quarter under an anticipation that an upward-trend in contract prices would help spur spot prices to trend upward later. Yet, given that the upward DRAM contract price has started weakening, worries of an aggravated price trend has thus surfaced and stimulated the inventory dump, the sources explained.
Forum login issues - Please read
Yesterday we had a small problem with the forum user accounts. After being logged off people where not able to login despite the fact that their password was correct. This issue was dealt with within the hour. We noticed however a lot of user reports by email.
Guys you have not been banned :) This was an issue on our end. Please login again and all should be fine. Should you still have an issue then please use this form and contact us with your forum username + email.
Intel finally released USB 3.0 controller spec
After a lot of criticism from the industry Intel today released a draft version of the controller interface spec for USB 3.0, the next generation of its peripheral format. The information provides a guide for hardware makers to relay information from the USB controller hardware to the software that manages it and helps settle a dispute triggered by AMD and NVIDIA, which accused Intel of knowingly withholding information about the interface to give systems based on Intel hardware an advantage over those using rival copmonents.
The specification is under license but doesn't include a royalty, allowing AMD and other companies wanting to promote USB 3.0 to use the technology without having to pay Intel a recurring fee for support. AMD mentions in the announcement that it supports the publication as part of an open standard.
Publishing the information lets computer part builders start sooner on integrating USB 3.0 into finished hardware, which is most likely to appear sometime in 2009. The connection standard is also known as SuperSpeed USB and is planned to deliver over ten times more bandwidth than USB 2.0, peaking at up to 5Gbps and potentially eclipsing the rival FireWire 3200 spec in practical output.
Bionic Commando video game to use GPU-accelerated NVIDIA PhysX
Capcom, GRIN Entertainment, and NVIDIA jointly announced that Capcom
NVIDIA - Team green goes in the Red
NVIDIA, team green went into the red this quarter. In the three month period ending on July 27 Nvidia has seen its revenue reach $892.7 million, some 5% lower than the $935.3 million of Q2 of FY 2008 with the worst thing reported being the net loss of $120.9 million or $0.22 per share.
In Q2 of FY 2009 Nvidia not only faced a stronger opposition in the GPU market, but it also had to deal with a $196 million write-off to fix and handle the problems brought on by an issue with its G84 and G86-powered mobile chips.
"Our Q2 financial performance was disappointing. The desktop PC market around the world weakened during the quarter. And our miscalculation of competitive price position further pressured our desktop GPU business. We have a great product line-up and, having taken the necessary pricing actions, we are strongly positioned again. Our focus now is to drive cost improvements and to further enhance our competitiveness through the many exciting initiatives we have planned for the rest of the year," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. "In contrast, the rest of our businesses did not exhibit the same dynamics as our desktop business. The notebook GPU, MCP, and Professional Solutions groups grew a combined 27 percent year-over year."
AMD cuts prices of Three Phenom Processors
AMD dropped in to say they announced a couple of price cuts, to make its processor lineup more competitive.
These are the new prices, which are slightly above the cost to distribution and are ex VAT to represent the cost to retailers and system builders:
- X4 9850 BE - was $205 - now $194 - down 5.4 percent
- X4 9550 - was $175 - now $154 - down 12 percent
- X3 8450 - was $125 - now $104 - down 16.8 percent
AMD preparing to split in two - only weeks away?
It is speculated that AMD might split into a chip development firm led by new CEO Dirk Meyer and a manufacturing arm were Hector Ruiz might find a new job as CEO.
"Officially, there is virtually no clear information on the announcement and the direction of Asset Light/Smart provided by AMD. In the company
Download: GPU-Z 0.2.7 released
GPU-Z is a lightweight utility designed to give you all information about your video card and GPU.
GPU-Z 0.2.7 is out and it supports catalyst 8.7 beta & latest forceware drivers.
Here is the list of changes :
- Added display for GPU release date.
- Added display for transistor count
- Added mouseover readings for sensors graph
- Correctly named the three on-die sensors of RV770 and RV730
- Added support for voltage regulator monitoring on HD 4870 and HD 4870 X2
- RV770 GPU on HD 4870 X2 now called R700
- Added support for reading HD 4870 X2 3D clocks
- Added display of CrossFire Sideport status on HD 4870 X2
- Added more RV730 device IDs
- Added support for GeForce 9800 GT, 9800M GT, 9600M GT, 9700M GS/GT, 9500M G
- Added detection for RS780D
- Fixed incorrectly read ATI OD5 clocks
- Fix for memory clock reading on RV730
- Fixed ROM reading on RV730
- Fixed crash when no supported card detected
- Sensor graph width adjusted when scrollbars visible
Download - click here.
Meet the new Lara Croft - And Observe
It will not be long now befire the new Tomb Raider game is to be released. And as a tradition, what's new ? .. well at the very least a new Lara Croft model. The new model will take over the humble job of well .. posting sexy from Karima Adebibe and her name is .. drumroll .. Alison Carroll. At the perky age of 23 she is a professional gymnast from Croydon. Eidos traditionally seeks a new model for each major Tomb Raider, with the exception of Chronicles and Anniversary as it seems.
Previous models where Nell McAndrew and Rhona Mitra. Now then, let's talk meat. Personally I like the new model much better. What do you think ? To the left the all new Alison Carroll and the the right Karima Adebibe. oh that's definitely Cup D ... ehm. Yeah hum. Serious journalism -- coughs.
Vista security - rendered useless
Alarmed about Vista security? Black Hat researcher Alexander Sotirov speaks out.
"Earlier today I published a lengthy blog post questioning some of the sensationalist conclusions raised in press coverage of a paper presented by Alexander Sotirov and Mark Dowd at last week
NVIDIA PhysX Drivers and Software mayhem
And when I say mayhem .. it's the good kind. NVIDIA just released their PhysX packs and compatible drivers. NVIDIA on Tuesday gave its existing customers a bonus through the GeForce Power Pack, a new set of drivers that expose new features to certain GeForce cards.
The upgrade takes advantage of the more universal nature of the effects processing cores in GeForce 8-, 9- and GTX-series cards to drive tasks that would normally depend on the main CPU. All these cards can now speed up physics in games and other apps that support PhysX; in specially enabled game maps with the new physics turned on, a mid-range GeForce 9800 GTX+ is nearly three times faster than the ATI Radeon HD 4850 that NVIDIA hopes to beat.
Let's walk through some of the stuff. In case you missed it, please read our article on these packs right here.
GeForce ForceWare 177.83 with included PhysX driver:
This driver supports NVIDIA GeForce 8-series, 9-series, and 200-series desktop GPUs, including the newly released GeForce 9800 GTX+, 9800 GT, and 9500 GT GPUs. The driver adds support for NVIDIA PhysX
NVIDIA upgrades Quadro FX notebook and Plex
NVIDIA this morning made official upgrades to its Quadro FX notebook line that carry over lessons learned from the desktop GTX and mobile 9800M lines to pro-level graphics. Each chip is now capable of not only accelerating video but performing general computing at the same time using NVIDIA's CUDA language. The change lets the graphics processors work alongside the main system processor to speed up digital media editing, scientific calculations, and other more universal tasks.
The range is headlined by the Quadro FX 3700M and 2700M, both of which are aimed at 17-inch desktop replacements such as the ThinkPad W700. They include 128 and 48 graphics effects cores each, all of which support general computing, and both have a faster 256-bit memory path. The 3700M also holds up to 1GB of video memory while the less demanding 2700M can use 512MB.
Multiple chips are also available for 15.4-inch and smaller notebooks, NVIDIA says: the 1700M drops to 32 cores and a 128-bit interface to lower its power needs, while the 770M has similar features for lower-power environments. The 370M is designed for the smallest systems the Quadro FX can support and uses just eight cores and a 64-bit interface.
All the graphics options are being built into new notebooks as of today, though ship dates for these systems vary. Dell, Fujitsu, HP, and Lenovo are all launch partners. Other operating systems aren't mentioned, though CUDA is also supported in Mac OS X.
High-end workstation users also receive an upgrade to the Quadro Plex external line; the 2200 D2 and 2100 D4 each use NVIDIA's newest Quadro FX desktop cards in groups to help process 3D modeling and other high-end tasks. The 2200 D2 uses two newer FX 5800 cards with a combined 480 cores, while the 2100 D4 uses slower FX 4700 cards but uses four of them to improve performance with multiple displays. NVIDIA sells the Quadro Plex line itself and starts them at $10,750 when they go on sale this fall.
PhysX FluidMark v1.0.0
PhysX FluidMark is a physics benchmark based on NVIDIA PhysX engine. This benchmark performs a fluid simulation by imitating the renderering of lava. Real physics parameters such as viscosity are used. SPH (Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics) algorithm is enabled to increase the realism of the simulation.
PhysX FluidMark can run in pure software mode (all calculations are done on the CPU), or in hardware mode. Hardware mode includes 2 kinds of hardware:
- Ageia PhysX PPU
- GeForce PhysX - GeForce 8/9/GTX200 graphics cards only
This benchmark exploits OpenGL for graphic acceleration and requires an OpenGL 2.0 compliant graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce 5/6/7/8/9/GTX200 (and higher), AMD/ATI Radeon 9600+, 1k/2k/3k/4k (and higher) or a S3 Graphics Chrome 400 series with the latest graphics drivers.
PhysX FluidMark requires NVDIA PhysX drivers 8.08.01 or higher and the CUDA DLL (this DLL has to be copied in the benchmark folder if your Forceware drivers are < 177.79 or if you don't have a GeForce (Radeon, etc.)).
Download - Click here.
Thermaltake Digital Home PC Chassis gets an update
Thermaltake upgraded Digital Home PC Chassis DH103 and DH104, offers improved expansibility to fulfill the extreme home theater builders
Video: Propane Plant Explodes in Toronto
Bloody heck ...
Intel to ship cheaper mobile quad-core CPU
Intel will announce a second mobile quad-core processor when it kicks off its Developer Forum next week, according to a report. While the Santa Clara, California-based company is commonly known to be preparing a 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme destined for high-end mobile workstations and gaming systems, a second model under the more mainstream Core 2 Quad name will also reportedly be available. Known under a Q9100 model name, the processor will run at a lower 2.26GHz clock speed and have its speed multiplier locked to encourage gamers to adopt the more expensive 2.53GHz part.
The processor will otherwise be functionally equivalent to the higher-end device, with 12MB of Level 2 cache as well as a 1,066MHz system bus common to all of Intel's newest processors. It's not yet known whether the processor will consume less power, though Intel typically uses only the Extreme label for high-powered mobile chips it doesn't expect to see in thinner notebooks.
Costs for the 2.26GHz processor will be significantly lower than the $1,036 Intel is believed to be charging resellers per chip, but will still be reserved for higher-end systems at a price of $851 per processor in batches of 1,000. Systems based on quad-core chips, such as HP's new EliteBooks, will start shipping before the end of the month.
Indilinx debuts 230MBs SSD controller
Though I would not recommend to use SD cards as Solid State driver due to lifespan Indilinx has just introduced its Barefoot solid state drive controller with 90-nanometer process technology. They said it's device has reportedly shown the "fastest read speed (230MB/sec) of all the products currently available in the market and supports the capacity up to 512GB with multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash." Additionally, it plays nice with SATA 2.0 and flash memory from Samsung, Toshiba, Hynix and Intel / Micron. Sadly, mass production isn't scheduled until Q4 of this year, so now you can sit on that vanilla HDD even longer as you wait for the future to arrive. Ugh, what a tease.
Indilinx, a fabless semiconductor company, announced today it has completed the development of IDX22 (Product Name: Barefoot