Ubisoft DRM Completely Cracked
After heaps of complaints about their protetcion and DRMs Ubisoft's controversial digital rights management platform has reportedly been hacked, cracked and slashed by a consortium known as Skid Row.
According to CNET's Josh Lowensohn, the hack effectively removes the DRM 'entirely,' but requires users to download and install a modified .exe file:
The DRM, which now ships with every new PC game made by Ubisoft, requires that gamers have a constant connection to the Internet in order to play their games. The security feature caused a large backlash by users for its inclusion in Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 2 title, which was released last month.
The hack itself removes the DRM entirely and is being claimed by a consortium known as Skid Row. It requires users to download and install a modified version of the game's executable file to their computers. These modified game files, alongside a crack that can be applied to a retail version of the game, were uploaded to various file-sharing sites late Tuesday evening.
Attached to the "readme" file that comes with the hacked content (which can be found here), Skid Row alerted other hackers that the group's methods were safeguarded against reverse-engineering in order to fend off competing hacking groups and Ubisoft itself.
Office 2010 available on MSDN/TechNet
Microsoft has released the final build (4763.1000) of Office 2010 to MSDN and TechNet subscribers today.
Microsoft said on Friday that its new Office suite, due in May for businesses and June for consumers, had reached the released to manufacturing (RTM) milestone. The build leaked shortly after the official RTM announcement last Friday. Volume License customers with Software Assurance will be able to download the RTM bits on April 27. Microsoft is holding business launch event for Office 2010 in New York on May 12. Consumers will not be able to purchase the product until June.
Stone Giant Public Demo
Key features of the BitSquid Tech (PC version) include:
- Highly parallel, data oriented design
- Support for all new DX11 GPUs, including the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 400 Series and AMD Radeon 5000 series
- Compute Shader 5 based depth of field effects
- Dynamic level of detail through displacement map tessellation
- Stereoscopic 3D support for NVIDIA 3dVision
PS3 and Xbox 360 support will be available in the fall of 2010.
SilverStone SFX Form Factor 450W PSU
SilverStone released its latest power supply for small form factor (SFF) cases which seems to be a grwoth market.
The enw PSU is called the ST45SF SFX Form Factor PSU. This PSU in its limited form measuring 125 mm (W)
ECS AMD 880G-Based Motherboard
AMD will expand its 800 Series of chipsets next week. Of course, this means that all the motherboard makers partnered with Advanced Micro Devices, or at least some of them, will follow up with a suitable number of new motherboards based on the new technology. In fact, preparations are already underway and Elitegroup Computer Systems seems to be among the first to do so, now that its upcoming A880GM-A2 has been exposed.
The platform is constructed with the AMD 880G/SB850 combo core-logic and uses the full ATX form factor. It will support the full spectrum of AM3 CPUs, including dual-core, triple-core, quad-core and, obviously, six-core parts. Also, it comes with four DDR3-1600 memory slots, a pair of PCI Express x16 slots for CrossFireX, five SATA 6.0Gbps ports, Gigabit Ethernet, eSATA connectivity and D-Sub and DVI outputs. Furthermore, quite important for those with budget restrictions, there is an integrated ATI Radeon HD 4250 graphics chipset (DirectX 10.1), backed by a SidePort memory chip.
Check the thumbnail.
Intel Sandy Bridge details surface
The guys over at Bit Tech uncovered some details of Intel's upcoming 32nm Sandy Bridge architecture, you can read it over here.
Sandy Bridge CPUs will be based on the current 32nm, second generation High-k metal gate manufacturing process, but will include new architectural features such as AVX - Advanced Vector Extensions - and AES - Advanced Encryption Standard - acceleration and will arrive in Q1 next year, with possibly very limited products popping up late Q4, although depending on who we talk to the story changes.
They will be split into two markets: mainstream and enthusiast. The mainstream models will replace the current LGA1156 'H1' Clarkdale and Lynnfield CPUs (Core i3 and Core i5) and will use LGA1155 'H2' packaging.
Yes, that's right, LGA1155 - one fewer pins than current LGA1156 CPUs. These sockets are NOT compatible, so you cannot use an existing LGA1156 CPU in a new motherboard or visa versa. Not only is the position of pin-1 different, the socket notch has moved from 9mm to 11.5mm from the centre and the entire voltage plane layout has changed.
Mainstream Sandy Bridge CPUs will be both native dual- and quad-core products, currently targeting TDPs of 65W and 95W respectively, both with Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost technology. At the moment it's not clear what frequency these CPUs will be though (likely because none are available yet from Intel).
All LGA1155 CPUs will have integrated graphics built into the core instead of a separate chip. This is an upgrade from the current IGP, PCI Express controller and memory controller in Clarkdale CPUs that is manufactured on the older 45nm process in a separate die (but still slapped together the same package). This should improve performance, as all the controllers will be in one die, like existing LGA1366 CPUs.
Next-generation Intel central processing units will come with a thermal design power of as little as 35W, which is quite a bit lower than the 65W consumed by some of today's quad-cores. In fact, as a comparison, the Core i5-750S, clocked at 2,4GHz, uses up 82W. It is unclear exactly which chips will consume only 35W, but even if they won't reach this level, quad-core Sandy Bridge units are still expected to limit themselves to a TDP of 45W (including the graphics core).
NZXT Tempest EVO Camo looks like ... a cow ?
NZXt is releasing yet another product that .. well makes me scratch behind my ears to say at the very least. NZXT has introduced the Tempest EVO Camo case. This is basically the same case as the Tempest EVO that was launched in November of last year, but with a camouflage paintjob.
This mid-comes with six fans; two 120mm with blue LEDs in front and one on the side panel, a 120mm fan in the rear and two 140mm fans on top. Expected pricing is a steep $125~$150.
McAfee update BSODs Windows workstations worldwide
A lot of anti-virus software seems to be very trigger happy these days. Loads of false positives etc, this time though McAfee really messed it up. The anti-virus company pushed out a new virus definition update that falsely identifies the critical Windows system file svchost.exe as a virus. Windows XP SP3 PCs running the new 5958 update from McAfee will delete the file, which will results in many problems including repeated reboots, BSODs and networking problems.
McAfee pushed out a virus definition update, 5958, at 14:00 PDT that causes false positive identification of the critical Windows system file svchost.exe. Machines running Windows XP Service Pack 3 using the 5958 definitions will delete the file, causing many key Windows services to fail to start. The Windows file is being mistakenly detected as W32/wecorl.a. Failure to start svchost.exe causes Windows to automatically reboot, hindering repair efforts.
The company has removed the faulty update, but tens of thousands (and possibly much more) computers have been crippled. McAfee has published information on how to fix this mess, but it requires a tech guy to hit each PC in person.
Blizzard bans over 320,000 accounts
Adobe abandons Flash on the iPhone
It seems that the fire between Adobe and Apple has reach a dramatic ending when adobe said very openly that they will abandon flash for the iPhone and as one can imagine, iPod.
Digitaltrend has an article written about it, let's hear what they have to say:
Doom on ZuneHD
Remember the good old Doom? well, it seems it's here for the ZuneHD, take a look at this.
The hack is called OpenZDK and you can read more about it here.
Lost Planet 2 Update
Gamespot tried the latest update on the Lost Planet 2 and this is what they have to say about it:
Capcom showed off two new maps for Lost Planet 2 and teased the game's final level at its recent press event. While the anticipated sequel is already packing a meaty Campaign mode for up to four players to tackle together, a dense array of character customization options to unlock, and a competitive multiplayer mode, the developer is already lining up post-release content
More info here.
Just Cause 2 Review
If you're in for some humor and a special way to do video reviews for games you just have to see this review of Just Cause 2 made by Zero Punctuation, aside from the humor and funny speaking voice, he has some valid points concerning this game.
GeForce Forceware 197.55 released for GTX 470 and 480
NVIDIA released its latest version of the GeForce driver suite, version 197.55, specific to the GeForce GTX 400 series graphics cards. The WHQL-signed drivers don't announce any more changes than a major feature change - official support for 4-way SLI on both GeForce GTX 480 and GeForce GTX 470.
The drivers only work with GeForce 400 series products. No Release Notes documents were published along with the drivers.
Supported are GeForce 400 series: GTX 470, GTX 480
We have an discussion thread open on these drives right here.
ATI Catalyst 10.4a Preview driver available
As promised ATI has updated the ATI Catalyst 10.4 preview to the ATI Catalyst 10.4a preview driver which includes the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 performance improvements for the ATI Radeon HD 4000, ATI Radeon HD 3000, and ATI Radeon HD 2000 Series of products.
World of Tanks
World of Tanks is an interesting MMO game based on Tank Combat alone, this new game is still in development and to be announced but screnshots and media can be gathered from their official website.
Let's round up what the game is all about :
World of Tanks is a team-based massively multiplayer online action game dedicated to armored warfare. Throw yourself into the epic tank battles of World War II with other steel cowboys all over the world. Your arsenal includes more than 150 armored vehicles from America, Germany, and the Soviet Union, carefully detailed with historical accuracy.
ASUS Rampage III Extreme review
ASUS Rampage III Extreme gets tested
We test the ASUS Rampage III Extreme motherboard. The X58 based Rampage III Extreme is unadulterated performance, quality, versatility, some recently introduced innovation and massive overclockability.
Now with added SATA 6G and USB 3.0 controllers as well. Has ASUS built it's best motherboard ever ? Well, let's find out and see shall we ?
Clock here to read the Guru3D review.
NZXT Vulcan LAN Party Case
NZXT is ready to release the Vulcan, a new LAN case designed for micro-ATX motherboards. The chassis is roomy enough to fit a Radeon HD 5970 graphics card, and features a detachable handle for enhanced portability. It should be available for 59.90EUR from May 25th.
The micro-ATX form factor was designed with the purpose of enabling more compact PCs, without necessarily impacting on performance, and micro-ATX chassis have served LAN party goers for years. Knowing this, NZXT has unwrapped its latest model, known as the Vulcan, which tries to not only facilitate attendance to these events, but also aims to bring a dose of aesthetic value, through the use of LED fans and black coating both on the outside and inside.
Measuring 180 (W) x 422.5 (H) x 406 (D) mm and weighing 5.8kg, the new member of the Crafted Series has two exposed 5.25-inch drive bays, an I/O panel with eSATA, USB 2.0 and audio ports, and a 120mm blue LED fan on top. Cooling is enhanced by a front 120mm spinner and some extra, optional ones, including a 120mm fan on top, as well as a 200mm fan on the side and one 80/92mm at the rear. Furthermore, for those that want liquid in their rigs, the Vulcan features pre-drilled watercooling holes at the back.
NZXT's creation includes two pre-drilled holes for watercooling tubes at the back, and boasts two 120mm fans, one in front and a blue LED-equipped spinner on top. For those who want even more air cooling there is support for another 120mm fan on top, for a 200mm fan on side side panel and a 80/92mm fan at the back.
The chassis will cost only 59.90 Euro.