MS preps 12 fixes for August Patch Tuesday
Microsoft is preparing 12 security fixes - seven critical - as part of the August edition of its regular Patch Tuesday update cycle.
The seven "critical" fixes due out next Tuesday (12 August) cover flaws in Windows, Media Player, Internet Explorer and Office. All supported version of Windows - including Vista - will need patching.
The five less serious "important" flaws cover vulnerabilities in Windows, Outlook Express and Windows Messenger. With so many client systems needing patching it is tempting to think that some sysadmins might be recalled from the beach to handle the workload, which is unusually heavy for this time of the year. Neither June or July were particularly busy, bringing just one critical bug between them against seven in this month alone.More details on the upcoming updates can be found in a pre-alert notice from Microsoft here.
GPS tracking slapped on laptop recovery service
Absolute Software has added GPS tracking to its laptop theft-recovery and asset-tracking service.
The availability of geolocation tracking for Computrace will allow asset managers to track GPS-enabled laptops to within ten metres and view their location using Google Maps technology. The technology will also speed recovery of missing or stolen computers, being easier to use than previous IP address-based tracking technology.
The technology uses embedded GPS receivers to acquire latitude and longitude location information from remote computers. This data, sent when the machines are connected to the internet, is then displayed on Absolute's web-based IT asset management portal, showing the current or historical location of a piece of kit.
Use of the technology means that salesmen may no longer be able to claim that they are visiting client premises rather than sneaking down the pub. The upside is that the lives of managers - particularly in the increasingly frequent cases where laptops are lost or stolen - is made a lot easier.
Other aspects of Computrace allow the remote deletion of sensitive information for regulatory compliance and the detection of hardware changes or prohibited software installations. Absolute's investigative team can be wheeled out to physically recover lost or stolen computers, and to work out what changes have been made to purloined PCs once they are recovered.
Computrace software is embedded in the firmware of computers from the the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba and Fujitsu. The agent is designed to withstand operating system re-installations, as well as hard-drive reformats, replacements and re-imaging. Subscriptions run for terms ranging from one to four years.Geolocation tracking is available to Computrace customers at no extra cost on supported GPS receivers (list here). Use of a Qualcomm UNDP-1 (Gobi) wireless module is listed as a system requirement.
Download: AMD Overdrive 2.1.2
This version of AMD OverDrive Utility supports systems with the AMD RD790/RS780/RX780/RS780D serials boards.
AMD OverDrive Utility (AOD) in general provides user the ability to maximize the capability, flexibility, and adjustability of the AMD chipset products; it allows user to tune parameters to ensure system stability, optimize performance, and control cooling/acoustic characteristics. Our target is to provide an all-in-one utility which can deliver all-around stellar operation.
AMD OverDrive Utility 2.1.2 (2008-06-11)
- Added SidePort memory overclocking feature
- Added fan control feature for SB700 boards with EC enabled
- Disable fan broken detect settings if this feature is not available
- Changed to new skin system
AMD FirePro line of workstation graphics
The FirePro is also the first mid-range offering at AMD to come with DisplayPort connectors, with a top-end V5700 (shown) coming with two of the next-generation display outputs on top of one dual-link DVI output for attaching as many as three 30-inch displays to a single card.
The V5700 is the fastest of the group with 320 shader processors for pixels and vertices and 512MB of onboard video memory. AMD in turn positions the V3700 as an entry-level model for basic workstations with 40 shader units, 256MB of memory, and a simpler two-port dual-link DVI setup for output. Both cards support hardware acceleration of certain 2D video formats and will also accelerate general math written to the company's Stream Computing format.
Shipments of the V3700 have already started at a price of $99, which AMD claims is the least expensive price for a workstation card to date. The V5700 appears in September and carries a $599 price for its more advanced features. AMD publicly lists support for Linux and Windows systems but is known to be promoting the OpenCL standard for on-GPU general computing proposed by Apple.
New 32-inch LCD panel uses 50 percent less power
AUO explained that it has reduced the numbers of cold-cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) used in a traditional backlight unit (BLU) from 16 tubes to 4 u-type tubes, and the content of mercury in each tube is reduced by 82%.
In addition to the power-saving CCFL panel, AUO is looking at LED backlighting as another energy saving strategy for its LCD panels. By 2010, AUO will adopt LED backlighting for all of its notebook panels, according to the company.
Guru3D: PhysX by NVIDIA - A review of what to see next week
Next Tuesday NVIDIA will introduce a new set of GeForce drivers, PhysX driver and a PhysX pack. All GeForce series 8 and newer cards will get full PhysX support with a little help of the guys from Ageia and NVIDIA's CUDA team.
We take a peek at what is released next week, what can you expect, what combo's are possible and obviously our opinion on the entire PhysX experience.
Find the article right here ...
review: Passively cooled Sparkle GeForce 9600 GT
I'm sorry but that's just a heck of a lot more value than the 9500 GT will offer gaming performance wise. And next to that, as this review will show .. the product has a few surprises ready under it's sleeves, it's passively cooled, overclock like a beast and looks drop-dead gorgeous !
Check that out man:
Microsoft to share vulnerabilities much faster
Microsoft announced it will roll out a new program in October that will inform security vendors much sooner about security flaws:
Starting in October, Microsoft will start sharing details on software vulnerabilities with security vendors ahead of Patch Tuesday under a daring new program aimed at reducing the window of exposure to hacker attacks.
The new Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP), which will be formally announced at Black Hat USA 2008 here, will give anti-virus, intrusion prevention/detection and corporate network security vendors a headstart to add signatures and filters to protect against Microsoft software vulnerabilities.
The idea is to provide detection guidance ahead of time to help security vendors reproduce the vulnerabilities being patched and ship signatures and detection capabilities without false positives.
According to Mike Reavey, group manager in the MSRC (Microsoft Security Response Center), the new vulnerability sharing program was created to address the situation today where weaponized exploit code is being released to the public before Windows users can test and deploy the Patch Tuesday fixes.
Radeon HD 4870 X2 Cards Shows up in EU stores
The dual-GPU AMD Radeon HD 4870 X2 that is called to outperform leading NVIDIA cards for the first time in a few years, is to go on sale on August 12. Nevertheless, in some European countries (Austria, for example) these cards can be already ordered. At that, some stores claim to have Sapphire-branded products in stock.
The local product search engine Geizhals.at shows prices ranging from 402 to 457 EUR (620-710 USD). I can already tell that higher than the suiggested retail price. So .. that price will go down for sure, don't worry.
Gemma Atkinson to act in Red Alert 3
She will be filling the uniform of familiar character Lt Eva McKenna, an Allied communications officer with a "sexy twinkle in her eye and a British stiff upper lip", according to the statement.
"I'm a gamer and the chance to act in one of the best loved videogames was an opportunity I was really keen to explore - especially as Eva is such a strong female character," said Gemma. "The worlds of gaming and film are getting ever closer and as an actress I wanted to explore this exciting new area of drama, broaden my acting skills and continue the active, outgoing side of my personality that I showed in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!" She's showed plenty more than that, and has a full photo shoot of her as McKenna plastered in the pages of Zoo magazine this week. Red Alert 3 will be out on PC and Xbox 360 this autumn, with the recently halted PS3 version to follow.
We have some nice Guru3D Wallpaper of her right here as well. She's the one to the bottom right with the ATI logo.
Official: GTA IV on PC, gets expanded multiplayer
As far as we can tell from the official press release, the game will be exactly the same as the console versions but with "newly expanded multiplayer just for the PC". Whether that's just a few new modes or something else entirely, we'll have to wait and see.
"We are very excited to be releasing the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV," said Sam Houser, founder of Rockstar Games. "The whole team is dedicated to bringing an amazing gaming experience to the PC. The game looks and plays beautifully on PC and we can't wait for people to play it."
Thanks lmimmfn for pointing it out.
Gigabyte launches GV-N98XP-512H-B 9800 GTX+
GIGABYTE launched their new graphic accelerator, the GV-N98XP-512H-B. Equipped with NVIDIA's latest 9800GTX+ graphics processor with 128 stream processors and featuring 512MB GDDR3 memory, the GIGABYTE provides the highest level of sophisticated 3D game rendering for and enhanced level of game play.
The GV-N98XP-512H-B is equipped with NVIDIA PhysX technology, enabling a totally new class of physical gaming interaction for a more dynamic and realistic gaming experience. With NVIDIA PhysX technology, gamers are able to experience realistic physics effects such as explosion effects, complex characters and objects in motion. In additional to PhysX, CUDA technology further unlocks the power of the GPU
AMD intros the 790GX chipset
First off, we have a board inbound so expect a review soon. it's a pretty interesting chipset c ombined with the new update of OverDrive. It should be fairly do-able to get a Phenom towards 3.2 GHz now, whihc is 10-15% more than the last-gen chipset could do.
AMD released the AMD 790GX chipset with integrated graphics. This neww mainboard is now partnered with the new SB750 southbridge, the 790GX has an integrated Radeon HD 3300 graphics solution and as stated takes advantage of overclocking with Phenom processors via a new Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) system.
Obviously the standard features can be found as well like DirectX 10 support, Hybrid CrossFireX and CrossFireX multi-GPU technologies, HyperTransport 3.0, Cool'nQuiet 2.0 and the Unified Video Decoder (UVD) with full 1080P decoding support for h.264 and VC-1.
The 790GX features support for dual-DVI, HDMI 1.2 and DisplayPort interfaces, up to 12 USB ports and 6 SATA 3.0 Gbps connectors (RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 ready, RAID 5 is new for this chipset by the way) and is backed up by in-board partners like Asus, ASRock, Biostar, DFI, ECS, Foxconn, Gigabyte, J&W Technology, Jetway and MSI.
Anyway, more on this chipset soon. It should be pretty good.
BFG is doing something great - offering GTX rebates in EU as well
I really like what BFG is announcing today, hats off to them for doing so !
BFG is pleased to announce that we are now accepting rebate requests from European customers (only) for BFG GeForce GTX 280 and GTX 260 products purchased between June 16 and July 16, 2008.
The rebate offer for North American customers (U.S. and Canada) is now closed. Thanks to all who contacted us. If you met the qualifications, you should have received either a confirmation email stating that your rebate is being processed, or an email denying the rebate if you didn
Vista Computers Half the Cost of Macs on Average
Many people are eying the ultra-portable bargain notebook market thanks to up-and-comers like Lenovo's IdeaPad S10 and the MSI Wind. Chipmakers like Intel and VIA are struggling to keep up with demand for the bargain machines. However, lost amid the ruckus is an equally significant trend in slightly higher-end model pricing.
Going to Best Buy, Circuit City, or even Target; a plethora of machines from manufacturers like Dell and HP assault the eyes. Many of these Vista machines have impressive muscle for modest prices. Take HP -- the average sale price (ASP) of a notebook with 14.1-inch display, 2GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive is $699. That kind of machine can not only replace a desktop, but also meet most users
Matrox TripleHead2Go new higher resolutions
Matrox Graphics announces new triple widescreen modes for the TripleHead2Go Digital Edition: 3x1680x1050 and 3x1440x900. The new modes allow gaming enthusiasts and professionals to benefit from the advantages of widescreen technology across an astonishing desktop set-up.
"With TripleHead2Go, users can now drive three widescreen monitors from a single system," says Caroline Injoyan, Business Development Manager, Matrox Graphics. "The ultra-wide desktop gives gamers a maximum field-of-view for an unrivaled gaming experience and professionals a vast desktop for managing multiple applications."
The expanded playing area provides gaming enthusiasts with extra pixel space to view wider interactive scenes for a competitive advantage during game play. What's more, the additional onscreen information in a widescreen Surround Gaming(tm) set-up creates a heightened level of immersion for a more enjoyable gaming environment.
"TripleHead2Go offers us an amazing panoramic setup on any system in the blink of an eye," remarks Marek Spanel, CEO, Bohemia Interactive. "Seeing brand new game worlds spread out to the far corners of your view is quite simply, stunning."
Professional workstation users can also benefit from a triple-widescreen desktop-less scrolling, toggling, and re-sizing of windows significantly enhances efficiency and increases overall productivity by ensuring all the information they need is conveniently at their fingertips.
The new TripleHead2Go widescreen modes-enabled by connecting the TripleHead2Go to the system's dual-link DVI connector-are available with select NVIDIA
Home wireless without the power trip
A new generation of low-power radio technologies is creeping into our homes, in the form of wireless light switches and remote-controlled plug sockets. But the next generation of home-automation kit is all going to communicate every which way, assuming a common language can be agreed upon.
Zigbee, Z-Wave, and Bluetooth Low Energy would all like to play in this space, and Intel is even trying to squeeze Wi-Fi into the role. The industry believes the time is right for watches, key fobs and door locks to be wirelessly enabled, and that it's finally time to replace the aging infrared remote controls that have been controlling our TVs for the last few decades.
Not that the IDrA (Infrared Data Association) is taking this lying down. The group is quick to point out that the most expensive part of building IR into a device is the plastic window covering the transmitter, and has demonstrated a 1Gb/sec version of the standard. But line of sight is always going to be a problem for IR, so for most applications radio works better.
Still seeing infrared?
Several radio standards are competing for the title, all offering limited bandwidth and very low power consumption, but differing both in the details of their protocols and in how they expect the architecture of our (home) wireless networks to evolve.
Groups such as the Bluetooth SIG and Ozmo Devices (who have been demonstrating Intel's Cliffside low-power Wi-Fi) see the future filled with client devices connected to more powerful servers. In the case of Ozmo the "server" could be a games console or home computer, while the Bluetooth SIG still reckons the mobile phone will be the most popular server for their "Bluetooth Low Energy" standard. This divergence is based on the technologies onto which the two approaches piggy-back: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth respectively.
The standard formally known as Wibree, now christened "Bluetooth Low Energy Technology", is designed to make use of much of the Bluetooth silicon - not just the antenna as Nokia's original Wibree proposed. The SIG reckons that should make the cost of bundling Low Energy an insignificant increment on that of putting Bluetooth into a device. Phones supporting Bluetooth should, from the end of 2009, automatically support the Low Energy technology, though it remains to be seen if there will be any Low Energy devices for them to talk to by then. The idea is that watches, light switches etc. will only have the Low Energy components, though the cost of those is still unknown.
Cliffside is a technology from Intel that does much the same thing with Wi-Fi circuits. The argument is that as every device is going to have Wi-Fi anyway you might as well make use of that circuit for your low-power connections too. Cliffside allows a device to connect to a traditional Wi-Fi network while simultaneously talking to low-power-Wi-Fi devices, such as those recently demonstrated by Ozmo Devices.
All this traffic at 2.4GHz might see the channel getting a bit crowded, if it wasn't already. But Ozmo reckons their technology will scale well to 5.8GHz - another chunk of unlicensed space to which Wi-Fi connections are increasingly shifting.
So the question becomes whether Bluetooth or Wi-Fi is going to be the wireless technology embedded in everything by default - on which technology the low-power variation can most usefully piggy-back.
Ozmo reckons its devices can out-perform Bluetooth, offering 9Mb/sec bandwidth and with 2.5 times the battery life of a Bluetooth device. But Bluetooth Low Energy should have 10 times the battery life of a normal Bluetooth device, even if it won't be able to offer the same bandwidth.
Point to the window, point to the door
A 10x improvement in battery life is all very well, but to reach a life measured in years rather than days you need to move away from existing technologies and adopt something a little more radical.
Zigbee is a low-power protocol that can also fit into 2.4GHz, and operating at such low bandwidth it can squeeze in around other applications - one of the 16 bands used by Zigbee at 2.4GHz is actually a Wi-Fi guard band, so will never be filled by networking kit. Zigbee can also hang around at 433Mhz, but that's a very chaotic band for interference, or 868Mhz, though there's not much room to breathe there.
Zigbee was designed from the ground up to be a very low-power networking technology, and one that allows nodes to act as relays, creating an auto-forming mesh network to extend coverage. Zigbee and its competitor Z-Wave both offer a battery life measured in years, and the first consumer products using the technologies are now on the shelves.
AlertMe.Com is typical. It uses Zigbee-equipped sensors operating at 2.4GHz and with a battery life of several years to monitor doors and windows, as well as temperatures and user interaction, with mesh-enabled nodes operating as status lights while routing connections around the network. The mesh that AlertMe.Com creates only connects to a single hub, but there's no reason for a Zigbee deployment to be limited in that way.
AlertMe.Com is working on more devices, including a remotely-controlled plug socket, which should provide a standard platform for home automation. This first deployment will be controlled by AlertMe.Com as all traffic must be routed through their servers, but it won't be long before we see more open Zigbee hardware on the shelves.
So if you believe the future will be devices connecting to peripherals then it's most likely going to be Bluetooth Low Energy or low-powered Wi-Fi, depending on which is the dominant embedded technology. But if you see a future in networks of nodes around the home then Z-Wave or Zigbee is the technology of choice.If, on the other hand, you want to see high-definition video or uncompressed audio flying around the house then you'll need something else entirely, and we'll be looking at some of the options there soon.