Windows 7 Release Confirmed for Dec 2009
Microsoft has finally updated the release plan for its upcoming operating system. In a press release the Redmond company mentioned that Windows 7 "will be available to customers in time for the holiday shopping season," with Windows Server 2008 R2 set to come about around the same time.
"With early RC testing and extensive partner feedback we've received, Windows 7 is tracking well for holiday availability," said Bill Veghte, senior vice president of the Windows Business at Microsoft.
Google Launches First TV Ads - For Chrome
Since Google's own web browser Chrome entered the arena last September in 2008, it only was able to convince 1.4% of the people surfing the Internet to use it as their standard browser. The initial attention Google got from the media after their launch of Chrome was not enough to help the Internet search giant to gain more popularity and to further increase their market share in the browser market.
Hence, Google announced a "Google TV Ads campaign" in order to raise awareness for their browser, on their official blog:
"So today, we
NVIDIA nForce 15.37 WHQL Windows 7 released
NVIDIA certainly is busy offering good Windows 7 support. Here you can find the latest Windows 7 WHQL nForce platform drivers.
Windows 7 32/64-bit Driver Versions:
- GPU Driver (v185.85) WHQL
- Ethernet Driver (v73.06) WHQL
- Network Management Tools (v73.05) "Sedona"
- SATAIDE Driver (v126.96.36.199) WHQL
- SATARAID Driver (v188.8.131.52) WHQL
- RAIDTOOL Application (v184.108.40.206)
- SMU Driver (v1.67) WHQL
- Installer (v7.01)
- nForce 980a
- nForce 780a
- nForce 760i SLI
- nForce 750a
- nForce 740i SLI
- nForce 730i - GeForce 9400/GeForce 9300
- nForce 730a - GeForce 8300/8200
- nForce 720i
- nForce 720a - GeForce 8100
- nForce 630i -GeForce 7150
- nForce 630i - GeForce 7100
- nForce 610i - GeForce 7050
* update, added 15.35 for broader support as well
Gigabyte launches 9800 GT completely passive
Hardware manufacturer Gigabyte is releasing a GeForce 9800 GT Green Edition. Apparently the passive cooler received an upgrade and has been improved on several points. A bigger copper base and three heatpipes. Next to that this 9800 GT now is equipped with 1 GB of graphics memory.
The claims are bold, the temperature would be eighteen degrees C lower than a standard cooler.
The card is also made under the UD3 (ultra durable 3) technology with solid Japanese capacitors, ferrite chokes. Pricing seems to be a tad higher than expected, but at 135 EUR, it's not bad really. In fact it might be a fun card for a HTPC.
Cyberbullying Bill Introduced In US Congress
The beginning of April 2009, the so-called "Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act" (H.R. 1966), was re-introduced to the US Congress by Rep. Linda Sanchez and is supported by at least 14 other congressmen. The bill is named after Megan Meier, a teenager who committed suicide after allegedly being harassed on the popular social networking web site MySpace.
Anybody bullying others via electronic communications could possibly become a felon, according to the bill: "Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."
Despite that, the bill seems to be written very vague, which could possibly lead to a situation in which every criticizing comment could be interpreted in that regard and is thus creating a lot of criticism itself.
Thief 4 Officially Announced
More than four years after the last game in the Thief series was released in 2004 in the form of "Thief - Deadly Shadows", Eidos Montreal revealed that they are officially working on a sequel, called Thief 4 or "THI4F", and published its corresponding web site, today.
"We're in the early development stages for Thief 4, but this is an incredibly ambitious project and a very exciting one. It's too early for us to offer any specific game details, right now we are focused on recruiting the very best talent to join the core team at the studio and help us make, what we believe will be one of the most exciting games on the market." said Stephane D'Astous - general manager at Eidos Montreal.
In the Thief series you are playing in the role of Garrett, a thief, in a fantasy world, during medieval times.
MaxxPI 2 benchmark v1.36
MSI launches new X58 Pro-E mainboard with DrMOS
Since the release of the MSI Eclipse mainboards which received wide acclamation from gamers everywhere, MSI has now launched the MSI X58 Pro-E to satisfy the top-category of gamers and overclockers. Not only supplying DrMOS and APS power saving solutions, the MSI X58 Pro-E also equips a set of unique features like Split Thermal system, OC Switch, M-Flash, eSATA and True Blu-ray audio which guarantees a new highlight in price-performance. Furthermore, this mainboard is suitable for 3-way SLI & CrossFireX Graphics.
- MSI DrMOS & APS
For a great balance between high performance and power efficiency, MSI X58 Pro-E is equipped with the 2nd generation, true 5-phase MSI DrMOS power design and APS (Active Phase Switching). The board is very power efficient as MSI APS switches the phases of the CPU and also of the chipset and memory.
- Split Thermal System
MSI X58 Pro-E is equipped with a new Split Thermal system which combines great looks with high performance. Compared to the former Split Thermal system, the new design is attached to the PCB with metal screws instead of push-pins which improves the stability and heat dissipation.
- MSI Easy OC Switch
MSI X58 Pro-E can be overclocked with the Easy OC Switch. This is the fastest and easiest solution to adjust the CPU frequency and clock speeds. By breaking various overclocking levels into sections, the switch allows the user to shift to different levels of performance without opening the BIOS.
- 3-way Graphics Technology
MSI X58 Pro-E has three PCIe 2.0 slots providing the maximum bandwidth for 3-way graphics, such as Nvidia 3-way SLI and ATI CrossFireX and for a great gaming experience.
- BIOS backup solution: M-Flash
Realtek HD Audio 2.23 Driver
The latest download of Realtek's HD audio driver version available for Windows XP and Vista, it supposedly runs under Windows 7 too.
The HD audio driver version for Realtek chips is available for download on our server. This download offers both the Windows XP and Vista binaries, the files contain drivers for the 32 Bit and 64 Bit versions. All Realtek HD audio chips, which are common on many motherboards and in notebooks, are supported.
You can download it here.
Point of View nettop based on NVIDIA Ion platform
Soon after ASRock came out with an NVIDIA Ion-based nettop PC, Point of View announced its own nettop based on NVIDIA's Ion platform.
Next to the ION motherboard announcment, POV now also will offer a Nettop. Like the earlier Ion nettop this one offers option of single core as well as dual core version of Intel's Atom processor. Other features include 2GB of DDR2 memory, 160GB SATA hard drive, an integrated slim DVD Burner, 8x USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a 60W power supply, DVI, HDMI and VGA outputs. No word on pricing.
The system is ready to provide users with a choice for a single-core Atom 230 or a dual-core Atom 330 processor. Based on the MCP7A-ION chipset, the mini PC comes with support for 2GB of DDR2 memory, a 160GB SATA hard drive, an integrated slim-line DVD-RW, 8 USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a 60W power supply, DVI, HDMI and VGA outputs and an M-ITX form factor. The system measures 185x250x70mm and features a rather plain design.
The company will launch two motherboards, featuring the ION chipset. The difference between the two is that one will be featured with the single-core Atom 230 processor, while the other will be powered by the dual-core Atom 330. Additional features include support for a maximum of 2GB of DDR2 memory, a PCI-Express x16 slot, four SATA ports, a Realtek ALC662 5.1-channel audio chip, optical SPDIF output, six USB ports, DVI, HDMI and D-Sub connectivity, Gigabit LAN and a 24-pin power connector.
There aren't any details on the pricing and availability of the Point of View ION Mini PC.
Mini HDMI connector prototype revealed (photo)
You all know mini USB of course, but it looks like there might be another miniature version of a standard plug on the way. It
NVIDIA updates CUDA for developer
NVIDIA has released version 2.2 of the CUDA toolkit and SDK. The new version of CUDA profiles C coded applications to use the computers GPU in addition to the CPU. This can enhance the computer's overall processing speed. The update also includes the ability to zero-copy, or to read and write directly from pinned system memory rather than send it through the graphics memory system. Using the technique requires either a GeForce 9300/9400 (or 9400M) integrated graphics core or else a GeForce GT 200 series board.
CUDA 2.2 also lets multiple GPUs access the same system memory information. This feature, Pinned Shared System, results in less overall memory being used as multiple processors access the same bits. The update aims to deliver improved performance of OpenGL applications running on Quadro GPUs by splitting OpenGL graphics functions on to different GPUs. In the Windows version, support for Windows 7 is also new; Mac OS X support remains and sees all the new features.
Using most features requires a GeForce 8 series graphics chipset or later.
Apple hopes to eventually promote a transition from vendor-specific technology like CUDA to OpenCL, its self-created but universal standard for general-purpose computing on GPUs and multi-core CPUs. More here.
EU wants to extend warranty to software
Interesting, the European Commission has proposed to extend the EU consumer protections for physical products to software. If the proposal becomes law, software companies could be held responsible for security and efficiency problems of their products.
Commissioners Viviane Reding and Meglena Kuneva have proposed that EU consumer protections for physical products be extended to software. The suggested change in the law is part of an EU action agenda put forward by the commissioners after identifying gaps in EU consumer protection rules.
A priority area for possible EU action is "extending the principles of consumer protection rules to cover licensing agreements of products like software downloaded for virus protection, games, or other licensed content," according to the commissioners' agenda. "Licensing should guarantee consumers the same basic rights as when they purchase a good: the right to get a product that works with fair commercial conditions."
You can read more about this at CNET.
Samsung intros three new LCD displays
Personally, I'm a big fan of the better Samsung LCD screens. Samsung has introduced three new LCD monitors, the 20" P2070 with 1600 x 900 pixel resolution and the 23" P2370 and P2370HD which feature a 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution. The difference between the latter ones is that the P2370HD can also be used as a TV, the panel features a built-in digital HDTV tuner and comes with a remote.
Samsung Electronics America, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Corporation, the number one worldwide brand of LCD display products, today announced the release of its 70 Series Monitors: the P2070, P2370 and P2370HD. These slim LCD monitors, with screen depths of 30 mm (1.18 inches) for the P2070 and P2370 and 65.5mm (2.58 inches) for the P2370HD and Touch of Color (ToC
In Win Commander 750W Power Supply review
In Win Commander 750W Power Supply Unit
We will be reviewing the In Win Commander series power supply. Commander, as in military. And that shows, army camouflage packaging, and an army green PSU. Quite funny to observe really. Marketing sure, but somehow .. this concept works out really well. A fairly high-end power supply.
Though In Win is not up among the names of high ranking PSU manufacturers, their Commander PSU will leave a sturdy impression. What we'll do today is a Guru3D.com style review. We'll take a Core 2 Quad QX 9770 processor to 3600 MHz on a power hungry NFORCE 790 SLI platform, then we'll pop in two GeForce GTX 295 cards and set up Quad-SLI to see if this 150 USD completely modular power supply will stand its ground or get caught up in the crossfire.
Let's fire off some rounds and ground the PSU with some serious ammo. Check out the Guru3D review here.
Potential Good & Evil 2 Footage
This little trailer that was leaked today, looks like what could very well be new in-game footage of the upcoming Good & Evil 2. In case you liked both Mirror's Edge and Assassin's Creed, this might just be the perfect mix for you:
Modern Warfare 2 Gameplay Sneak Peek
Previously known as Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 2, but meanwhile renamed to the shorter Modern Warfare 2, some first in-game footage was uncovered, today. Scheduled for a release in November 2009, Infinity Ward's first-person shooter is a sequel to the highly successful Call of Duty - Modern Warfare.
Intel Larrabee whitepaper discusses Physics
The gentlemen from intel published a nine-page long whitepaper that discusses some asspects of game physics performance of the Larrabee architecture, you can read it over here.
Intel: Game physics is at the heart of any modern game engine which employs the laws of physics to simulate life-like movement and interaction between objects, such as rigid and deformable bodies, cloth, and water. Game physics applications are very compute and memory intensive. The ever growing quest for a high degree of realism requires more complex physics algorithms and also larger datasets.
To meet the demands of game physics applications requires a computer architecture which can deliver high floating point performance and memory bandwidth. However, general-purpose many-core architectures are quickly evolving to overcome these constraints. Larrabee is one such highly-threaded many-core architecture. It consists of an array of multiple IA Intel processor cores, each augmented with a 16-wide vector processor unit. In this paper, we analyze several key game physics applications. We show how Larrabee